Galleries and antique shops. You enter each of these spaces with a distinct sense of curiosity. In an antique shop you can usually touch the items. In a gallery, you generally keep your hands to yourself. But besides that, is there any real difference between the two?
Each space has a varying level of curatorial involvement with an importance placed upon display. Often collectors of antiques—antiquers—will compare browsing to embarking on a treasure hunt. But aren’t gallerists, dealers, and buyers also on a similar hunt? To discover the new and the unknown, to be the first to unearth a hidden gem.
It’s true: galleries are generally perceived as a place of experience, while antique shops are, as the name implied, for shopping—but eventually, this division might just dissipate. It’s all a matter of perspective. Perhaps we should revisit the curious way in which found objects and trash are called fine art when placed in a space titled ‘gallery.’ Perhaps it’s finally time that we consider antique shops just as culturally significant, and as evolutionary, as galleries.
Featured images: North Dallas Antique Mall – Dallas, TX
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