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This article was published on August 6, 2013

Amazon opens up a marketplace for art

Amazon opens up a marketplace for art Image by: David McNew
Ben Woods
Story by

Ben Woods

Europe Editor

Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional online poker player. You can contact him via Twitter or on Google+.

Amazon has opened a marketplace where people can buy art directly from more than 150 different dealers spread across the globe, called Amazon Art.

At launch, the marketplace will offer more than 40,000 pieces of art coming from a showcase of around 4,500 artists, the company said.

” The new store features easy-to-use discovery tools to help open the art world to customers and offers detailed information about the works of art. Customers can explore fine art from galleries of all sizes, including Paddle8 in New York, Holden Luntz in Miami, McLoughlin Gallery in San Francisco, Modernbook in San Francisco and Catherine Person Gallery in Seattle.”

Amazon said that presenting art for sale in this way, ie. online in a manner that people are already well-used to, will help “demystify” the art world.

Customers have a range of price points, going from, for example, $200 for a Clifford Ross photograph to Norman Rockwell’s “Willie Gillis: Package from Home”, which will set you back a cool $4.85 million. There are also pieces like Andy Warhol’s  “Sachiko” that cost a far more moderate sum, at just $45,000.

Naturally, if you’re going to be handing over that amount of money (or any amount of money really, for art), you’ll want to know what you’re getting. As such, Amazon has included information such as the provenance of the piece, its exhibition history, and detailed information about the artist and the specific work.

“For example, artist Antoine Rose from Emmanuel Fremin Gallery provides a detailed description for customers interested in his aerial photography. The artwork is described as a ‘…panorama captured from helicopter in a bird’s eye view. The miniature-like representation of Hamptons beach transforms the natural aerial landscape into abstract painting and inscribes Rose’s work in a minimalist artistic approach,'” Amazon said.

There are also options for allowing customers to search and sort through artworks based on things like subject, style, color, size, price and which gallery a piece is being held by.

The move is a significant one for Amazon, adding yet another revenue stream to its ever-diversifying online shopping portal.

➤ Press release

Featured Image Credit – Getty Images