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Introduction to Inquiry Learning

Art Experts

Aestheticians are philosophers who think about big questions about art. Examples of such questions include: What is art? What is beauty? How do artworks carry meaning? What is art good for?

Apprentices learn about art outside formal school systems. An apprentice is a young artist who works for a more experi3enced artist, so s/he can learn from a master.

Art collectors are interested in building their own collections of artworks.

Art dealers and gallery owners acquire art to sell to collectors and museums. Many have contracts with artists to promote and sell their work for a commission.

Art patrons are people who value art and support art making in a variety of ways, such as commissioning artworks, buying artworks, or supplying materials. For centuries powerful patrons (such as royalty, nobles, religious leaders, bankers and merchants) have supported artists by bringing them to live at court and providing housing and other other living expenses.

Artists make art. Some artists work alone and some collaborate with others.

Arts administrators are managers who work with public and private arts organizations. They manage arts projects by writing grants (for example to the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, or the J. Paul Getty Trust), establishing review panels, developing guidelines, and administering budgets.

Art critics and reviewers write about artworks an exhibitions. They often describe and interpret artworks and sometimes share their conclusions about the quality of the artwork.

Art historians study art from different places and times. They explain what artworks meant to the people who lived when and where they were originally made. They study styles in art and trace influences through time.

Art teachers are translators who introduce and explain art ideas to students to help them develop their skills.

Conservators assess the physical condition of artworks and recommend ways to restore and/or protect them.

Curators know a great deal about certain kinds of art. Many are art historians. They select and organize artworks for museum exhibitions.

Museum guards protect artworks that are on display.

Museum registrars keep records of all artworks in their collections, including a record of who has owned it, who has borrowed it, what has been written about it, whether it has been cleaned, repaired, or restored, etc.

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