15 August 2007

Museums & Art Galleries

A museum is an institution which manages a collection

and presents them to the general public for purposes

of education and entertainment.

An art gallery is a room or space for displaying

artworks and other objects (art exhibitions).

A museum has a gallery but not all galleries are part of a museum.

A museum must have a permanent collection for public viewing.

An art gallery have changing exhibits or works of different artists.

Both institutions promote and encourage the act of collecting

which helps preserve important works/objects (old and new).

A museum may buy objects to add to their collection (acquisitions)

but they are not mandated to sell or trade artworks and objects.

An art gallery can act as the representative of an artist

or private collectors and sell their artworks for them.

The dilemma:

>When museums have no permanent collection and instead

have changing exhibition of different collections.

>When art galleries exist just to sell artworks for profit.

>When the curatorial authority is tempered by bureaucracy,

market demands, economic needs or worse,

guided by poor aesthetic and artistic vision.

The responsibility lies with the Curator.

The curator holds the crucial role of ensuring that a collection

(whether permanent, changing, loaned or borrowed)

is important and valuable for public viewing.

NOTE: This curatorship series is in response to a lot of questions

about art institutions and art authority which surprisingly
came from collectors and art enthusiasts! I welcome comments.