The Internet Art Market Timeline

By admin in Art Business Advice > Selling Art Online

This timeline is very incomplete, so feel free to send me your suggestions. I’ll be adding more entries on a regular basis., and 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.

1999 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. launches as one of the first services to offer individual portfolio websites for artists.

2000 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.) begins with a simple mission—support living artists—and fulfills that mission by creating an online community with portfolio tools for artists.


May – buys and consolidates their online presence under the website and brand. launches a competitive service to and gives artists another venue for selling their customized products and apparel. launches it’s own personal art portfolio service for artists.

August – Google creates Image Search, giving artists and art buyers a whole new method to search for art and images online.


September(?) opens its online art gallery for artists.

2003 launches an online gallery for artists.

2004 gives photographers all over the world the opportunity to share, organize, and comment on photos. starts offering original artwork for sale via its “Original Art & Photography” community.

DecemberDuane Keiser begins posting a new painting on his blog every day while selling many of them at auction on eBay. His success sparks the widely popular daily painting art movement.

2005 creates a community marketplace for hand-made items and artwork.

2006 and merge into Inc. with both websites remaining active.

MaySaatchi Online launches and quickly creates a viral internet sensation with its Saatchi Gallery Showdown. creates a free print-on-demand service for artists. appears. :)

2007 begins offering a free print-on-demand services to Australian artists.

February – Inc. launches (a print-on-demand marketplace for contemporary artists) and (a marketplace for original artwork). opens its doors to international artists.

November – Inc. closes and merges its print-on-demand services with

2008 acquires

2009, another Australian company, opens its online art gallery. (a company I co-founded) begins offering blog/portfolio websites for artists. launches an online gallery for artists.

More to come soon. . .

Any suggestions or corrections? Notify me and I’ll add them to the timeline.


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