Artsy (website)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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 is an online platform for discovering, buying and selling fine art.[2] Artsy's search engine and database draw connections and map relationships among works of art.[2] Founded by Carter Cleveland, computer science graduate from Princeton,[3] and is led by Mike Steib, former CEO of XO Group, the parent company of The Knot.[4] Artsy aims to "expand the art market to support more artists and art in the world."[5]

Artsy has been backed by multiple investors, including Wendi Murdoch, Dasha Zhukova, Thrive Capital, Jack Dorsey, Eric Schmidt, Bob Pittman, Rich Barton, Keith Rabois, David Tisch, Chris Dixon, Peter Thiel, Charlie Cheever, Dave Morin, David Kidder, and Larry Gagosian.[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 for Artsy is for the site "to be the place where every single user in the world goes to 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]


Artsy is led by CEO Mike Steib. Other key executives are:[17]

  • Carter Cleveland, Founder and Executive Chairman
  • Wendi Murdoch, Co-Founder, Board Director and Investor
  • Dasha Zhukova, Investor, Advisor and Co-Founder
  • Sebastian Cwilich, Co-founder (former COO and President)
  • Sandy Cass, Chief Financial Officer
  • Dustyn Kim, Chief Revenue Officer
  • Everette Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer


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.[18][19][1] The company employs over 200 employees across three continents.[20]

Products (website and app)[edit]

Artsy currently features over 1,000,000 works by 100,000 artists on its site, and more than half are for sale.[21][22] Artsy partners with over 3,000+ galleries, 850+ museums and institutions, and 80+ international art fairs, who also publish artworks on the site, providing collectors and enthusiasts a central resource to learn about and purchase artwork from anywhere in the world. In addition, Artsy partners with top auction houses, like Phillips, Christie's and Sotheby's.

On average, Artsy attracts 2.3 million unique visitors each month.[7] In 2018, it was the top-ranking art marketplace on Google with visitors from more than 160 countries.[23]

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."[24]  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."[25][26]  These categories range from color and period to "Technique: Documentary Photography" and "Group Portrait."[25][26]  The Art Genome Project aims to help users uncover works of art based on personal taste and preference to facilitate discovery of art.[24][25][26] 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]

Bloomberg News reported that "[o]ver the past nine years the New York startup has become one of the top destinations for buying, viewing, and learning about art. It has pulled off this feat by partnering with galleries and auction houses, rather than directly competing with them." [7]

In 2012, criticism around The Art Genome Project centered on "its classification system, which rubs some artists the wrong way. 'I don't think what I am doing has anything to do with Cindy Sherman,' says British artist Jonathan Smith after being told the site links his work to hers via a staged-photography gene. 'That sounds like something a programmer would think of.'" Also, "there's the issue of whether art can be properly represented on the Web. "'There is something sensual about a visual object that doesn't translate online,"' says New York City-based collector Niel Frankel." [27]

In 2019, Forbes reported on Artsy's The Online Art Collector Report,[28] based on its users opinions which found that buyers prefer price transparency and purchasing online. “People are buying their cars online, people are buying their homes online, people are buying high six-figure art online, and it turns out that there is not just comfort with the channel, but it’s the preferred channel,” says CEO Mike Stieb.[29]

Steib revealed in an interview with Barron's that he came to Artsy by using the site to shop for art for his own home. [30]

"The demands of eCommerce are also potentially revolutionary for the opaque art market. Internet users expect a one-stop-shop and price transparency as well as a highly secure and personalized platform,” says Mike Steib, chief executive of Artsy, which hosts more than 3,200 galleries on its site."[31] Steib argues that Artsy can help bridge the digital divide in the art world for smaller galleries that can’t afford to hire an extensive tech-savvy staff. [32] Artsy will offer a solution to this problem with a platform that allows users to learn about artists, buy art, and bid for works at auction. [33]

Numerous publications, including TRT World,[34] Wired,[14] The New York Observer,[3][18] Vogue,[10] and The Wall Street Journal[35] have published articles about Artsy.

