Quote Originally Posted by chriscrawfordphoto View Post
... An art gallery is a retail store that sells art. No more, no less. It is not a museum. The problem is that many art dealers feel that art is somehow 'above' commerce, and they themselves are above 'mere merchants'. The result is merchants who are ashamed to be merchants and who are thus ineffective at doing what merchants do: selling things...
True. There ARE many who manage galleries who feel this way, and I am no exception.

If the "proper" way to operate an Art Gallery was to only consider the idea of *SELL*, *SELL*, *SELL*, every one would be in direct competition with the Targets and Wall-Marts, and the "Buy a REAL OIL PAINTING for $10" stands.

A true Art Gallery does not deal in concrete artifacts, but in dreams and hypnotic images. I can easily buy a copy of "Storm Clearing Over Halfdome" ... and it will serve its purpose, something I will love to look at, but I have NO interest in covering the world with cheap reproductions, either of my work or anyone elses.

I'm not going to beat this to death, just suggest that there are as many viable business models as there are people... I can only offer my observations: I have sold a few photographs, thank you, but the successful experience has never been the product of a white hot, high pressure sales pitch. Invariably, my work is on the wall for exhibition - occasionally someone will be so taken with the work, that they will offer money. I do not consider that as something evil -actually it is a profound expression of their appreciation of the work. More than once I havel given the work away - free - if I so choose...

There is another factor: A *SELL*, etc., atmosphere is, to me, a miserably BAD setting to show my work. I can't imagine one worse.

I would suggest visiting the local Galleries, taking note of those you can honestly call "successful", and those failing miserably.

I seem to detect a dedication toward art and the welfare of the artist ("museum-ic") in those successful, and unbridled "merchantism" in those that are not.

Disagreement welcome, of course.