Venue. An art museum or art gallery is a building or space for the exhibition of art, usually visual art. Museums can be public or private, but what distinguishes a museum is the ownership of a collection. Paintings are the most commonly displayed art objects; however, sculpture, decorative arts, furniture, textiles, costume, drawings, pastels, watercolors, collages, prints, artists' books, photographs, and installation art are also regularly shown. Although primarily concerned with providing a space to show works of visual art, art galleries are sometimes used to host other artistic activities, such as performance art, music concerts, or poetry readings. The term is used for both public galleries, which are non-profit or publicly owned museums that display selected collections of art. On the other hand private galleries refers to the commercial enterprises for the sale of art. However, both types of gallery may host traveling exhibits or temporary exhibitions including art borrowed from elsewhere. In broad terms, in North American usage the word gallery alone often implies a private gallery, while a public gallery is more likely to be described as an art museum. In British and Commonwealth usage, the word gallery alone implies a public gallery, while a private or commercial gallery will be distinguished using those terms, and the word museum alone is generally understood to refer to institutions holding collections of historic, archaeological or scientific artefacts, rather than of fine art. The rooms in museums where art is displayed for the public are often referred to as galleries as well, with a room dedicated to Ancient Egyptian art often being called the Egyptian Gallery, for example. The term contemporary art gallery refers usually to a privately owned for-profit commercial gallery. These galleries are often found clustered together in large urban centers. Smaller cities are usually home to at least one gallery, but they may also be found in towns or villages, and remote areas where artists congregate, e.g. the Taos art colony and St Ives, Cornwall. Contemporary art galleries are usually open to the general public without charge; however, some are semi-private. They usually profit by taking a portion of art sales; from 25% to 50% is typical. There are also many non-profit or collective galleries. Some galleries in cities like Tokyo charge the artists a flat rate per day, though this is considered distasteful in some international art markets. Galleries often hang solo shows. Curators often create group shows that say something about a certain theme, trend in art, or group of associated artists. Galleries sometimes choose to represent artists exclusively, giving them the opportunity to show regularly. A gallery's definition can also include the artist cooperative or artist-run space, which often operates as a space with a more democratic mission and selection process. Such galleries typically have a board of directors and a volunteer or paid support staff that select and curate shows by committee, or some kind of similar process to choose art that typically lacks commercial ends. A vanity gallery is an art gallery that charges fees from artists in order to show their work, much like a vanity press does for authors. The shows are not legitimately curated and will frequently or usually include as many artists as possible. Most art professionals are able to identify them on an artist's resume. University art museums and galleries constitute collections of art that are developed, owned, and maintained by all kinds of schools, community colleges, colleges, and universities. This phenomenon exists in both the West and East, making it a global practice. Although largely overlooked, there are over 700 university art museums in America alone. This number, in comparison to other kinds of art museums, makes university art museums perhaps the largest category of art museums in the country. While the first of these collections can be traced back to learning collections developed in art academies in Western Europe, they are now most often associated with and housed in centers of higher education of all types. Throughout history, large and expensive works of art have generally been commissioned by religious institutions and monarchs and been displayed in temples, churches and palaces. Although these collections of art were private, they were often made available for viewing for a portion of the public. In classical times, religious institutions began to function as an early form of art gallery. Wealthy Roman collectors of engraved gems and other
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