If you're in a room where there are paintings on the walls or sculptures on the floor, or hanging from the ceiling or wherever, look around for writing on the wall near a piece of art. If it has the name of the artist or the name of the piece, you're in a museum.
If, in addition to the name or title, there's a price tag, you're in a gallery.
This confuses a lot of people on The Beach.
The simple question I hear a lot from museum-goers and museum members who keep getting begging letters from museums is this: "If you're always looking for money... Why don't you sell the art in the museum?"
According to a certain museum President/Executive Director/CEO, the answer is pretty simple too. "Our intended outcome is to fulfill our mission, not to make a profit."
Most of the idiots who call talk radio think that their "hard-earned taxpayer dollars" go to government entities that provide community services and to private non-profit businesses. But non-profit businesses are not methadone clinics. Although the museum may receive state or federal grants, it is a small amount of the businesses' overall expenditures, so the museum must continue to raise operating expenses the old-fashioned way. In a museum's case, by gathering individual contributions
But a community art museum is a public place. In the case of NBAM, it doesn't collect and hide pieces in a locked vault. It shows them right there in the former bank. It teaches your kids and it shows your dad's paintings of his hometown. Often open for free, NBAM "engages the public in experiencing, understanding and appreciating art." Because that's the mission.