Publicly displaying art in museums and in galleries is a concept many of us are all too familiar with. In our younger years, we remember the school field trip to the local art museum. Walking around the plethora of exhibits, we are hypnotized by the works dating back decades and full of rich history. Grown-up now, we attend galleries in Miami and around the globe in hopes to add fresh or ancient pieces to our ever-growing collection. We wonder how this came to be. We know that trip to the art museum awakened an inner collector in us, but how did galleries recognize the yearning to collect art? How did art galleries begin?
Going Back a Century or Two
Art’s presence in history dates back to when the early humans drew on cave walls. Over centuries, art developed into paintings, sculptures, photographs, and so much more than any of us can comprehend. Private art collections were not as prevalent as they are now. Fine art was commissioned by religious institutions and royalty to be visible only in palaces, temples, and churches. Only a select few were allowed to gaze upon these works. Over the years, art tourism boomed all over Europe. The social elite was opening the doors for the public to admire their personal collections, and motivate the establishment of grand museums and galleries around the world. The first public art museum and gallery opened in the city of Basel in 1661. Which is the inspiration for the famous art fair, Art Basel. On every continent and in every city, art galleries and museums have a presence because there is an underlying truth of everyone’s longing to view art.
Art from Far Off Places
The creation of art galleries revealed to everyone their inner desire to admire art and to own art. Art was once a luxury only the highest royals were granted access to and has now turned into comfort for all of us to enjoy. Once art became public leisure, there is the question of what is next for the art world? We no longer go to art galleries to only see art. We go to art galleries to view new art. Thus awakening more specialty galleries created for the purpose of showing different art movements, artists from certain regions, and art of new mediums. The diversity in art galleries excited collectors to expand their collection. Galleries developed into a gateway for collectors to connect to art they never seen before or art they otherwise would have never discovered. Humans’ natural curiosity stems from the need to explore. Art galleries took this idea and manifested it into a growing industry available for everyone.
To the Present
No one can deny the art world has grown exponentially over the course of the past centuries. What started in very few places in the world is now present in every major city. Your motivation for beginning your art collection at a young age is accredited to the social elite deciding to reveal their private collections to locals or tourists from other countries. The opening of museums and galleries began because we realized everyone has one thing in common: art. We all want to observe art and we all want to own art. As you walk through the collections in various galleries, you can proudly say how you are taking part in history. The modern art gallery holds historical significance. There was a time when not everyone could possess art and have a private collection. Now we can.