"In museums then, art links vast amounts of capital to individual creativity and cultural identity. This particular format performs two profoundly important ideological tasks. First, museums "launder" the assets of elites by transforming their private accumulation of art into public benefits for the "people." In other words, museums appear to democratize the uneven distribution of wealth that results from late capitalism's high-risk finance industries. Museums themselves speculate on art in many ways--based on not only its literal value but also its many derivatives such as real estate investment, the proliferation of satellite museums or galleries, traveling exhibitions, souvenir merchandise, online retailing, expensive in-house restaurants, rights and reproductions, and publishing. Perhaps most profitably, art world institutions depend on art's capacity to attract investment from wealthy individuals and corporations as well as government patronage."
-- Copyright © from David Joselit, After Art, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013, p. 86. All rights reserved.