Big Museums Chastised on Art-for-Cash Loans

imageA long, long time ago, museums would lend art to private exhibitions only if they believed the art would travel well and possessed a worthwhile intellectual statement. This meant smaller galleries were more pressed to generate original exhibitions, ensuring that all kinds of artists gained exposure. But like most art in the new world, the distribution of gallery pieces is currently also determined by the flow of cash from one palm to the next.

Through this system, museums tend to make most art available to smaller galleries for a certain price, or deny travel for art if a “loan fee” isn’t met, regardless of the artistic outreach. In response, the International Council of Museums’ Italian branch has produced a document denouncing the practice, hoping to sternly remind museums that while A-list galas and Belvedere-sponsored bars are plenty luxe, their main mission should always be spreading art to the masses.

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