Artists And The Art Trade

2204 Words Mar 20th, 2016 9 Pages
‘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 concerning what modern art is and how it should be exhibited which it sparked.
The root of the changes in the institution of the art museum and the establishment of the modern art museum can be traced to the second half of the 19th century. In the aftermath of the industrial revolution a new demand for art rose together with the establishment of a new middle-class. Gradually, the demand of the bourgeoisie began to outnumber that of the royalty and nobility, causing a significant shift in the dynamics of the market. With the notion of the public art museum having been already established in the 18th century, separate parts of the institutions were now beginning to focus on acquiring works of living artists, such as the Palais du Luxembourg.…
Open Document