In almost every major city in the world, you will find at least one major art museum. Even in small towns around the world, you may find an art museum. That is because art museums have an essential role in serving the public and the art world.
An art museum will help to collect and preserve works of art. They also interpret the art and help to educate us all about art. Many art museums will have programs that will allow you to even experiment with different types of art. The core role of an art museum is to inspire us about art.
Many art museums also see themselves as a way to support inspiring and upcoming living artists. They will do this by exhibiting their works of art and purchasing some of their art.
Art Museums Collect Works of Art
One of the main things that an art museum does is to help collect works of art.
Sometimes a curator will collect a work of art because they want it for a specific exhibition. Other times, museums may have artwork donated by either the artist or somebody else.
In some circumstances, the art museum may even purchase some art because it will help attract people to visit their art museums. But one of the main functions of an art museum is to collect art.
Ideally, they should collect the art for public view, but in reality, a lot of art is in storage, and the artwork is rarely exhibited or seen.
Only 10% of Mark Rothko’s art is on display; most are in storage. Georgia O’Keeffe has 35% of her work on display, with most in storage. Pablo Picasso has over 45% of his work in storage.
There could be many reasons why an artist’s work is in storage, but usually, it is due to space and public interest. It could also be due to the condition of the paintings, and the museum does not want to put them on display for fear that the artwork could get destroyed.
Art Museums Preserve Works of Art
Along with collecting works of art, the museum’s role is also to preserve works of art.
Museums are set up as a place where art can be preserved and not be damaged.
Here are some ways that museums will preserve works of art
- Cimate Controls – The wrong climate can damage a painting. Some museums have special glass boxes to protect artwork; some very delicate artwork may need to be protected from temperature and moisture of the air.
- Inventory – The art musuem also acts as an inventory management systme for artwork. Art work is tagged, categorize and tracked. This helps them to protect it from getting lost.
Some art pieces can be easily destroyed if the art is moved around. That is one reason why a museum will not allow many art pieces to be moved off of its premises.
Art Museums Interpret Works of Art
Art museums are filled with experts, so they interpret the works of art in the museums.
The role of the art experts or curators is to interpret the philosophy and sociology of the art. They will look at some of the traditions from history and display the artwork where people can learn about the art and its content.
The curator will help to give a historical and political narrative of the art and then categorize the art accordingly.
The art curator would usually write the interpretive materials about the artwork, such as the labels and other documents. The museum and the curator are experts on the works of art on display in their museum.
Art Museums Educate Us About Art
The primary role of an art museum is the educate us about art. Many of the world’s finest museums have taken this to another level, and they provide an area in the museum where people can also interact with art.
For example, the Milwaukee Art Museum, which is in my town of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has some beautiful exhibits, but they also have an area where people can learn and play. This area is set up expressly with programs and resources to educate school-aged children and school groups.
The goal of the art museum for the school groups is to come to the museum and have a day to learn about art and even experience art. They will have activities and other things to help inspire and teach the children about art.
With the outbreak of the COVID pandemic, many art museums have also adjusted their programs to include virtual learning for both children and adults.
Art Museums Inspire Us About Art
An art museum also has the role of inspiring about art. The art museums do this through their educational programs, written materials, museum guides, discussion groups, and other programs.
That is why some art museums will give an in-person tour, and others will have a headset where you can take your museum tour. Today, many art museums are also providing virtual tours to view the museum’s artwork at home.
I love the idea of virtual tours as you can essentially be anywhere in the world and see some of the world’s finest museums – virtually. Of course, it is never the same if you visit in person, but if you cannot travel or you are housebound, it is a great way to experience and be inspired by art.
Art Museums Support Artists
Many museums also support some living artists. They may see their role as helping to support artists who are alive. They may have an exhibition about the artist and their artwork; they may invite the artist to give lectures.
When art museum shows the artist’s artwork, they are also supporting that artist. Furthermore, many museums will buy artwork from artists they consider inspiring or critical.
Another role of an art museum is to support artists and to help the artistic community.
If you love art, then take the time to visit your local museum. Not only will you help support them in their many goals, but you will also experience and learn about art.
A visit to an art museum can help inspire you with your artistic pursuits.
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How Do Art Museums Choose What To Exhibit?
Art museums choose what they want to exhibit because of costs, budget restraints, and space restraints. They want to show art that the public wants to see and exhibitions the people are willing to pay an entrance fee to attend. A museum also exhibits those works of art that align with its mission and vision.
The Brigham Young University Museum of Art In Provo, Utah
The Brigham Young University Museum of Art is a world-class art museum located in Provo, Utah. The museum exhibits artwork from many well-known artists. The Brigham Young University Museum of Art is one of the largest and best-attended art museums in the Mountain West.
You can discover more by reading The Brigham Young University Museum of Art In Provo, Utah by clicking here.