Physical Art Galleries Reopen, But Virtual Galleries Hold Momentum

May 27, 2021
3 min read

April 2021 saw London art galleries reopen the doors to their physical galleries, celebrating the return of visitors and outdoor activities again. Although parts of the world are under strict lockdown restrictions, England has been one of the first to ease restrictions and allow art galleries to reopen their physical spaces.

Art Galleries reopen
Skarstedt Gallery by Emperia

Now that the physical art industry regains its pulse, is there still space for virtual reality within the marketing plan for galleries?

COVID19 dramatically changed the way the art industry promoted and market themselves. (Read about How Galleries Market Their Virtual Spaces) Statistics show that the art world online grew majorly during 2020, going from $4 billion, forecasted to reach an impressive $9 billion by 2024. Before 2019, the online art industry was growing by the year, until art exhibitions, art fairs and galleries were pushed to see a new digital future and took their services and experiences solely online, using their marketing budgets to push sales and worldwide visits more than ever before. Galleries such as David Zwirner have invested in digital technology, using online platforms as a new way to sell art to collectors and create new experiences. Another gallery who takes a great interest in digital for their art galleries is Hauser & Wirth. They feature some online virtual exhibitions which blow minds just by the beautiful scenes and extraordinary views which partner with the artwork itself.

Trending Twitter hashtags went viral during 2020, featuring users utilising the hashtag #museumfromhome as they showed their digital experiences for the world to see. Since procedures such as social distancing took place, art fairs and exhibitions were using online alternatives like never before. Art Basel’s ‘Online Viewing Rooms’ of the year, which featured from 19th June to 26th June, turned out to be a virtual version of the fair in Basel, seeing multi-million transactions taking place due to the online VIP preview. 

Vigo Gallery by Emperia

Gaining trust from collectors online

Following the experimental marketing that took place in the online art world in the past year, it’s clear to see that collectors are gaining trust for buying artworks online, making the process of selling art via virtual shows and exhibitions revolutionary for art dealers and art galleries.

Noticing such an increase in online sales and seeing physical galleries welcome visitors back, it doesn’t decline the use of digital technology to create an online presence. Art galleries, fairs, and exhibitions have seen the danger they experienced due to world issues and having to push themselves into new and unfamiliar alternatives, making them realise how important it has been to stay on track with the digital revolution, and keeping their online pulse very much alive. With art fairs returning back at a slow pace, it’s still crucial to stay digital.
If you want to learn more about how virtual spaces can be your best sales and marketing tool, check out Emperia’s article on How Virtual Reality Helps Facilitate Art Sales Online.

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