This timeline is very incomplete, so feel free to send me your suggestions. I’ll be adding more entries on a regular basis.
1995-1998 – Allwall.com, AllPosters.com and Art.com each launch separate e-commerce sites to sell fine art prints and posters. They are the first websites (other than eBay, perhaps) to offer large volumes of decorative art for sale.
August – CafePress.com opens its doors, making it easy for artists to put their artwork on apparel, mugs, mousepads, and more. . . all while listing it for sale in the CafePress marketplace.
December – ArtSpan.com launches as one of the first services to offer individual portfolio websites for artists.
August – DeviantART.com appears on the scene, and slowly becomes the largest online art community in the world. (DeviantART now offers print-on-demand services for its artists as well.)
November – EBSQart.com begins with a simple mission—support living artists—and fulfills that mission by creating an online community with portfolio tools for artists.
May – Allwall.com buys Art.com and consolidates their online presence under the Art.com website and brand.
July – Zazzle.com launches a competitive service to CafePress.com and gives artists another venue for selling their customized products and apparel.