Zooming Into The Sanctity of Art Galleries and Museums

September 26, 2023



Shan Arcega

When was the last time you visited an art gallery to see art?

Though the digital world is an adequate platform, it misses the element of authenticity and isn’t able to capture the sanctity these quiet places present. Art galleries are the libraries of the art world and are the best places where artists can showcase their thoughts on the world in exact but unique depth. For the art connoisseur, these places aren’t just places to discover art with unique perspectives, they are also safe spaces to just exist. From stress relief to moments of joy, and increased empathy, visiting art galleries are small safe spaces that can significantly benefit people.

Carl Loquias’ biomorphic sculptures. Photo by Patrick de Veyra
Carl Loquias’ biomorphic sculptures at the White Walls Gallery’s Pale Blue Dot 2023 Exhibition.

The History of Art Galleries and Art Museums 

Art was originally exclusive to the palaces, temples, and tombs of great kings and queens of the ancient world. As time passed, public art galleries and museums started opening up. Historically, the first art museum is the Kustmuseum Basel. Considered the first art museum to open up to the public, its lineage extends back to the Amerbach Cabinet which included a collection of works by Hans Holbein the Younger. It was purchased by the city of Basel in 1661 and made into the first municipally-owned museum. By 1671, it opened to the public and is currently known as the most important art museum in Switzerland. With the opening of this first art museum, it paved the way to unlocking a new place for interaction, collaboration, and learning.

Why is Visiting Art Galleries and Art Museums Important?

Works by Sarah de Veyra-Buyco, Kelli Maeshiro, and Jaco Payawal for Pale Blue Dot. Photo by Patrick de Veyra
Works by Sarah de Veyra-Buyco, Kelli Maeshiro, and Jaco Payawal for the Pale Blue Dot Exhibition 2023 at White Walls Gallery.

Related read: Who Are We in This Vast Universe: The Pale Blue Dot Exhibition

Among many other things, art galleries remind people of the importance of their role in society. By bringing people together, they remind people of their origins and the importance of community in their lives as well. They also tie people to their roots, if an art gallery lasts for years or decades, they can serve as a source of pristine knowledge in the future where fake news circulates fast through technology. By frequently going to art galleries, one can also make new communities.

“Each Time I Looked Around, the Walls Moved in a Little Tighter” by Luis Antonio Santos in The Drawing Room
“Each Time I Looked Around, the Walls Moved in a Little Tighter” by Luis Antonio Santos in The Drawing Room.

Related read: Inhabiting Liminal Spaces: Probing Luis Antonio Santos’ Covid-19 Body of Work

“An Echo Made Tangible / (sun in an empty room)” at MoSpace
“An Echo Made Tangible / (sun in an empty room)” by Luis Antonio Santos at MoSpace

May it be with other artists, art galleries or museums can be the venue for public events like lectures, workshops, or open exhibitions where discussions can bring people closer to each other. Art galleries are also the spaces where artists can thrive. Here, artists can gather feedback to gain a different perspective while giving recognition to their own work or other artists’ work. 

Think of the space where you can be most inspired, where you can learn the most at peace in practically unshatterable silence. At the top of the mind, the image of a library can resurface but art galleries or museums are also some of the spaces where emotions and thoughts can be amplified enough to inspire the birth of new ideas that can shake the world, or maybe just give an individual a sense of peace where we aren’t expected to be anyone.

Photos courtesy of Patrick De Veyra

Download this month's BLUPRINT magazine digital copy from:
Subscribe via [email protected]