The link between Artist Archives and Galleries
The Artists’ Archives have not at all simple tasks: receiving, acquiring, recording and documenting, these are among the key actions that determine their value for the art community and a point of reference for collectors.
Carrying out the activities of an Archive requires a team of professionals, along with a network of knowledge and budgets that are often lacking in most cases.
Today and more and more, Artists’ Archives need an evolution, following the potential of new technologies such as digitization, the real keystone for a management in progress and an almost immediate data sharing, but in total privacy and security, like the one offered by the Art Rights platform.
This is why an “advanced” Artist’s Archive must demonstrate that it is able to act with professionalism, tools and methodologies that allow it to become a leading player in the management of information, no longer and only experts to be consulted to verify the authenticity of works in favour of third parties.
This is an arduous task and not easy to accomplish for a large number of Artists’ Archives.
For this reason in recent years the Artists’ Archives have found in art galleries, but not only, real allies, even when the heirs decide to give up the management of the legacy, for management activities, enhancement and promotion combined with the sale.
The art galleries that manage, totally or partially, an Artist’s Archive, are growing and among the most famous we find:
- Pace Gallery, in collaboration with Sotheby’s Art Agency Partners division for Vito Acconci
- David Zwirner for Ruth Asawa, Joan Mitchell, Josef Albers and Diane Arbus
- Hauser & Wirth represents over 20 archives including Philip Guston, Arshile Gorky and Gunther Forg.
- Dep Art Gallery for the artist Turi Simeti
But how and with what activities can art galleries support the Artist Archives?
Depending on the size and value of the tunnel, this can guarantee:
- Internal staff specialized and dedicated to archive-related activities;
- Dedicated services and professionals such as registrars, insurers, legal and tax advisors, restorers;
- Promotion and sale of works at art fairs;
- Organization of exhibitions in their spaces;
- Creation of opportunities for collaboration in official contexts such as museums and institutions;
- Publications such as exhibition catalogues or “ragionati”;
- Organization of the archive of the works and the warehouse.
Collaboration with the Archive thus allows the gallery, which takes charge of its management in agreement with the heirs, to become a point of reference for the market and for collectors who will turn to them to acquire or sell works, as well as for museums and institutions interested in loans or publications.
The partnership between Artists’ Archives and art galleries is a long-established reality, but today it leads to new scenarios still in progress.