Art in the wild

So here’s the idea: a Net-native service that provides homes and offices with good art (choose your definition) that can be be replaced from time to time so it doesn’t get stale. The purpose is to promote good art and artists and find homes for the former, rather than just to make money servicing interior designers. Community might be involved. Other higher purposes as well.

In any case, a colleague here at the Berkman Center asked me a few minutes ago if anybody was doing anything like this, and I told her I’d blog the question. So here we are.

7 responses to “Art in the wild”

  1. you can borrow art from the Arlington library for months at a time – mainly prints but nonetheless.

  2. Well, we started as a way for individuals to form a ‘gift ecology’ – one of the uses being to allow for an ever-changing personal museum. We’re just getting started – there was a decent write-up in the local paper a few weeks ago:

  3. It seems like this would work best for photographs. I like seeing the texture in the paintings on my wall and I wouldnt want a digital representation of them.

  4. Some museum in L.A. used to loan paintings. That was in the 80s when I lived there. Sorry don’t recall which.

  5. There was this on Seth Godins blog some time ago and there is also

  6. Some museums rent art, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and, here in San Francisco, the Museum of Modern Art (through its Museum Store at Fort Mason). Some commercial galleries rent art as well, mostly targeting businesses. Some of these sources do this as a “rent-to-own” thing, with some of the rental fees applied to purchase. I’ve not heard of a Net-native service, though, and the idea is intriguing. Could operate as an exclusive online agent for museums, artists, galleries. Hence, no inventory cost.

  7. WE have something in Mntreal called the Artotheque which allows artists to store thir collection, and then rents it out for very reasonable fees, for a maximum of 6 months. If you want to keep it longer then you can buy it, with a discount. Works quite good, and all their fees include insurance for the art that you have. They don’t do business on the web directly, but their inventory is browsable on their site.

    Last time I talked to them they were mentioning that about 20% of whant is rented is then bought, which makes it very interesting for emerging artists.

    Here is their website :

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