Awards and Recognition[edit]

Artsy received the "Rookie Disruptor Award" in 2010.[36]

Carter Cleveland was listed in BLOUINARTINFO's The 30-and-Under Crowd: The Art World's Most Influential Young Figures of 2012.[37] In  2014 Artsy was named Best Art Website in the 18th Annual Webby Awards.[38]

Carter Cleveland also made Art Review’s Power 100 in 2015. [39]

In 2019, Artsy won the Vimeo Best Brand Story: Large Business award. Vimeo’s panel of judges captured it well, writing that "Artsy has nailed that elusive and delicate balance that most brands strive and fail at: bold storytelling that also sells a product.”[40]


  1. ^ a b ", Inc. Notice of Exempt Offering of Securities. United States Securities and Exchange Commission Form D" (XML). July 17, 2017. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Chad Hanna, James. "The Power of Suggestion". BLOUINARTINFO. Archived from the original on March 13, 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2011.
  3. ^ a b 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.
  4. ^ "Sebastian Cwilich: Executive Profile & Biography - Businessweek". Archived from the original on December 21, 2016. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  5. ^ Childs, Mary (May 6, 2016). "Art Collecting: Young money, old masters". FT Wealth. Financial Times. ISSN 0307-1766. LCCN sn85006603. OCLC 803174389. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  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 c 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. ^ a b 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 c 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. ^ "Artsy: Current Team". Crunchbase. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  18. ^ a b Voien, Guelda (February 6, 2017). "As Online Art Auction Space Shrinks, Is Artsy the Heir Apparent?". Observer. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ "Artsy Overview". Crunchbase. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ Hamilton, Anita (May 25, 2012). "Fine Art for Everyone: Five Cutting-Edge Sites for Collectors and Newbies Alike". Time.
  23. ^ "Artsy is planning to become the Amazon of the art world". Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  24. ^ a b De Leon, Don Michael Acelar (March 29, 2012). "THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE ONLINE ART DATABASE MAPS CONNECTIONS BETWEEN WORKS". Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  25. ^ a b c Wolfe, Alexandra (March 1, 2012). "Buying Art on the Internet". Departures. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  26. ^ a b c Jeffries, Adrianne (March 23, 2012). "A Peek at's Much-Anticipated Beta".
  27. ^ Hamilton, Anita (June 4, 2012). "Works for Me". Time. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  28. ^ Artsy (November 5, 2019). "8 Key Facts about Online Art Collectors". Artsy. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  29. ^ Verdon, Joan. "How Much Is That Warhol On The Website? Artsy Survey Shows Price Transparency Drives Online Art Sales". Forbes. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  30. ^ Schultz, Abby. "20 Minutes With: Artsy's Mike Steib on Transforming the Art World". Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  31. ^ "Subscribe to read | Financial Times". Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  32. ^ Schultz, Abby. "The Art World Moves Online Amid Fair and Gallery Closings". Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  33. ^ Schultz, Abby. "Restarting the Art Market". Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  34. ^ "Armory Show sees strong sales despite coronavirus risk |Money Talks". Armory Show sees strong sales despite coronavirus risk |Money Talks. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  35. ^ Gamerman, Ellen (January 14, 2011). "From the VIP Art Fair to, the Art Gallery Goes Digital". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
  36. ^ " Wins The TechCrunch Rookie Disruptor Award". TechCrunch. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  37. ^ "The 30-and-Under Crowd: The Art World's Most Influential Young Figures". BLOUINARTINFO. June 26, 2012.
  38. ^ "Webby award Press Release". Artsy. May 20, 2014.
  39. ^ "power 100 / ArtReview". Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  40. ^ "Brand Story: Large Business". Vimeo Festival & Awards. Retrieved March 16, 2020.

External links[edit]