What’s gotten into Jeff Bezos? On the heels of agreeing to take over The Washington Post Co., the Amazon founder has decided to turn the art market on its ear.
This week, Amazon.com is rolling out a marketplace that gives customers direct online access to more than 40,000 works of fine art from over 150 galleries and dealers.
At launch, Amazon Art will showcase artworks from more than 4,500 artists from galleries of all sizes, including Paddle8 in New York, Holden Luntz in Palm Beach, The McLoughlin Gallery in San Francisco, Modernbook in San Francisco and Catherine Person Gallery in Seattle.
Rather than perceiving Amazon as a threat or odd interloper, galleries have welcomed the ecommerce giant with open arms – or, at least according to Peter Faricy, vice president for the Amazon Marketplace.
“We’ve heard their desire to connect with new customers,” Faricy said of Amazon’s new partner galleries. “We’re pleased to share our expertise in ecommerce with galleries and dealers looking to expand their reach.”
Faricy on Tuesday declined to speculate on the contribution Amazon Art could make to the company’s bottom line.
Appealing to a range of shoppers, Amazon Art currently offers Clifford Ross photographs starting at $200, Andy Warhol’s “Sachiko” for $45,000, Monet’s “L'Enfant a la tasse, portrait de Jean Monet” for $1.45 million and Norman Rockwell’s “Willie Gillis: Package from Home” for $4.85 million. The new store features simple discovery tools, and detailed information about selected artworks.
Amazon is no stranger to the art world. Back in 2000, the company embarked on a pilot program with auctioneer Sotheby's, but pulled the plug after less than two years.
Ecommerce rivals like eBay have tested similar services, while a number of startups like Artsy have more recently emerged to bring art sales online.
Thanks, Jeff Bezos.
Connect, enrich and grow.
I hope sell my art with you — Penny Wolfe.
Art collectors: Also look for PAW, Penelope A. Wolfe.
And, happy birthday, yesterday to Andy Warhol. Still looking for my 15 minutes of fame.