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An art dealer is a person or company that buys and sells
works of art A work of art, artwork, art piece, piece of art or art object is an artistic creation of aesthetics, aesthetic value. Except for "work of art", which may be used of any work regarded as art in its widest sense, including works fr ...

works of art
, or acts as the intermediary between the buyers and sellers of art. An art dealer in
contemporary art Contemporary art is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and ...

contemporary art
typically seeks out various
artist An artist is a person engaged in an activity related to creating art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipeda ...

artist
s to represent, and builds relationships with
collectors Collector(s) may refer to: Arts and entertainment * Collector (character), a fictional character in the Marvel Comics universe * Collector (2011 film), ''Collector'' (2011 film), a 2011 Indian Malayalam film * Collector (2016 film), ''Collector'' ...
and
museum A museum ( ; plural museums or, rarely, musea) is a building or institution that Preservation (library and archival science), cares for and displays a collection (artwork), collection of artifacts and other objects of artistic, culture, cu ...

museum
s whose interests are likely to match the work of the represented artists. Some dealers are able to anticipate
market trends A market trend is a perceived tendency of financial market A financial market is a market Market may refer to: *Market (economics) *Market economy *Marketplace, a physical marketplace or public market Geography *Märket, an island shared b ...
, while some prominent dealers may be able to influence the taste of the market. Many dealers specialize in a particular style, period, or region. They often travel internationally, frequenting
exhibitions An exhibition, in the most general sense, is an organized presentation and display of a selection of items. In practice, exhibitions usually occur within a cultural or educational setting such as a , , , , , or s. Exhibitions can include many t ...

exhibitions
,
auctions An auction is usually a process of Trade, buying and selling Good (economics), goods or Service (economics), services by offering them up for Bidding, bid, taking bids, and then selling the item to the highest bidder or buying the item from the lo ...
, and artists'
studio A studio is an artist An artist is a person engaged in an activity related to creating art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional pow ...

studio
s looking for good buys, little-known treasures, and exciting new works. When dealers buy works of art, they resell them either in their galleries or directly to collectors. Those who deal in contemporary art in particular usually exhibit artists' works in their own galleries. They will often take part in preparing the works of art to be revealed or processed. Art dealers' professional associations serve to set high standards for accreditation or membership and to support art exhibitions and shows.


History

The art dealer as a distinct profession perhaps emerged in the
Italian Renaissance The Italian Renaissance ( it, Rinascimento ) was a period in Italian history The history of Italy covers the Ancient Period, the Middle Ages and the modern era. Since classical times, ancient Phoenicians, Magna Graecia, Greeks, Etruscan civi ...
, in particular to feed the new appetite among collectors for classical
antiquities struggling with a Lapith The Lapiths (; grc, Λαπίθαι) are a group of legendary people in Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the Ancient Greece, ancient Greeks, and a genre of Ancient Greek folklor ...
, including coins. The somewhat disreputable character of
Jacopo Strada Jacopo Strada (Mantua Mantua ( ; it, Mantova ; Lombard The term Lombard refers to members of or things related to Lombardy (man) it, Lombarda (woman) lmo, Lombard (man) lmo, Lombarda (woman) , population_note = , populat ...
is often said to be reflected in his portrait by Titian (1567).


Job requirements

Art dealers often study the
history of art The history of art focuses on objects made by humans for any number of spiritual, narrative, philosophical, symbolic, conceptual, documentary, decorative, and even functional and other purposes, but with a primary emphasis on its aesthetic ...
before entering on their careers. Related careers that often cross-over include
curator A curator (from la, cura, meaning "to take care") is a manager or overseer. When working with cultural organizations, a curator is typically a "collections curator" or an "exhibitions curator", and has multifaceted tasks dependent on the parti ...
s of museums and
art auction An art auction or fine art auction is the sale of art works, in most cases in an auction house An auction is usually a process of buying and selling goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people int ...
firms are industry-related careers. Gallery owners who do not succeed may seek to work for more successful galleries. Others pursue careers as
art critic An art critic is a person who is specialized in analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, ch ...
s, academics, curators of museums or auction houses, or practicing artists. Dealers have to understand the business side of the art world. They keep up with trends in the market and are knowledgeable about the style of art people want to buy. They figure out how much they should pay for a piece and then estimate the resale price. They are also often passionate and knowledgeable about art. Those who deal with contemporary art promote new artists, creating a market for the artists' works and securing financial success for themselves. The art world is subject to economic booms and bust just like any other market. Art dealers must be economically conscious in order to maintain their livelihoods. The mark ups of art work must be carefully monitored. If prices and profits are too large, then investments may be devalued should an overstock or economic downturn occur. To determine an artwork's value, dealers inspect the objects or paintings closely, and compare the fine details with similar pieces. Some dealers with many years of experience learn to identify unsigned works by examining stylistic features such as brush strokes, color, form. They recognize the styles of different periods and individual artists. Often art dealers are able to distinguish authentic works from
forgeries Forgery is a white-collar crime that generally refers to the false making or material alteration of a legal instrument ''Legal instrument'' is a legal term of art that is used for any formally executed written document that can be formall ...
(although even dealers are sometimes fooled).


