Below are a few answers to commonly asked questions about our members and the work they do.
If you don’t find an answer to your question, let us know and we’ll develop an answer for posting here. We particularly invite enquiries from students and teachers who would like to better understand the important role art galleries and museums play in the cultural life of Canadians. We look forward to hearing from you. Please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is an art museum?
An art museum is a public, non-profit institution primarily concerned with the exhibition of works of art, staffed by professionals, governed by a Board of Directors, and led by a director or CEO. Art museums vary in size and some are specialized. Whether small or large, art museums all present works of art to the public. Art museums are often distinguished by the unique character of their collection or a particular specialty such as textiles, ceramics or art of a certain time period or style.
What is the difference between an art museum and a public art gallery?
Both art museums and public galleries present works of art to the public, exhibiting a diverse range of art from more well-known artists to emerging artists. Exhibitions are assembled by a curator who organizes the exhibit and overseas the installation of the works in the gallery space. Art Museums collect historical and modern works of art for educational purposes and to preserve them for future generations. Public galleries on the other hand, do not generally collect or conserve works of art. Rather, they focus on exhibitions of contemporary works as well as programs of lectures, publications and other events.
What is the difference between art museums and public art galleries and private or commercial galleries?
While one goes to an art museum or public art gallery to view art and learn about it, one goes to a private art gallery not only to look at art, but also to purchase it. There are hundreds if not thousands of private or commercial galleries throughout Canada. Private art galleries are privately-owned, for-profit businesses that exhibit art for the purpose of promoting and selling art. Private galleries may show the works of local artists or more well-known national or international artists.