What is the role of an art gallery owner?

A gallery owner is the person who will defend the artist’s work or art in a gallery. He or she must have a minimum of knowledge about art and art market negotiations in order to be able to sell and compliment the works well.

Description of the gallery owner’s job

The role of an art gallery owner must have a passion for art by selling the works of one or many sculptors, painters, video artists or photographers in a gallery. First of all, he or she must have a strong point in terms of research for the discovery of new talent.

The gallery owner will choose the works of the artist to be exhibited to the general public; he will defend them, he will even create a catalogue, prepare the exhibition. It is the gallery owner who will organise the vernissage, promoting the work to potential buyers and negotiating the sale. He will act as an intermediary for the buyer and the artist, so he will lighten the work of the artist by having a very good knowledge of art.

Training and studies to become a gallery owner

In the case of a gallery owner who does not own the arts, you should be aware that the role of an art gallery owner is to promote the art of an artist. It is therefore essential that he or she has several contacts such as journalists, partner gallery owners, collectors, curators, etc… And therefore, to have sufficient equity capital or support from a sponsor for the financing of the first vernissages and communication actions;

You don’t need any specific studies to be a gallery owner, but you can approach schools that offer the diplomas needed to work in the art gallery profession. You can find schools such as a Professional Master in Art Market at the University Paris 1, the EAC of Paris and Lyon offering 2 degrees in Law and Art Market with a Master in Art Market Management, and finally the Professional Master in Taxation and Art Market Law at the University Jean Moulin of Lyon.

Career development

You can start out in the business by working for gallery owners by assisting them before you open your own gallery to take on the role of art gallery owner. With the establishment of notoriety, showing certain artists in cultural institutions and opening international galleries in museums, art centres can be considered.

The gallery owner’s salary is closely related to the price of the works with the ability to negotiate and his or her celebrity. He or she will receive approximately 30 to 50% of the price of the sale of an artwork.

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