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Thursday, 27 June 2013 19:56

Amazon Takes on the Art World

Online retail giant Amazon is expected to launch a virtual art gallery later this year. The website is planning on offering over 1,000 objects from at least 125 galleries. It has been rumored that the online seller of books, electronics and apparel already has over 100 galleries on board. The Seattle-based company has been approaching a litany of galleries across the U.S. in recent months.

The virtual art gallery will follow a similar model as Amazon Wine, which debuted last fall and works with over 400 vineyards and winemakers across the country. Amazon will take a commission from all sales on its art site instead of charging galleries a monthly service fee. Commissions will range from 5% to 15% based on the work’s sale price.

Online art galleries are not unheard of in today’s web-dominated world. Costco currently runs a virtual art gallery that offers prints by artists such as Henri Matisse (1869-1954) and Marc Chagall (1887-1985) as well as original works by lesser-known artists.    

Published in News
Saturday, 06 October 2012 20:08

Fine Art Now Available at Costco

Six years ago wholesale powerhouse, Costco, stopped selling fine art amid allegations that two Picasso drawings sold on their online store were fakes. The company recently decided to give the venture another go adding “Fine Art” as a category in their “Home & Décor” section. Nestled between “Bathroom,” “Bedding,” and “Kitchen & Dining,” the foray into the art market seems to be going well. In the past two weeks or so, 8 out of the 10 have sold including a framed screen print by Andy Warhol for $1,450 and a framed lithograph by Henri Matisse for $1,000.

The works are supplied by Greg Moors, an art dealer based in San Francisco who provided Costco with art when they first launched the department in 2003. Driven by the notion of financially accessible art, Moors dismissed the peculiarity of a discount warehouse store selling fine art. In fact, this practice is not exclusive to Costco. Between 1962 and 1971, Sears sold over 50,000 works by such artists as Picasso, Rembrandt, Chagall, and Whistler as part of the Vincent Price Collection of Fine Art. Customers could even buy works on layaway.

Although he did not supply the store with the questionable Picassos, Moors is very careful about what is available via Costco. Most of the works are unsigned to avoid questions about the signatures’ authenticity. He is also attempting to sell the works of more living artists and is avoiding artists who are known to have a proliferation of fakes circulating in the art market.

Published in News
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