Artists And The Art Trade

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‘While artists and the art trade were in the business of presenting the new, this was a conceptual challenge for museums.’ (Altshuler, 2008, 15). Discuss the challenges that advanced artistic practice presented for museums in the late 19th and early 20th century. The period of the second half of the 19th and the beginnings of the 20th century saw some of the most extensive transformations in the art market and the institution of the art museum in history. With the rise of the avant-garde and new artistic practices, the traditional enlightenment didactic vision of the museum was put under threat. This essay will focus on the tension between the museum’s historicity and the general tendency to move towards modernity and the discussions…show more content…
However, the works acquired were still exclusively under the strict rule of the Academy, operated by the state. The rise of progressive artists advocating advanced art, pioneered by the likes of Courbet, Manet and others caused a re-evaluation in the system of these principles. The coming of the avant-garde together with the increased commercialisation of art set in motion an increased tension with the established institutions. Eventually this culminated in the formation of autonomous exhibition spaces where artists displayed their works separately from the Academy. This tradition began with the Salon des Refusés in 1863 and extended to establish a parallel to that which would have been traditionally the role of the state museums as the academy continued to turn away from progressive art practices. Although some of the contemporary works were acquired by the state, it was not until 1896 that the Luxembourg agreed to exhibits works of the impressionists, and it would be even later when state run institutions would acknowledge the full extent of the modern art tradition. In the span of the last decades of the 19th century, art in Europe began to focus itself on new developments in artistic practice. Exhibitions such as the
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