Art Defined: Part 2

What’s the difference between modern and contemporary art? What is provenance? A Catalogue Raisonné? Here are some common art terms defined.


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Modern Art

Art that was produced in the late 1860’s through the 1970’s and that rejected traditionally accepted forms and emphasized individual experimentation and sensibility.

Contemporary Art

Art produced at this present point in time or art produced since World War II. The definition would support the first view, but museums of contemporary art commonly define their collections as consisting of art produced since World War II.

Art Movement

An art movement is a tendency or style in art with a specific common philosophy or goal, followed by a group of artists during a restricted period of time, usually a few months, years or decades. Wikipedia


1) Place of origin; derivation. 2) The history of the ownership of an object, especially when documented or authenticated. Used artworks, antiques, and books. 3) The records or documents authenticating such an object or the history of its ownership.

Catalogue Raisonné

An exhaustive book which covers every known work of an individual artist up to the year of the book’s publication. Typically, a catalogue raisonné is only written by the leading expert(s) on said artist, over the course of many years’ research.

Primary Art Market

The primary market offers the work that emerges from artists’ studios and is often displayed in carefully curated gallery shows.

Secondary Art Market

The resale market for art. Every time a work of art is sold after the initial sale (primary), it is a secondary market sale.

Art Defined

What’s Conceptualism? What are the roles of the artist, critic and curator? Here are some common art terms defined.



Fine Art

A visual art considered to have been created primarily for aesthetic purposes and judged for its beauty and meaningfulness, specifically, painting, sculpture, drawing, watercolor, graphics, and architecture.


1) A set of principles concerned with the nature and appreciation of beauty. 2) The branch of philosophy which deals with questions of beauty and artistic taste. Oxford Dictionary


Art in which the concept(s) or idea(s) involved in the work take precedence over traditional aesthetic and material concerns. Wikipedia


1) One skilled or versed in learned arts. 2) One who professes and practices an imaginative art. 3) A person skilled in one of the fine arts. 4) A skilled performer. 5) One who is adept at something. Merriam-Webster


1) One who forms and expresses judgements of the merits, faults, value, or truth of a matter. 2) One who specializes especially professionally in the evaluation and appreciation of literary or artistic works. 3) One who tends to make harsh or carping judgments; a faultfinder.


1) A person in charge of a department of a museum or other place where objects of art, science, or from the past are collected. 2) A person who organizes and arranges a showing of art or other objects of interest.