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Art galleries are
institutions or forums to promote art appreciation in art buyers and a platform
for artists to display their work. The term art gallery initially denoted a
particular area or gallery in a museum to display paintings, sculptures, and
illustrations. The popularity and success of this concept encouraged reserving
rooms and later, private and public independent buildings exclusively for
exhibitions, seminars, art teaching, and research programs.
Fame or notoriety of a gallery is dependent upon the artists showcased and, to a large extent, the connection with an art dealer. The partnership encourages benchmarks of excellence, as sincere dealers ensure maximum exposure for the gallery and artist.
It was in 1793, after the French Revolution, that the first gallery or museum to
display royal treasures was established at Louvre in Paris. It set a precedent
for showcasing art collections for general viewing. With the increasing
popularity of fine arts and artists, galleries catering to different tastes and
denominations sprouted up in most major cities of the world. The U.S. has its
share of both national and private galleries in towns and cities, holiday
resorts, or artist's camps. Majority galleries have favorite artists on their
roster, while some purchase and promote works of unknown and new artists or host
artistic activities such as musical soirees, book launches, or photo exhibitions
to coincide with the subject or theme of particular artwork.
A wider demand for art and artists encouraged the establishment of online galleries to help source and purchase paintings or sculptures from galleries and art dealers in different cities or countries. Art collectors or novices find this a convenient way to browse through paintings of different artists, depending on taste and setting. But there is nothing to compete with the artistic ambience of an uptown gallery showcasing traditional and exclusive artists or a downtown one selling contemporary or kitschy works of new and emerging artists.
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