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Commerce vs. Curation: Lessons From Today’s Museums World

Category: Financial Sustainability

In this article, the author, Scott Reyburn examines the overlap between the financial operations of museums and their admissions alongside the role of curating permanent and special exhibitions. The article also examines how private collectors and board members often exert influence on what museums choose to show and how it is displayed.

As leading museums compete for crowd-drawing exhibits, and try to balance commercial interests and cultural diversity, visitors are bearing a rising proportion of the cost.

-Scott Reyburn

"We see more private collectors engaged with museum boards and loaning works to museums," said John Mathews, head of private wealth management at UBS America. "Competition for the best works has increased among institutions with the globalization of the art world and the rise of income-generating blockbuster exhibitions."

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