Gallery Owners and Directors


Education and Training Requirements

High School

You will need at least a high school diploma in order to become a gallery owner or director. Helpful courses include art, history, business, mathematics, computer science, marketing, and economics. English and speech classes are also important. These courses will teach you to communicate effectively with all types of people, including artists, employees, and customers. Studying a foreign language may also be helpful.

Postsecondary Training

You do not need a college degree to work as a gallery owner or director, but a degree or at least some postsecondary education will certainly give you an advantage over other applicants in this highly competitive field. Many owner and directors have degrees in art, art history, marketing, history, or business management. College courses that will help you prepare for a career as a gallery owner or director include art theory, art administration, art history, accounting, business, marketing, English, advertising, and computer science. All owners and directors, regardless of their education, must have good marketing, analytical, communication, and people skills.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

A business license may be a requirement in some states. Individual states or communities may have zoning codes or other regulations specifying what type of business can be located in a particular area. Check with your state's chamber of commerce or department of revenue for more information on obtaining a license, or visit

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Internships, co-ops, and part-time jobs at art galleries will provide useful experience for aspiring gallery directors and owners.

Gallery professionals need a lot of energy, patience, and fortitude to overcome the slow times and other difficulties involved in owning and/or running a business. Other important personal characteristics include maturity, creativity, and good business judgment.

Gallery owners and managers should also have good communication skills and enjoy working with and supervising others. They also should be able to motivate employees and delegate authority. Diplomacy often is necessary when dealing with artists.