Essential Duties of an Art Gallery

An art gallery is a location where an art exhibition takes place. The exhibition is designed to showcase the artwork of an artist or a group of artists and can be organized on the basis of themes, periods, or styles. The exhibition usually features paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, or drawings. A gallery may also have a program of events to support the artwork, including lectures and performances.

Galleries make money by taking a commission when they sell an artwork to a client. Other sources of income include the sale of their collection of artworks to private collectors, as well as offering various professional services within the art world. These can range from advisory services to art consulting and investment management.

Art galleries are the beating heart of the art world, the mechanism through which many artists find their way into institutions and into the world’s great collections. But what is less obvious to the general public is the vast amount of work that goes on behind the scenes of an art gallery to incubate and promote its artists, often going far beyond the traditional role of putting on shows and selling artworks.

While the most visible part of a gallery’s job is displaying works and holding art openings, there are a number of other essential duties that are not as immediately visible. The first is preserving the integrity of artworks, making sure they are kept in optimum condition from the moment they enter the gallery. This can include taking appropriate steps to keep light out of the piece and prevent damage from chemicals or insects. It can also involve ensuring that the work is properly framed, wired and packed, and that it has the proper lighting to show off the art to its best potential.

Other essential duties of an art gallery include the ability to provide the appropriate level of expertise when assisting clients who are buying or selling a work. This expertise may be in the form of a formal education in art history or experience from working in museums or auction houses. Gallerists are expected to know their inventory inside and out and to be able to explain the background and significance of each piece in a way that is accessible and engaging to the general public.

In addition, galleries are expected to actively seek out opportunities for their artists to exhibit outside of the gallery, either in other galleries or at international art fairs. They also look for opportunities to collaborate with media organizations and art magazines to help their artists gain exposure and increase the value of their work within the wider professional art community. They may even help their artists with book publishing or assist with other one-shot presentations, such as speeches or film presentations. All of these activities help to support the careers of their artists and ensure that they remain firmly grounded in the realities of the professional art world.