Art Gallery Web Sites?
October 21, 2009 11:55 AM   Subscribe

Do you know of any art galleries with really great web sites?

I'm not interested in museum sites, I'm interested in how small art galleries present their business and inventory online.

(Do you run an art gallery? What do you use your site for? What are people looking for when they visit it?)
posted by crickets to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Jen Bekman is the only gallery website I have ever seen (and I've seen plenty) that is all of these things:
  • intuitively organized
  • without annoying flash interface
  • pleasing to the eye
  • easy to use
I've never had any trouble finding anything there. (When I find interesting things on gallery websites, I often have the terribly annoying experience of returning to the website to find it again only to discover that the page I'm looking for has been either deleted or can't be navigated to from the front page. Drives me crazy.)
posted by ocherdraco at 12:48 PM on October 21, 2009

Weinstein Gallery

High volume gallery, successful sales, based in SF. Very basic site. They only use it as a tool to get people on the phone, and then into the gallery.

Rule #1 - Do not list prices on your site. It will only allow the buyers to shop and then leave, instead of browse and then engage.

Rule #2 - Do not show hi-res versions of the paintings. The art is best sold in a controlled environment where the lighting can be ideal, allowing the buyer to fall in love. Hardly anyone falls in love with art on the computer, and if they do, it won't lead to a sale. Only with a gallery visit can you close the deal.

The site is not as much a place to shop as it is a storefront. People only buy once they come into the door. No one cares about the buyer who came to the gallery site specifically to buy a certain painting. They're going to buy anyway. You want to convince people to come into the gallery where they will buy something they didn't intend. People who don't normally buy art but happen to fall in love.

Granted, this is a very sales-oriented gallery (but who isn't, really) but the concepts apply to smaller spaces as well.
posted by infinitefloatingbrains at 12:52 PM on October 21, 2009

Speaking of Jen Bekman gallery, they were just awarded $825,000 in VC funding.
posted by infinitefloatingbrains at 2:20 PM on October 21, 2009

I love Redux Studios because it focuses more on the art-making, community and events side of things and not so much on the sales. Not very web 2.0, not very minimalist, and basically what most every modern gallery website is not - which is oddly refreshing. Mostly because it makes the space seem active and welcoming instead of hermetically sealed. I just wish it didn't have a flash page.
posted by Juicy Avenger at 8:42 PM on October 21, 2009

I mean splash page, d'oh.
posted by Juicy Avenger at 8:42 PM on October 21, 2009

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