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Public Commentary

  Chelsea Now
    Vol. 3, #16
  Art + Auction
    March 2009


Kusin Classification Code
Patent Pending

The Kusin Classification Code ("the Code") was designed to establish a rigorous, consistent nomenclature for the vast, specialized asset class upon which scholarship and commerce are based in the art economy.

The immensity of material had presented distinct challenges for measuring and analyzing the economic value of the art trade. For instance, Eurostat, a pan-European data agency, uses different nomenclature to define "art" and "antiques" than do government offices in the United Kingdom and United States, resulting in its failure to report imports and exports consistently.

To proceed meaningfully and resolve such impediments, it was necessary to develop the Code as a comprehensive, consistent system of classification to achieve accuracy in cataloguing, for data sorting, microeconomic analysis, risk analysis, and other purposes. Sometimes referred to as a Dewey Decimal System for art and antiques, the system is Linnean in concept. Its 5 Orders (Fine Art, Decorative Art, Antiquities, Other Discrete Disciplines, and Collectibles), 33 families, about 100 Genuses, and many more Species and Sub-Species are being adopted across the sector to expedite many aspects of daily activity, as well as attaining consistency of communication and analysis.

Although defining a consistent framework, the Code is dynamic, retains flexibility, and allows for the incorporation of advances in scholarship and methodology. (To see the Code in its current form, please click here) Licensing rights for the Code, currently with a patent pending, are available without charge for libraries, art museums, and other academic institutions.

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