Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Amazon launches its Amazon Fine Art Store

Amazon Fine Art was launched yesterday with over 150 'prestigious' galleries who deal online selling some 40,000 works of fine art by over 4,500 artists.  The new venture currently has beta status.

The basic message so far - re "how do I get my art on there?" is that to be an artist on the site you need to be an artist with a gallery that got an invite. Think of it like an Art Fair online.

Obviously I'm going to write more about this when I understand it better - so here's the information available so far.  It's been attracting a lot more attention from the techie side - and at the moment there's a bit of a deathly hush on the art journals side!

I'll add more good commentary as and when I find it.

Business sites


Art Magazines / Journals

UPDATE: Artists & Illustrators has risen to the challenge.  I wonder if they read my comment on this post published this morning?
UPDATE This is what you might call "the prequel"!

Techie type sites

Media sites

Key features of the new Amazon art store 

There's an awful lot of features in which will look very familiar to anybody who knows online art galleries well.
  • it features paintings, drawings, mixed media works, photography and art prints - although an initial review revealed some interesting classifications (why have "chalk drawings" and "pastel drawings"?)
  • the subject matter has an extensive classification
  • various styles and periods including Pop art, Abstract art, Modern art, Contemporary art, and much more.
  • as always with Amazon you get to buy by price range - and I can tell you there's an awful lot of art priced in excess of $1,000
  • artists range from new through to famous. The 'names' - past and present - that I've spotted so far include Henry Moore, Bob Rohm, Linda Lucas Hardy, Margaret Evans, Harley Brown, Fred Wessell, and finally Angus McEwan Artist ( has because he prompted me to look!
I'm hoping to encourage Angus - who is frequently featured on this blog - to pop over and tell us a bit more about how he got an invite!

...and here is his comment
Hi Katherine,
This is a brand new venture, and I have to say it looks like a huge undertaking for everyone involved. A small number of galleries have been asked to supply artwork for sale through the Amazon website. Each gallery obviously decides which artists they would like to represent. Each artist puts forward work which is available and can be put aside indefinitely incase of sales. I was kindly asked by Thompson's Galleries to take part, which I was thrilled about. You then have to provide quite a lot of information pertaining to each work along with good images. There are images of the painting, the frame and a detail of your signature.- each gallery must obviously collate all that info for each piece and provide that to Amazon. The Thompson's Gallery then collected the work to make sure it could be shipped immediately. All in all the gallery has to take responsibility for making sure everything is professional as it will reflect badly on Amazon. I can see why they went down this route rather than contacting artists individually. They are dealing with less people and every artist has their own idea of how business should be conducted- and maybe it doesn't align with Amazons approach. Time will tell how successful this will be, but I'm willing to give it a try.


  1. Having just taken a quick look at the Amazon gallery I am somewhat disappointed ... looks mostly like amateur painters to me. I'm sure there is some good stuff in there somewhere but who is going to spend time trawling through it to fing the good stuff? Does anyone else fell the same or it just me??

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  3. My artwork was also included in the initial launch. (search Lisa Call Art from the main amazon search menu to find it). My gallery is pretty excited about this new venture but I'm reserving judgement for now.

    There is a lot of art on amazon and it's pretty hard to stand out in a huge ocean. So I'm going to ask my existing collectors to go out and write positive reviews on my artwork. Authors do this all the time so I figure - why not artists? It will be interesting to see if

    1) the collectors will write positive reviews for my art

    2) if that makes any difference in terms of visibility of my work


  4. I agree with Vivienne and was also prompted to look after seeing Angus' post on FB. Being an artist involved in a few major exhibitions I have NEVER been approached by a legitimate gallery :-( I was that disappointed with most of the work I saw on Amazon, especially those representing watercolour, that I gave up looking after about 10 pages. I would love to get my work onto something like that but alas it is only via the selected galleries. Do galleries actually scout for artists or do artists scout for galleries?

  5. Vivienne - well my experience is that it tends to depend on how well curated the category is and how well chosen the galleries are and how good they've been at choosing artists.

    Try again - and look at the higher priced work

  6. Lisa - reviews is definitely one way to go. It's the way to get spotted on Amazon.

    However beware Amazon is cracking down big time on what they call "fake" reviews - and collectors need good advice about how to do a review.

    Friends who write lots of review for you would not be doing you any favours!

  7. Amanda - I think you need to click through to the selling page and take a look at the profiles of the artists they're selling.

    In other words do they look like you?

    Obviously it will vary by gallery but the few I looked at suggested to me this is "credible artist with good back storey and experience of exhibitions". But I was looking at the higher priced work - the bulk of the listings are over $1,000

    As at today (good time to take a benchmark this is what it looks like

    Under $99 (502)
    $100 to $250 (3,892)
    $250 to $500 (5,870)
    $500 to $1,000 (7,442)
    $1,000 to $2,500 (8,693)
    $2,500 to $5,000 (6,075)
    $5,000 to $10,000 (3,693)
    $10,000 & Above (2,368)

  8. Yep - asking friends isn't helpful. Asking collectors - who can comment on the quality of my work that they have purchased is of value.

  9. I totally agree. Only those who have seen your art in person and have bought it should review in the first instance.

  10. The only good thing I could find about it was it is instant loading. Otherwise nothing exciting in the abstract section, and yes I looked in the higher price range too. Not impressed

  11. I just took another look in the mid range section this time, slightly better although very little to excite me it has to be said. Made me feel I had lost my love of art, but then I walked into my living room and I have some wonderful abstract art made by some pretty talented West Country artists. Perhaps it is still the case that you have to see it in the flesh to FEEL it

  12. I think it's a good idea for us all to remind themselves now and again that a gallery or a site doesn't need to impress artists - it only needs to impress art collectors to be successful! :)

    Remember the art on here is not self-selecting. It has been chosen by established galleries which are credible enough to be invited to do business with Amazon in the beta phase.

    I'd be very surprised to find any gallery which has put forward an artist who doesn't sell well and/or is not popular woth collectors!

  13. Ashar - I guess it depends on how used you are to looking at art online.

    I know artists whose work I've seen in person and also online and I know some work translates well while other work does not.

    The thing to do is find an artist you know - whose work you have seen in person and then check out how it looks online.

    Also NOBODY can judge art from a thumbnail! You need to click the thumbnail and take a look at the larger image before making judgements.

    Plus we always have to remember our taste is our taste and it's not the same as other people's. What some people love others will find absolutely horrendous!

  14. I just sent this link to my gallery. Thanks for the head's up!

  15. I'm unclear as yet as to whether Amazon selected the galleries they wanted to go with for the beta - or whether galleries were offered the opportunity to join the beta. (Any information on this topic would be welcome!)

    This is a business model which could change quite
    drastically if the type of gallery who was able to use it changed.

  16. According to the email I received from Ugallery, they were invited to join Amazon Art.

    I'm excited to be a part of the initial launch!

  17. We should also remember all of it is new and it will evolve.

    It might also be true that artists and galleries are selecting work that 'is safe to sit' for a while since the art could potentially sit idle on the Amazon site until it gets discovered, especially if there is a lot to sort through.
    Could you image an art gallery essentially holding back a work by one of their best selling artists that would typically fly off their walls, potentially giving up the quick sale.

    Time will tell. I am guessing everybody involved is waiting to see how well it works before FULLY committing.

  18. Good point David.

    I think also it remains to be seen what's the pricepoint at which work shifts.


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