A great art gallery is a place that beckons visitors to return. Art is not life, but art is a symbol or representation of life. Without art, life is not as beautiful, complex, or creative. Artists are imperfect human beings, but the masterpieces they create inspire people all over the world on different emotional and psychological levels. What makes an art gallery or art museum great? The first thing would have to be the original content that is being displayed in the art gallery. Obviously, paintings by well-known artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet will be a draw at any art gallery or museum.
An art gallery can focus on one particular genre of art, and if the gallery is a great art gallery, this genre will also include paintings by contemporary artists who might not even be very well known. A great art gallery seeks to promote and help these modern artists. The primary purpose of an art gallery is to sell paintings, but a great art gallery places a significant emphasis on inspiring its visitors to become patrons of art. An individual who loves and appreciates art sees the world with a different perspective than the average person, and the artist's way of seeing the world and its inhabitants is conveyed in the art that is created.
Most people are familiar with the cliché about struggling artists who are living in dirty attics without money in order to pursue their passionate love for art. This is a charming concept, and sometimes true, but there are also many artists who actually want to make their livings by creating paintings and selling them. A great art gallery recognizes this fact, and does its best to help younger artists get their feet in the door of the art world. Wine and cheese tasting events are quite common in art galleries, often at no charge to the public.
The purpose of these wine and cheese tasting events is to introduce visitors to a particular series of paintings by a specific artist. The artist will often attend these events, sometimes called Art Showings, in order to personally "show" his or her paintings to the public. People are more apt to make purchases when they actually meet and talk with the artist, especially if the artist has a pleasant personality.
A great art gallery or museum should have its own beauty aside from the paintings that are on display. Some art museums have lovely outdoor gardens in which guests can take leisurely strolls through pathways strewn with flowers and exotic plants. When I attended a recent Park West Gallery Art Collectors Clubmeeting, I found the gallery to be architacturally great on its own. The general atmosphere definitely contributes greatly to the greatness of any art gallery or art museum. The atmosphere can be stale, cold and unfriendly or fresh, warm and hospitable. Obviously, the latter type of art gallery will receive many more return visits.