Art museum

The Louvre in Paris, France, was the most visited art museum in the world in 2016.
The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.

An art museum or art gallery is a building or space for the exhibition of art, usually visual art. Museums can be public or private, but what distinguishes a museum is the ownership of a collection. Paintings are the most commonly displayed art objects; however, sculptures, decorative arts, furniture, textiles, costumes, drawings, pastels, watercolors, collages, prints, artist's books, photographs, and installation art are also regularly shown. [1] Although primarily concerned with providing a space to show works of visual art, art galleries are sometimes used to host other artistic activities, such as performance arts, music concerts, or poetry readings.

Types of galleries

The Gallery of Cornelis van der Geest, Willem van Haecht, 1628. A private picture gallery as an early precursor of the modern museum.

The term relates to public and private institutions. Public galleries are non-profit or public museums displaying selected art collections. Private galleries refer to commercial enterprises for selling art. However, both types may host traveling exhibits or temporary exhibitions including art borrowed from elsewhere.

In broad terms, in North American usage, the word gallery alone often implies a private gallery, while a public gallery is likely an art museum. In British and Commonwealth usage, the word gallery alone implies a public gallery, which is distinguished from a private or commercial gallery, and the word museum alone is understood to refer to institutions holding collections of historic, archaeological or scientific artefacts, rather than fine art.

Galleries in museums

The rooms in museums where art is displayed for the public are often referred to as galleries as well, with a room dedicated to Ancient Egyptian art often being called the Egyptian Gallery, for example.

Contemporary gallery

The term contemporary art gallery refers to a private for-profit commercial gallery. These galleries are found clustered together in large urban centers. Smaller cities are home to at least one gallery, but they may also be found in towns or villages, and remote areas where artists congregate, e.g. the Taos art colony and St Ives, Cornwall.

Contemporary art galleries are often open to the general public without charge; however, some are semi-private. They profit by taking a portion of art sales; twenty-five to fifty per cent is typical. There are also many non-profit or collective galleries. Some galleries in cities like Tokyo charge the artists a flat rate per day, though this is considered distasteful in some international art markets. Galleries often hang solo shows. Curators often create group shows with a message about a certain theme, trend in art, or group of associated artists. Galleries sometimes choose to represent exclusive artists, giving them opportunities for regular shows.

A gallery's definition can also include the artist cooperative or artist-run space, which often (in North America and Western Europe) operates as a space with a more democratic mission and selection process. Such galleries have a board of directors and a volunteer or paid support staff who select and curate shows by committee, or some kind of similar process to choose art often lacking commercial ends.

Vanity galleries

A vanity gallery is an art gallery charging fees from artists to show their work, much like a vanity press does for authors. The shows lack legitimate curation and often include as many artists as possible. Most art professionals are able to identify them on an artist's resume. [2]

University museums and galleries

University of Tartu Art Museum is the oldest museum in Estonia.

University art museums and galleries constitute collections of art developed, owned, and maintained by all kinds of schools, community colleges, colleges, and universities. This phenomenon exists in the West and East, making it a global practice. Although overlooked, there are over 700 university art museums in the US alone. This number, compared to other kinds of art museums, makes university art museums perhaps the largest category of art museums in the country. While the first of these collections can be traced to learning collections developed in art academies in Western Europe, they are now associated with and housed in centers of higher education of all types.

Other Languages
Alemannisch: Kunstmuseum
العربية: متحف فني
Bân-lâm-gú: Bí-su̍t-koán
беларуская: Мастацкі музей
català: Galeria d'art
čeština: Galerie umění
Deutsch: Kunstmuseum
Esperanto: Arta muzeo
euskara: Arte galeria
فارسی: موزه هنری
français: Musée d'art
Gaeilge: Dánlann
贛語: 美術館
한국어: 미술관
Հայերեն: Պատկերասրահ
हिन्दी: चित्रशाला
Bahasa Indonesia: Museum seni
íslenska: Listasafn
עברית: גלריה
македонски: Ликовен музеј
日本語: 美術館
саха тыла: Уус-уран түмэл
Simple English: Art museum
suomi: Taidemuseo
svenska: Konstmuseum
Türkçe: Sanat müzesi
українська: Художня галерея
粵語: 美術館
中文: 美術館