Online Galleries Help Shoppers Get Smart About Art

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$50 and one-of-a-kind murals for as much as $15,000, though pieces that big often end up in commercial spaces like hotel lobbies.

The startup has also launched a new function that allows engaged couples to register for art online, a great feature for people who already have plenty of kitchenware. “As the age for people getting married gets older and older, couples already have silverware and place settings,” Tanenbaum says. “They don’t need traditional wedding gifts. They want something more mature for their space than posters they might have had in college.”

"Rock Formations," a 2012 acrylic painting by Sidonie Caron; $3,075 at

"Rock Formations," a 2012 acrylic painting by Sidonie Caron; $3,075 at

Here’s how it works on the supply side: interested artists apply to feature their work through UGallery’s site, filling out an application form and submitting five to 10 photos of pieces of their work. Nearly all genres are welcome. Once approved by a panel of curators led by Farkas, the artist’s work is displayed and promoted on the site, and UGallery splits all sales with the artists 50/50. (A 50 percent commission is standard in the gallery world.)

“About 20 percent of the artists who apply exhibit on the site,” Tanenbaum syas. “So we really focus on the quality of the artist and artwork.”

Once purchased, UGallery ships the artwork to the buyer, who has seven days to return it for a refund, minus a 15 percent restocking fee. UGallery ships all its work in custom-built art boxes made with high-density foam to ensure it arrives safely. And so far customers seem very satisfied: only about 1 percent of purchases have been returned.

Tanenbaum himself wasn’t an art collector when he helped found the company at age 24, but he is now.

“I come from a business/finance background,” he says. “I’ve learned a ton more about art, but the biggest thing I’ve learned is if your eye is drawn to it and you love it, you don’t have to worry about what anyone else thinks.”

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One response to “Online Galleries Help Shoppers Get Smart About Art”

  1. Josef Horák says:

    Yeah well, there are over 300 hundred, I understand that you were unable to cover all important ones. But I really want to pick up one special art selling company, which is The Artwork Factory. They sell very beautiful art and also have an unique function of beeing able to see the art on interior.