As great art fans who believe our world’s artistic heritage enriches us all, we are always distressed to travel to a museum and find that works we know the museum has are not currently on display. Like most art fans we have only had an opportunity to visit a fraction of the museums we would like to. So the fact that we will never see most of the world’s great art is very distressing. Fortunately technology may come to the rescue in the future and help enrich countless lives.
This is a great article on Quartz, summary below. The link to the original article is at the end of this summary.
Quartz surveyed the holdings of 20 museums in 7 countries, focusing on the work of 13 major artists. In total, they collected data for 2,087 pieces of art. The statistics are drawn from this Quartz survey:
There is surprisingly little agreement about the purpose of museums. Some, particularly the older ones, tend to see conversation and research as top priorities.
Smaller and newer museums are pushing the other way—toward more explicit focus on the public. Cost is one reason. Collecting art is more expensive than it’s ever been. Once a work is purchased, the cost of storing it can be prohibitive.
The most obvious solution to these problems would be for museums to sell works that they aren’t displaying. In the museum world, the controversial practice of removing art from collections is euphemistically referred to as “deaccessioning”.
Most museums are not allowed to sell or give away their art. Many museum trade associations effectively ban sales. The Association of Art Museum Directors
(AAMD) allows for art to be sold (pdf) under certain circumstances, but the funds raised must be used for the purchase of more art. The AAMD has explicitly
blacklisted museums that have sold art to try to escape from financial struggles.
A Smithsonian policy analysis from 2005 suggested several “alternatives to traditional collecting” (pdf)
One suggestion they don’t mention is publishing collections online.
Clicking around a website is a poor substitute for the experience of wandering a museum but in the near future art lovers will use Google Cardboard virtual reality
headsets to view art.
Below are examples of some of the art we would like to see more of:
The fluid, energetic figures in his paintings showed American people in scenes of everyday life, see some of his great works below.
Here is a link to the original Quartz article.