Skip to main content

Artist-run galleries—A contemporary institutional change in the visual arts

Abstract

This paper focuses on the contemporary phenomenon of artists who, because of institutional changes in the social organization of the visual arts, become their own gatekeepers by running their own galleries, managing their own exposure and re-establishing direct contact with their audiences and communities. The author contends that the ways in which artists have pursued and organized their own galleries shed light on both the functioning of the established social organization of art and the circumstances that bring about its change. The paper explores the organization, operations and viability of visual artist-managed galleries in the San Francisco and Santa Cruz areas of California as an alternative to the established organization of the art market.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Art Letter 1976 “Special report on alternative exhibiting spaces and co-operative galleries” ART LETTER (January).

  • Ashton, Dore 1972 The New York School: A Cultural Reckoning. New York: The Viking Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Burn, Ian 1975 “The art market: affluence and degradation.” Artforum, Vol. 12 (April), pp. 34–37.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chamberlain, Betty 1972 “Who are you.” American Artists. Vol. 36, No. 360 (July), p. 204.

    Google Scholar 

  • —— 1974 “How to set up a cooperative gallery.” American Artist. Vol. 38, No. 378 (January), pp. 28–31.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chicago, Judy 1972 Through the Flower. New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  • Crane, Diana 1976 “Reward systems in art, science, and religion.” Americn Behavioral Scientist. Vol. 19, No. 6 (July–August), pp. 719–734.

    Google Scholar 

  • Floating Seminar #2 1975 A Survey of Alternative Art Spaces in San Francisco, edited by Paul Kagawa. San Francisco: The Floating Seminar.

  • Goodman, Calvin J. 1974 “Are you a professional artist?” American Artist. Vol. 38, No. 378 (January), pp. 19–21.

    Google Scholar 

  • Henning, Edward B. 1970 “Patronage and style in the arts: A suggestion concerning their relations.” in Albrecht, Milton, James Barnett and Mason Griff (eds.), The Sociology of Art and Literature. New York: Praeger Publishers, pp. 353–362.

    Google Scholar 

  • Laurenson, Diana T. and Alan Swingewood 1972 The Sociology of Literature. New York: Schocken Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mulford, Harry n.d. “Artists and literary men, a history of the San Francisco Art Institute,” an unpublished manuscript (and other historical material compiled by Mr. Mulford, presently at the library of the San Francisco Art Institute).

  • Patton, Phil 1977 “Other voices, other rooms: The rise of the alternative space.” Art in America. (July–August), pp. 80–89.

  • Plagens, Peter 1974 Sunshine Muse—Contemporary Art on the West Coast. New York: Praeger Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pevsner, Nikolaus 1970 “French and Dutch artists in the Seventeenth Century.” in Albrecht, Milton, et al. (eds.); The Sociology of Art and Literature. New York: Praeger Publishers, pp. 363–369.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rose, Barbara 1967 American Art Since 1900—A Critical History. New York: Praeger Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rosenberg, Bernard and Norris Fliegel 1967 The Vanguard Artist—Portrait and Self-Portrait. Chicago: Quadrangle Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Seeman, Melvin 1959 “On the meaning of alienation.” American Sociological Review. Vol. 24, pp. 783–791.

    Google Scholar 

  • Steinback, Alice 1977 A Clean, Well Lighted Space. The Cultural Post. National Endowment for the Arts, issue 12 (July–August), pp. 6–7.

  • Vazquez, Adolfo Sanchez 1972 Art and Society: Essays in Marxist Aesthetics. New York: Monthly Review Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Weiner, Richard 1974 “The artist and his gallery: Legal agreements that work.” American Artist. Vol. 38, No. 378 (January), pp. 22–27.

    Google Scholar 

  • Whit, Harrison C., and Cynthia A. White 1965 Canvases and Careers—Institutional Change in the French Painting World. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wilson, Robert N. n.d. “High culture and popular culture in a business society.” in Ivan Berg (ed.), Business in America. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc., pp. 390–406.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Additional information

An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Pacific Sociological Association Meetings in Sacramento, California (April, 1977). This study was made possible by a grant from the Research Committee of the University of California, Santa Cruz. My warmest thanks to Judith Balfe and Gerald Platt for their substantive and editorial assistance and to Jenny Debouzek for her assistance throughout this research.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Sharon, B. Artist-run galleries—A contemporary institutional change in the visual arts. Qual Sociol 2, 3–28 (1979). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02390131

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02390131

Keywords

  • Social Organization
  • Social Psychology
  • Direct Contact
  • Social Issue
  • Institutional Change