Artsy (website)

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Founded2 March 2009 Edit this on Wikidata
FounderCarter Cleveland
United States
Key people
  • Mike Steib, CEO
  • Carter Cleveland, Founder, and Executive Chairman
  • Sebastian Cwilich, Co-Founder and former president and COO
  • Wendi Murdoch, Co-Founder and Board Director
  • Dasha Zhukova
, Co-Founder and Investor

Artsy, formally known as Inc is a New York City based online art brokerage.[1] Its main business is developing and hosting website for numerous galleries as well as selling art for them.[2] It utilizes a search engine and database to draw connections and map relationships among works of art.[3]

The brokerage was founded by Carter Cleveland, a Princeton University computer science graduate.[4] It is currently led by Mike Steib, a former CEO of XO Group, the parent company of The Knot.[5]

Artsy has received financial backing from multiple investors.[6][7][8]


Carter Cleveland, the son of an art historian,[9] founded Artsy during his senior year at Princeton University and worked on the site from his dorm room.[10] Cleveland's goal was for the site to serve as a place where users could discover art online.[11]  In May 2010, Artsy participated in the New York City conference, TechCrunch Disrupt, where they competed in the Startup Battlefield and received the Yahoo! Rookie Award![12]  A year later, the team demoed Artsy at the Beyeler Foundation at Art Basel (June 15, 2011).[13][14]

In 2019, it was reported that in 2018 the data for 1,070,000 accounts were stolen from Artsy.[15] The information included the name, email address, location, IP address and password SHA-512 hashed with a salt. The passwords were not stored in cleartext, but an email from Artsy encouraged users to change their passwords.[16]

Corporate affairs[edit]


Since launching, Artsy has raised a total of $100 million from individuals in the worlds of art, tech, and media, including Larry Gagosian, Wendi Murdoch, and Rich Barton.[17][18][2]

Products (website and app)[edit]

Artsy currently features over 1,000,000 works by 100,000 artists on its site through partnered galleries.[19][20]

As of March 2018, Artsy averaged 2.3 million unique visitors each month.[7]

According to Artsy's chief executive Mike Steib, in terms of buying art, eCommerce could offer buyers a new way to engage with what is generally considered an opaque marketplace. Those purchasing art online expect pricing transparency and a secure user platform.[21] Steib believes that Artsy may help smaller galleries that cannot afford to hire an extensive tech-savvy staff.[22]

The Art Genome Project[edit]

Artsy is powered by The Art Genome Project — "an ongoing study of the characteristics that distinguish and connect works of art."[23]  A collaboration between art historians and engineers, The Art Genome Project draws upon art-historical scholarship and artificial intelligence to assign values to artwork based on over 1211 characteristics or "genes."[24][25]  These categories range from color and period to "Technique: Documentary Photography" and "Group Portrait."[24][25]  The Art Genome Project aims to help users uncover works of art based on personal taste and preference to facilitate discovery of art.[23][24][25] As of 2020 the AGP was on hold for restructuring.


According to Wired, Artsy "has the potential to introduce each buyer to a wide range of artists and artworks, all of them related in some way and—this is key—most of them unknown and otherwise inaccessible to any but the most knowledgeable connoisseurs."[14]

Critics of label The Art Genome Project forced and artificial and point to the difficulty of representing the full experience of art online.[26]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Artsy received the "Rookie Disruptor Award" in 2010.[27]


  1. ^ Razumovskaya, Olga (July 18, 2017). "Artsy Draws $50 Million in Funding". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved March 7, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Online art marketplace Artsy raises $50M at $275M valuation to double down on auctions". TechCrunch. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  3. ^ Chad Hanna, James. "The Power of Suggestion". BLOUINARTINFO. Archived from the original on March 13, 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2011.
  4. ^ Miller, M.H. (June 14, 2011). "Point, Click, Collect: Brings the Art World Online… Again". START-UPS. The New York Observer. ISSN 1052-2948. LCCN sn88099997. OCLC 1010541123. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
  5. ^ "Sebastian Cwilich: Executive Profile & Biography - Businessweek". Archived from the original on December 21, 2016. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  6. ^ Schonfeld, Erick (November 24, 2010). " Raises $1.25 Million From Schmidt, Murdoch, Dorsey, And Super-Artsy Angels". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  7. ^ a b Schuetz, Molly (March 27, 2018). "New York's Artsy Is Making It Even Easier to Buy Art Online". Bloomberg News. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  8. ^ Frommer, Dan (November 11, 2010). "Eric Schmidt, Wendi Murdoch, And Other Huge Names Are Betting On To Shake Up The Art Market". Business Insider. Archived from the original on May 12, 2013. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  9. ^ Shnayerson, Michael (March 15, 2018). "Artsy's Wendi Murdoch Just Wants to Sell You a Painting". Town & Country (published April 2018). ISSN 0040-9952. LCCN 57039998. OCLC 760318372. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  10. ^ Allison, Chelsea (November 28, 2011). "New Deal:'s Innovative Online Take on Contemporary Art Sales". Vogue. ISSN 0042-8000. LCCN 08036997. OCLC 812147634. Archived from the original on September 18, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  11. ^ Wallis, Stephen (June–July 2011). "Who is". Art in America. ISSN 0004-3214. LCCN 14011738. OCLC 818946839.
  12. ^ "Yahoo! Disrupts TechCrunch". May 26, 2010.
  13. ^ "Dasha Zhukova's Site Launches to Celeb-Packed Crowd". June 15, 2011. Archived from the original on August 20, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  14. ^ a b Mufti, Shahan (November 23, 2011). "'s 'Genome' Predicts What Paintings You Will Like". Wired. ISSN 1078-3148. LCCN 94659076. OCLC 24479723. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  15. ^ Williams, Chris (February 11, 2019). "Artsy Alerts Users of Data-Security Breach; Report Claims Hacked Information for Sale". The Register. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  16. ^ Greenburger, Alex (February 14, 2019). "Artsy Alerts Users of Data-Security Breach; Report Claims Hacked Information for Sale". ARTnews. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  17. ^ Voien, Guelda (February 6, 2017). "As Online Art Auction Space Shrinks, Is Artsy the Heir Apparent?". Observer. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  18. ^ Schonfeld, Erick (November 3, 2011). " Raises $6 Million Series A From Peter Thiel, Thrive Capital, Wendi Murdoch And Dasha Zhukova". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  19. ^ Goel, Vindu (October 28, 2015). "Purchasing Fine Art Is Increasingly Just a Click Away". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  20. ^ Hamilton, Anita (May 25, 2012). "Fine Art for Everyone: Five Cutting-Edge Sites for Collectors and Newbies Alike". Time.
  21. ^ "Subscribe to read | Financial Times". Retrieved April 13, 2020. {{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)
  22. ^ Schultz, Abby. "The Art World Moves Online Amid Fair and Gallery Closings". Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  23. ^ a b De Leon, Don Michael Acelar (March 29, 2012). "THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE ONLINE ART DATABASE MAPS CONNECTIONS BETWEEN WORKS". Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  24. ^ a b c Wolfe, Alexandra (March 1, 2012). "Buying Art on the Internet". Departures. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  25. ^ a b c Jeffries, Adrianne (March 23, 2012). "A Peek at's Much-Anticipated Beta".
  26. ^ Hamilton, Anita (June 4, 2012). "Works for Me". Time. Archived from the original on May 25, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  27. ^ " Wins The TechCrunch Rookie Disruptor Award". TechCrunch. Retrieved March 16, 2020.

External links[edit]