Why are so many art galleries closed?
I was surprised to find that art galleries and museums were closing across the country this week, but the reason is not so much that the art has become more expensive, but because many of the art galleries are already closed.
This week, New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) announced it will close after its second consecutive year of declining attendance and will not reopen for more than four years, with its opening date set for 2020.
The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City will close for the first time since 2009, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC will be closed for more time than anticipated.
The Art Institute of Chicago is scheduled to close in mid-February 2019, after its sixth consecutive year with declining attendance.
The New Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art both have closed their doors in the last year.
“I was shocked,” says Amanda Mazzotti, senior curator of art and culture at MoMA.
Ms Mazzetti says the decline in attendance is also a result of the decline of art galleries.
“We have been very, very lucky to have a number of great art institutions,” she says.
“The fact that some of them are not performing so well and have had to close is a problem.”
Ms Bartos says art galleries that were able to remain open will be able to keep operating for another year.
“The art world is not going to disappear, but I think there is an opportunity to create something new in the next couple of years,” she adds.
Art gallery closures aren’t just a problem for the art community.
“There is a huge amount of art that has been lost to the digital age,” Ms Bartos adds.
“Art has always been a part of the fabric of our culture.
There is nothing that has changed that is better for our culture.”
Art is important to a lot of people.
But Ms Barto says that art can be lost in the digital era and, in some cases, in the absence of the traditional art galleries, like museums.
“If the art you see in your home or in your library or your gallery is lost, it’s gone forever,” she explains.
“That’s why the internet has made it so easy to keep up to date on art.”