What is a Gallery Wall?

What is a Gallery Wall?

Alternative Style Gallery Wall

This is how I imagine Wes Anderson's home to look, eclectic, weird, but also extremely stylish. The gallery wall is a timeless, fun way to style art in your home. They offer a ton of elements for creativity and exploration in the realm of art and collecting.

Essentially, a gallery wall is a collection of art, pictures, and other wall hanging items that make up a cohesive, puzzle-like covering of an entire wall.

Gallery Wall Modern Look

Here is a history of gallery walls from Architectural Digest:

"“Gallery walls were first seen in France in the 1600s, when they were called salon walls,” Jung says. Salons, or cultural hubs, democratized art by ditching the old elite way of hanging a precious few pieces and instead filling entire floor-to-ceiling walls with works, primarily by up-and-coming artists. Salons soon opened to the public, making art more accessible to all social classes, and eventually spread to other countries, with art dealers and collectors adopting their frenzied arranging method.

1600s salon wall

Though public gallery walls afforded more access for ogling, it seems it was still only the elite who created the display at homes well into the 20th century, at least in the US. This was likely because only the wealthy had the cash to hire interior designers and hang up art in the first place. But by the 1960s—the era of peace, love, and rocking a DIY salon wall—all that would change. A 1967 newspaper article titled “Gallery Wall Good Way to Display Pictures” was syndicated across the country, giving everyday homeowners (not just serious art collectors) tips on curating framed pieces.  In the ’80s and ’90s, gallery walls became all about family photos. Who hasn’t seen a home with a grouping of school portraits lining a staircase? Even more recently, 2013 was a hallmark year for the decorating scheme with another syndicated article, “Salon Walls Tell a Story,” hitting papers from coast to coast. This time homeowners were encouraged to hang “personal treasures” on their walls, including “exotic turtle shells, vintage medicine bottles, and colorful plates.” "

While some folks seem to be arguing about whether gallery walls are a trend or an outdated design element like shag rugs, we at Martin House Gallery are in full support of gallery walls. What's not to love?

Create your own!

First of all, one could go about this creation with a plan, but one needn't always have a plan. You could come at this with pieces you already own or ones that you are building up for the wall. It also does not have to be finished for it to look beautiful. Your gallery wall can be a work in progress.

Gallery Wall Cozy

You also don't need to have 30 paintings in order to do this. Even just 5 well placed paintings will be captivating to your eye.

4 pictures gallery wall

Choose paintings that have personal value and meaning. You can even intersperse family photos, like they did back in the 80's and 90's. You aren't trying to recreate a magazine, you are trying to create your own personal art gallery. If you like it, then that is good enough for us!

JP Horton Gallery Wall

Check out our small painting sale this season to help curate your personal gallery wall. If you'd like, we can even personally select and curate your wall to your taste with paintings from the Martin House Gallery and other spaces.

Maybe dedicate a whole wall to Lindsay Carroll!


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