Selling Art Online

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  • ONLINE ART SALES: Cyber art sales in the UK seem to be going well, even as prominent online art sales ventures such as NY-based E-artgroup fold owing creditors money. "A new breed of cyberspace art dealers is fuelling a huge upturn in sales of contemporary work, slashing the cost of famous artistsí products and earning attention from millions of people who would never have ventured into a gallery. One gallery, Eyestorm, has sold almost its entire collection of 500 prints of Damien Hirstís Valium at £1,700 a piece, little more than a month after they went on sale, while rival site took 100 orders for prints by his contemporary Gary Hume the first day they went on sale." The Scotsman 02/04/01

  • ART AND THE INTERNET: "Today, only 2% of international art sales, valued by the EC at $7 billion, are actually well known - and that's because those took place in public auctions. With the help of the Internet, that figure is sure to rise, since information can now circulate on a larger scale, allowing the value of art to be redefined and modernized." BusinessWeek 01/24/01

  • E-ART CONSOLIDATION: As consolidation in the electronic art selling business continues, icollector and eBay form an alliance to sell art on the internet. "The deal comes as eBay revamps its high-end art site Great Collections, which is being transformed into a new art-and-antiques site, eBay Premier (" The Art Newspaper 01/24/01

  • ROUGH TIME ONLINE: All in all, it's been a tough year for online sales of art. Sites have folded, and others are barely hanging on, pressured to turn profits. " While those observers who are skeptical of the Internet's potential as a marketplace for high-end art note the financial instability of the past year, optimists point to an increasing number of new collectors who have emerged online." ArtNews 01/01

  • ART DOTCOM FALLOUT: A year ago online art selling was seen as the future of art sales. But a number of the online sellers who crowded into cyberspace have failed at the task. Add Artnet to the list. Artnet was "the first website to offer blue-chip works of art for on-line sale. Now, less than two years later, the company is cutting costs and reducing staff. In other words, the company has given up trying to sell paintings on-line, choosing to concentrate on prints and photographs." The Art Newspaper 01/03/01

  • CLICKS AND MORTAR ART: Online art auctions are making a play for a piece of lucrative business. "Whatís for sale online? You can find everything from landscape paintings by little known contemporary artists for $1,000 or less, to a $50,000 Tiffany lamp or a $3.5 million oil painting by French painter Maurice De Vlaminck." MSNBC 10/01/00

  • ARTBIDDING: Art auctions are going online. Though online auctions are a relatively small business yet, the larger auction houses are setting up. And a new Australian venture is testing the waters: "The two partners say that by auctioning works on they are making 'highquality investment art' available to the general public at up to half the normal retail price." The Age (Melbourne) 09/28/00

  • I SOLD IT ON EBAY: Individual artists have discovered eBay as a way to bypass the gallery system. And they're selling their work. "It appears that the practical lessons of Warhol have been absorbed: self promotion is as American as one of Jackson Pollock's apple pies. What ebay artists have learned is to be pragmatic. They can get real and promote themselves or wait forever for a dealer to do it and create a classier veneer." 09/08/00 

  • WIRED ART: With artists, galleries and museums  exploring possibilities of the internet, there is a scramble to redefine who has the power and where the audiences are for art on the web. Sunday Times (London) 08/20/00 

  • VIRTUAL ART FLEA MARKET: What kind of art can you buy online these days? "Curious about the growing and radical phenomenon by which people are buying art they can't see from sellers they can't see, I decided to shop for art online and assemble my own art collection. My budget: an even $1,000." New York Times 07/31/00 (one-time registration required for entry)

  • ONLINE ART REVOLUTION STALLS: It's been about a year since the online art-selling companies launched in a big way, promising to revolutionize the way is sold. How's business? "Looking back one year later, that boat looks something like the Titanic: imposing but doomed." (Art & Auction Magazine) 08/28/00

  • BUYING FREEDOM ONLINE: At around 6pm EST on June 29th, an original first printing of The  Declaration of Independence sold for $8.14 million on The same copy, which was last sold for $2.4 million, failed to sell at a regular auction in 1993. So maybe it was the new technology, which allows viewers to examine the document, and the fourth of July holiday that spurred the buyer on. MSNBC 06/29/00

