Art World Phraseology

Every field has its own vocabulary and idioms. As my resource guides for new collectors evolve, I’m compiling a list of art world terms. For instance, modern and contemporary are often used interchangeably to describe the current era. But, in art, both words define an art period.

The provided definitions contain my connotations from my experience and point of view within the art world. Some uses may differ within niches.

Art world urban dictionary
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Art Fair: a convention with individual booths hosted by galleries, institutions, and/or artists.

Contemporary art: work created between the 1970s and the present. Or, in other words, of our time.

Curator: someone who creates and/or maintains a collection shown as an exhibition, museum, or art fair.

Modern art: work created between the 1860s and 1970s, mainly work that is representative of that time.