Notable art dealers


Contemporary gallery

The term
contemporary art gallery Image:Contemporary art gallery by David Shankbone.jpg, A gallery show opening in New York City A contemporary art gallery is normally a commercial art gallery operated by an art dealer which specializes in displaying for sale contemporary art, usu ...
refers to a private for-profit commercial gallery. These galleries are found clustered together in large urban centers. Smaller cities are home to at least one gallery, but they may also be found in towns or villages, and remote areas where artists congregate, ''e.g.'' the
Taos art colony File:Cordelia Wilson - Taos Mountain Trail Home.jpg, 300px, ''Taos Mountain, Trail Home.'' Cordelia Wilson, ca. 1915-1920s, Private collection The Taos art colony was an art colony founded in Taos, New Mexico, by artists attracted by the culture ...
and
St Ives, Cornwall St Ives ( kw, Porth Ia, meaning " St Ia’s cove") is a seaside town A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages and smaller than city, cities, though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably i ...
. Contemporary art galleries are often open to the general public without charge; however, some are semi-private. They profit by taking a portion of art sales; twenty-five to fifty per cent is typical. There are also many non-profit or collective galleries. Some galleries in cities like Tokyo charge the artists a flat rate per day, though this is considered distasteful in some international art markets. Galleries often hang solo shows.
Curator A curator (from la, cura, meaning "to take care") is a manager or overseer. When working with cultural organizations, a curator is typically a "collections curator" or an "exhibitions curator", and has multifaceted tasks dependent on the parti ...
s often create group shows with a message about a certain theme, trend in art, or group of associated artists. Galleries sometimes choose to represent exclusive artists, giving them opportunities for regular shows. A gallery's definition can also include the
artist cooperative An artist cooperative (also co-operative or co-op) is an autonomous visual arts organization, enterprise, or association jointly owned and democratically controlled by its members. Artist cooperatives are legal entities organized as non-capital stoc ...
or
artist-run space An artist-run space is a gallery or other facility operated or directed by artists, frequently circumventing the structures of public art centers, museums, or commercial galleries and allowing for a more experimental program. Argentina The two m ...
, which often (in North America and Western Europe) operates as a space with a more democratic mission and selection process. Such galleries have a board of directors and a volunteer or paid support staff who select and
curate A curate (, sometimes ) is a person who is invested with the Cure of souls, ''care'' or ''cure'' (''cura'') ''of souls'' of a parish. In this sense, "curate" correctly means a parish, parish priest; but in English-speaking countries the term ''cu ...
shows by committee, or some kind of similar process to choose art often lacking commercial ends.


Vanity galleries

A
vanity galleryA vanity gallery is an art gallery An art gallery is a room or a building in which visual art is displayed. Among the reasons art may be displayed are aesthetic enjoyment, cultural enrichment, or for marketing purposes. While "gallery" continues ...
is an art gallery charging fees from artists to show their work, much like a
vanity press #REDIRECT Vanity press #REDIRECT Vanity press#REDIRECT Vanity press A vanity press, vanity publisher, or subsidy publisher is a publishing house in which authors pay to have their books published. Where mainstream publishers aim to sell enough copi ...
does for authors. The shows lack legitimate curation and often include as many artists as possible. Most art professionals are able to identify them on an artist's resume.


Professional organizations

*
Antique Tribal Art Dealers Association The Antique Tribal Art Dealers Association (ATADA), was founded in 1988, by a group of independent antique tribal art dealers to form a professional association of dealers that would provide education for the public and set standards for the trade ...
, Inc. (ATADA) * Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) * Art and Antique Dealers League of America (AADLA) * Association of Art and Antiques Dealers (LAPADA) * British Art Market Federation (BAMF) * British Antique Dealers' Association (BADA) * Confédération Internationale des Négociants en Oeuvres d'Art (CINOA) * Fine Art Dealers Association (FADA) *
French art dealers committee Comité Professionnel des Galeries d'Art (French Art Dealers Committee) is a French professional association established in 1947 in Paris with the mission to represent French art galleries before the state authorities. In broader terms, its role is ...
*
New Art Dealers Alliance The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit collective of professionals working with contemporary art. NADA members include galleries, gallery directors, non-profit art spaces, art advisors, curators, writers, museum and other ...
(NADA) * Private Art Dealers Association (PADA) * Society of London Art Dealers (SLAD) * The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF)


See also

* List of art dealers *
AppraiserAn appraiser (from Latin ''appretiare'', "to value"), is a person that develops an opinion of the market value Market may refer to: *Market (economics) A market is a composition of system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or int ...
* Art finance *
Art market The art market is the marketplacefa:بازار A market, or marketplace, is a location where people regularly gather for the purchase and sale of provisions, livestock, and other goods. In different parts of the world, a market place may be ...
*
Art sale An art auction or fine art auction is the sale of Work of art, art works, in most cases in an auction house. In England this dates from the latter part of the 17th century, when in most cases the names of the auctioneers were suppressed. In Jun ...
*
Art valuation 380px, An art studio visit : Art valuation, an art-specific subset of Valuation (finance), financial valuation, is the process of estimating the market value of Work of art, works of art. As such, it is more of a financial rather than an aest ...
* Art world economics *
Auction An auction is usually a process of buying and selling goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), d ...

Auction
* Blockage discount *
Curator A curator (from la, cura, meaning "to take care") is a manager or overseer. When working with cultural organizations, a curator is typically a "collections curator" or an "exhibitions curator", and has multifaceted tasks dependent on the parti ...


References


External links


Cartoon Strip about Art Dealers in The Tatler
Retrieved February 2013 {{DEFAULTSORT:Art Dealer Business of visual arts Visual arts occupations Museum industry