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An art gallery is a building or space for the exhibition of art, usually visual art. They can be public or private, but what distinguishes an art gallery 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.

An art exhibition is traditionally the space in which art objects (in the most general sense) meet an audience. The exhibit is universally understood to be for some temporary period unless, as is rarely true, it is stated to be a "permanent exhibition". In American English, they may be called "exhibit", "exposition" (the French word) or "show". In UK English, they are always called "exhibitions" or "shows", and an individual item in the show is an "exhibit".

Such expositions may present pictures, drawings, video, sound, installation, performance, interactive art, new media art or sculptures by individual artists, groups of artists or collections of a specific form of art.

The art works may be presented in museums, art halls, art clubs or private art galleries, or at some place the principal business of which is not the display or sale of art, such as a coffeehouse. An important distinction is noted between those exhibits where some or all of the works are for sale, normally in private art galleries, and those where they are not. Sometimes the event is organized on a specific occasion, like a birthday, anniversary or commemoration.

The late 1980s were a boom period for art auction houses. However, in early 1990, the market collapsed. The USA overtook the EU as the world's largest art market with a global share of 47 per cent ten years ago. Ranking second, the UK's world market share hovers around 25 per cent. In continental Europe, France was the market leader while in Asia, Hong Kong continues its dominance. France’s share of the art market has been progressively eroded since the end of World War 2, when it was the dominant location and sales at Drouot surpassed those of Sotheby’s and Christie’s combined. The global fine art market turnover is estimated at almost billion. Art auction sales reached a record billion, fueled by speculative bidding for artists such as Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, and Richard Prince. The recent rise of the Chinese art market, both in terms of the size of its domestic sales and the international significance of its buyers, has, combined with a rich cultural heritage of art and antiques, produced a huge domestic market and ended the duopoly held by London and New York for over 50 years.

There are a number of online art catalogues and galleries that have been developed independently of the support of any individual museum. Many of these, like American Art Gallery, are attempts to develop galleries of artwork that are encyclopedic or historical in focus, while others are commercial efforts to sell the work of contemporary artists.

A limited number of such sites have independent importance in the art world. The large auction houses, such as Sotheby's, Bonhams and Christie's maintain large online databases of art which they have auctioned or are auctioning. Bridgeman Art Library serves as a central source of reproductions of artwork, with access limited to museums, art dealers and other professionals or professional organizations.

There are also online galleries that have been developed by a collaboration of museums and galleries that are more interested with the categorization of art. They are interested in the potential use of folksonomy within museums and the requirements for post-processing of terms that have been gathered, both to test their utility and to deploy them in useful ways.

Identifying recent art trends is tough enough – we can’t see the forest for the trees, so to speak. Everything around us is so different and madly off in all directions, but art trends emerge clearly upon retrospect over time with the comforting tilt-shift vision of art history.

Some galleries are contantly frustrated by sales from facebook and other avenues. However there are a select few who actually set up an online sales portion from their gallery website. If there is a work of art in their gallery you can buy it as easy as an amazon transaction. Some galleries are now even using Amazon to do their web sales. This option is the easiest path for a collector to buy art.

There was a time when artist were out of site most of the time. They would make an appearance for a show every now and then, but that was it. However there are more and more artists who are finding way to interact with the public. They have a strong social media presence and constantly performing live art demos in galleries and at shows. Even if they are not well known, they are managing to create sense of energy and excitement. Galleries who take on at least a few of these sort of artists give a certain momentum and buzz to the gallery.

The country with the highest number of visitors in the top 100 is the United Kingdom, while the country with the most museums appearing in the list is the United States. The presence of Spain, France, Italy and Australia is also important the list.

Many of the top art museums also feature on the overall list of the most visited museums in the World.

  • Louvre - Paris - France - 9,334,435
  • British Museum - London - United Kingdom - 6,701,036
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York City - United States - 6,226,727
  • National Gallery - London - United Kingdom - 6,031,574
  • Vatican Museums - Vatican City (Rome) - Vatican City - 5,978,804
  • Tate Modern - London - United Kingdom - 4,884,939
  • National Palace Museum - Taipei - Taiwan - 4,500,278
  • National Gallery of Art - Washington, D.C. - United States - 4,093,070
  • Musée National d'Art Moderne - Paris - France - 3,745,000
  • Musée d'Orsay - Paris - France - 3,500,000
  • Victoria and Albert Museum - London - United Kingdom - 3,290,500
  • Reina - Sofía - Madrid - Spain - 3,185,413
  • Museum of Modern Art - New York City - United States - 3,066,337
  • National Museum of Korea - Seoul - South Korea - 3,052,823
  • State Hermitage Museum - St. Petersburg - Russia - 2,898,562
  • National Folk Museum of Korea - Seoul - South Korea - 2,705,814
  • Rijksmuseum - Amsterdam - Netherlands - 2,520,000
  • Somerset House - London - United Kingdom - 2,398,066
  • Museo del Prado - Madrid - Spain - 2,306,966
  • The National Art Center - Tokyo - Japan - 2,039,947
  • Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil - Rio de Janeiro - Brazil - 2,034,397
  • National Portrait Gallery - London - United Kingdom - 2,014,636
  • Shanghai Museum - Shanghai - China - 1,946,420
  • National Gallery of Victoria - Melbourne - Australia - 1,940,921
  • Galleria degli Uffizi - Florence - Italy - 1,870,708
  • MuCEM - Marseille - France - 1,824,000
  • National Museum of Scotland - Edinburgh - United Kingdom - 1,768,090
  • Moscow Kremlin - Moscow - Russia - 1,758,460
  • J. Paul Getty Museum - Los Angeles - United States - 1,728,815
  • FAMSF - San Francisco - United States - 1,690,078
  • Art Institute of Chicago - Chicago - United States - 1,539,716
  • Saatchi Gallery - London - United Kingdom - 1,505,608
  • Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil - Brasilia - Brazil - 1,468,818
  • National Galleries of Scotland - Edinburgh - United Kingdom - 1,460,324
  • Van Gogh Museum - Amsterdam - Netherlands - 1,448,997
  • Grand Palais - Paris - France - 1,422,013
  • Tokyo National Museum - Tokyo - Japan - 1,403,909
  • Tate Britain - London - United Kingdom - 1,378,272
  • Tretyakov Gallery - Moscow - Russia - 1,360,000
  • Dalí Theatre and Museum - Figueres - Spain - 1,333,430
  • Musée du quai Branly - Paris - France - 1,307,326
  • Doge's Palace - Venice - Italy - 1,307,230
  • Gyeongju National Museum - Gyeongju - South Korea - 1,276,165
  • Australian Centre for the Moving Image - Melbourne - Australia - 1,260,577
  • Pergamon Museum - Berlin - Germany - 1,260,000
  • Galleria dell'Accademia - Florence - Italy - 1,257,241
  • Queensland Art Gallery/GoMA - Brisbane - Australia - 1,224,964
  • Mori Art Museum - Tokyo - Japan - 1,223,198
  • LACMA - Los Angeles - United States - 1,202,654
  • SAAM / Renwick Gallery - Washington, D.C. - United States - 1,200,000

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