August 12, 2013

Amazon Art LogoAmazon has now offered fine art to the products available for direct shipment to your home via its new Amazon Art marketplace. You can spend anywhere from south of $200 to more than $2 million, depending on your taste and the size of your wallet.

Spending $2 million on Amazon? Yes, you read that number correctly. But let’s start at the beginning. Last week Amazon opened Amazon Art, a marketplace to view and buy contemporary and classic art. Amazon is working with more than 150 high profile galleries from across the U.S. and Canada. Initially it is offering 40,000 works by 4,500 artists.

That $2 million piece, it’s Claude Monet’s “Fragment de Nympheas,” a piece that will set you back some $2.5 million. Also for sale are works by Andy Warhol and Norman Rockwell. In all, there are now 85 works priced above $10,000. These high-profile offerings may be more for public relations consumption than anything else, but Amazon Art is a very real initiative.

Art is not new to the realm of e-commerce but Amazon’s entry into the space represents a change of scale and perspective. With its visibility literally to millions of people, Amazon is making gallery art more accessible to a larger marketplace. The e-tailer is also aggregating works represented by dozens of galleries in one marketplace.

Only time will tell if people are willing to add Monets to their shopping carts – the same shopping carts that usually hold books and replacement ink cartridges. There are also a few unanswered questions. For example, how will the higher priced offerings be authenticated? There’s also the shipping. This is not your your average pick and pack. All art shipments require a special touch, one that we say modestly, we have come close to perfecting at Capacity LLC.

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