    • CELEBRITY BUYER: Television producer Norman Lear was the buyer. The price was a record sum for an online auction and far more than the estimated selling price of $4 million to $6 million. Los Angeles Times 06/30/00

  • BUYING ART UNSEEN: There has been much conjecture in traditional gallery circles that collectors were not likely to buy works of art over the internet without first seeing them in person. But surprise - that's not proving to be the case. "'That we would be selling works in the $20,000, $30,000, and $40,000 range is a surprise,'' says the president of, which was launched by its Manhattan auction-house parent in January" 06/26/00

  • SOTHEBY'S MOVES TO WEB: Sotheby's has decided to move its regular February auction to the web, given how successful the online operation has been. New York Times 06/09/00 (one-time registration required for entry)

  • MAKING THE ART-SITE DANCE: Thomas Hoving, art-world showman and former Met Museum director, has signed on to direct the considerable editorial content of He calls himself "just another Internet hack trying to break some stories." BusinessWeek 06/06/00

  • A BUSINESS DECISION, NOT A CURIOSITY: After five months in operation Sotheby's online auction operation is doing about $1 million in sales a week. Now the company is selling a copy of the Declaration of Indepdence online without a "flesh-and-blood auctioneer drumming up excitement and coaxing bids from collectors." Los Angeles Times 06/06/00

  • WILL CLICK FOR ART? Last week's sham sale of a fake Diebenkorn over an E-Bay auction had plenty of people scratching their heads. Of course there was all the business about the speculation over the painting. And yes it was peculiar how gullible some people apparently are. But what really threw skeptics was the fact that someone would actually pay six-figures for a piece of art by clicking a mouse. Maybe the internet can sell online art after all. New York Times 05/15/00 (one-time registration required for entry)

  • THE ART OF THE E-AUCTION: "The eBay con artists get all the attention, but what about the lesser-known eBay artists? That's right. There is a new breed of artist using the Internet auction site as a forum for creative expression. Their work is hard to categorize; it's a combination of conceptual art and performance art, sort of like a digital happening in cyberspace. Where else can an artist reach a potential audience of millions? What better place to make a wry comment on our materialistic consumer culture?" Boston Globe 05/12/00

  • WAIT AND SEE: Art dealers are rushing to the web, and some are even claiming to be making money at it already. The Art Newspaper talks to art dealers about the experience so far. The Art Newspaper 04/21/00

  • THE RUSH TO E-COMMERCE: The Museum of Modern Art and the Tate Museum team up on a commercial website for art. Plans include selling commissioned design products and offering educational programs such as live webcasts of lectures and concerts. It will also carry archival material on art. Profits from the site will help pay the museums' operating expenses.  New York Times 04/17/00 (one-time registration required for entry)

  • THE ART OF ONLINE: "Ten years ago, we used to have 500 people coming to an opening. Now it's closer to five than 500." Art galleries discover that many people prefer the comfort of choosing art online. CBC 04/12/00 

  • TAKING THE ELITE OUT OF SELLING ART: By some estimates, there are currently some 20,000 Web sites involved in selling art, and more are on the way. "Marketing experts say these sites will permanently alter the way art is sold and radically expand the market. Whether the sudden flood of art sites is truly the dawn of a new era bringing riches to sellers and creators of art or just a shift down-market disguised as technological progress, only time will tell." Washington Post 04/09/00

  • ONLINE CLUB: Venerable Sotheby's got the Dotcom bug last week and went online. But galleries sell elitism, says one gallery director. ďItís a very, very private club intended not to let people in, and if it gets too big, collectors wonít want to be a part of it any more.Ē A risk of taking the business online? The Economist 01/29/00

  • ONLINE ART: Suddenly a number of art sellers have made major investments to get online. Will selling art online be a success? Hard to tell since no one even really has a good idea what the conventional art market is worth. ARTnews 01/00 

  • E-CURIOUS: The internet has completely changed the world of collecting. From antiques to baseball cards, the good stuff is increasingly found not in the shops but online. Hartford Courant 11/6/99





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