An art gallery manager is in charge of various activities involved in running an art gallery. Tasks of an art gallery manager ranges from general administration, accounts, marketing, developing relationships with both artists and clients, assessing and electing artworks, organizing and supervising art exhibits, negotiating with curators from other art galleries, attending art fairs and auctions, to working with community art directors in establishing and promoting art programs.
An art gallery manager is primarily responsible for maintaining and improving the artistic and commercial success of an art gallery. Regular duties of art gallery managers include implementing marketing strategies to increase sales, advertising gallery artists and collections, organizing and promoting exhibits and art installations, developing and maintaining relationships with artists and clientele, conferring with executives, and updating acquisition catalogue, sales records and client database. Art gallery managers are also responsible for updating the gallery’s website, supervising and training gallery staff, as well as participating in auctions, art conventions and lectures. Additional tasks depend on the size, specialization and particular practice of the gallery. Some art galleries and museums require the art manager to perform more actively in finance and IT.
Education and Training Requirements
In order to become an art gallery manager, a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, art history, art education, or related field is required. Additional background in advertising, computers and internet media, business administration and museum work is advantageous. Some positions in larger galleries or museums require a master’s degree in fine arts.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements
An art gallery manager should be able to plan financial budgets, efficiently perform administrative tasks, devise effective marketing strategies, handle queries, and give presentations. He/she must possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills; have practical knowledge in computer applications related to media, database, research, and office work; be updated in developments in the arts; as well as be able to professionally deal with artistic temperaments.
Art gallery managers work in large galleries, museums, or small independent galleries. They usually attend to administrative tasks in offices and prepare gallery spaces for installations. Gallery managers are required to travel often to meet with clients, artists, or to oversee touring art exhibits. Working schedule depend on gallery hours, usually from 10am to 6pm on weekdays, with longer hours during exhibit preparations. Galleries that operate internationally may require a manager to have a flexible schedule for travelling and accommodating time differences.
The average annual salary of an art gallery manager is $49,000. The salary can range from $50,066 to $87,550 and may vary due to company, size, location, and bonuses.