Considerations for Finding Art Pieces or Artifacts for a Museum- Historical Importance Versus Revenue

Considerations for Finding Art Pieces or Artifacts for a Museum- Historical Importance Versus Revenue

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It is challenging to decide which is of greater importance when finding art pieces or artifacts for a museum: the historical import or the profit margin. For some, cost-effectiveness or revenue produced in future by marketing replicas will be a priority, but for others historical importance and representativeness of the real historical article will be more important. The discernment between buying the work of a young artist with great promise at the expense of a classic art piece being put away or sold, in reference to which decision would be more worthwhile for future generations, is extremely difficult. There are many different priorities, but they should be historical significance, historical representativeness, common sense and, finally, the marketability of the product.
If the marketability of a product is high, there is a chance that the historical value and artistic value were not in the first place. The historical value is often placed on the uniqueness of an object, the rarer it is, the more expensive it is, and the more willing historians will be to protect it. For example, if there were 52,000 soldier uniforms left over from World War 2, but only 10 left from World War 1, the significance in a museum would be placed on protecting the few left from World War 1. Theobald in [Source D] states, “If the shop’s only reason for being is money, then the museum is operating a gift shop.” From previous experience, “trinkets” or “treasures” oft found in gift shops have little or no historical or artistic value. The cause of this lack of value and uniqueness is because of easy replication of the item, which is often mass-produced like the souvenir artifacts mentioned in [Source D]. If there are to be 5,000 replicas of Van...


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...ious, inestimable magnum opus of Pablo Picasso’s or another impressionists’ artwork for a kindergartener’s doodles, even though the works may sometimes look similar or the child may show ‘promise’. It is an opinion that one should wait to buy artwork from an artist to display in a gallery until they are reasonably well known. This ensures some success with the display for the museum, and an escape from relative obscurity for the artist.
The most important considerations of a museum curator or private collector should be firstly the historical import of an artifact or art piece, then on the authenticity portrayed in the display (if in a museum), and finally, using common sense about both the items chosen for the exhibit and the marketing of souvenirs. Museums and art galleries should be about history and art, not capitalism and only the rosy points of history.

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