Art exhibitions offer institutions an opportunity to refresh their displays and bring in new artworks for a short period. This is a great way of re-attracting local people, who may have become used to their permanent collections. It may also interest people from further afield who have a particular interest in an artist or artistic theme.
For those more knowledgeable about art history, exhibitions also give an opportunity to delve deeper into a topic, such as providing a comprehensive guide to a single artist's entire oeuvre. A good example of this might be a retrospective, where huge efforts are made to pull together as many artworks as possible and to celebrate an artist's achievements.
Continuing to Innovate
The major galleries are always attempting to innovate, in order to differentiate their exhibitions from everybody else's. New ideas include providing specific attractions for families with younger children, such as interactive art activities. They might also attemot to make more use of modern technology, with downloadable programmes and audio tours.
Another common tactic is to throw light on an aspect of a famous artist's career that had perhaps been ignored previously. This offers fresh content and interest around an artist that we may already be highly familiar. It could be, for example, their work within a medium that had gone under the radar previously. Alternatively, it may focus on specific relationships within their lives, such as with a favoured model or a partner.
For those who visit art galleries and museums regularly, annual passes are available at most locations which offer a more cost-effective route for art lovers. Many of these have additional benefits too, such as extra hours in which to visit, as well as discounts on other products including books and merchandise. Additionally, you help will ensure that these institutions can continue to introduce the general public to art for decades to come.
Whilst exciting exhibitions continue to attract new audiences to any gallery or museum, it is important not to overlook their permanent collections. For those visiting a venue for the first time, it is a great opportunity to also witness their permanent collection when arriving for an exhibition. Often the permanent collection can offer a rounded view of different aspects of art history, and can be a great introduction to those less-knowledgeble about art in general.
For those who have already visited, the permanent collections will still be rotated fairly regularly, giving exposure to elements of the collection that may have previously been out on loan elsewhere, or even kept away in storage. This is particularly the case for the larger galleries and museums, whose collections can run into the hundreds of thousands, and therefore simply do not have the display capacity to show all of it at any one time.
Our Exhibition Guides
Each exhibition featured within this section will include all of the important details for those looking to attend, as well as an overview of the content involved. There maybe an introduction to the artist too, plus a list of some of the highlights of the exhibition. We shall also link out to the museum's own page, as well as potentially other exhibitions that they have hosted in recent times.
We will offer ticket price information, available opening hours, the calendar dates for each exhibition and also any potential venues that might later host the same exhibition - curated exhibitions will often move to several different galleries in order to allow as many people to see the event as possible, often travelling around Europe or across different US cities.
It is important to remember that all information included on art exhibitions within this website is only offered as a guide, and may change without notice. It is essential that you check with each hosting institution to verify any information prior to visiting. They may also be able to offer discounts or preferential opening hours that we are unaware of.
Types of Exhibitions
Whilst the fundamentals may stay much the same, there are a number of sub-genres of exhibitions, which we include below. These include retrospectives, mixed media and also touring exhibitions. Museums and art galleries have traditionally been most prominent within western culture but today there are exciting venues right across the world, with major cities understanding the importance of culture to attracting tourists and investment.
A retrospective exhibition is intended to be a thorough survey of an extended period of time within an artist's career. Often the artist has passed, giving an opportunity to look back at their entire life, and the different phases of their evolution. In other cases, some may enjoy retrospectives within their own lifetimes, which would focus on everything that they had achieved up to that point.
Retrospective exhibitions are often regarded as the most important and indepth type of exhhibition, often being produced alongside written publications which examine an artist's achievements in considerable detail. It is also a significant moment for the artist, who is now considered important enough to warrant a retrospective devoted to their lives and achievements.
In order to provide a full survey of an artist's career, it may be necessary for exhibitions to cover different artistic disciplines within the same exhibition. This is most likely to be drawings with paintings, which allows us to learn about their working practices, as well as displaying their technical skills as their most raw. In other cases, it might be oil and watercolour paintings displayed together, or sculptures from different materials, such as bronze and marble.
This has been more of an issue with 20th century artists who have been bolder in their use of different mediums, when in the past artists would be more likely to stick to the same path throughout their career. Additionally, many will today combine mixtures of these ideas together in the same piece, which is colletively known as "mixed-media" and is most common within modern art movements such as abstract art.
A touring exhibition involves a collector or company who own a number of related artworks being able to offer different venues an exhibition in its entirety. They would then take the exhibition to a new location every few months, potentially covering regions right across the world, if the demand warrants it. An alternative form of a touring exhibition is where multiple institutions combine their collections to create an exhibition which then features at each museum or gallery seperately.
The latter is fairly common in the present day, with a number of art institutions having developed trusting relationships with related galleries and musuems. Together they may own many hundreds of thousands of items, making curated exhibitions fairly easy to organise. In each hosting the same touring exhibition, they can then all benefit from these temporary exchanges.