Survey of Arts Management

Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014

The Brave New Digital World

I found myself thrilled when I saw this page. I’m always thinking there should be an online gallery/museum sharing the art pieces from all over the world, especially for those who live in small town and never ever had the chance to see exhibits. I was one of them, for exhibits only held in big cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Hongkong, etc. And now, I finally find one!

After expressing my excitement, let’s talk about the impact of program like Google Cultural Institution on audience and museums. Opposite to the concern that online museum would make real museum unattractive to potential audience, I hold the same idea presented in the article “the digital revolution is renewing interest in their collections and attracting new visitors to them”. At least for me, the more I interact with content- the lifetime of the artist, his/her masterpieces, the background of the creation, etc.- the more I expect the coming show. Internet wouldn’t lower the enthusiasm of appreciating in person for potential audience, because the importance the visual arts place on the authenticity of the original work of art itself. Museums joining the program benefit not only from the increase of the number of audience and reputation, but also from the reduction of marketing costs and guiding costs. Nice, isn’t it?

Apart from making changes in the way people appreciating art works, the internet also plays a role in visual arts consumption- buying and selling arts works. Sotheby’s holds auction online, which allows collectors around the world to participate in the process.

Overall, I hold the opinion that online museum and online auction will change the mode of visual arts participation in prospective, and really look forward to their future development.


About yaoge2016

Yaoge Wang is an emerging arts administrator dedicated to arts, culture, and nonprofit sector. With Accounting and Arts Management backgrounds and a special mix of “right brain/left brain” balance, she brings strong analytical skills and judgment as well as creativity to complex problems. She has extensive professional experience in the U.S. and China. She hopes to apply this international perspective to make the arts more visible to the public.

4 comments on “The Brave New Digital World

  1. zeniasimpson
    September 18, 2014

    I absolutely love Google Cultural Institution and recently featured its complete digital exhibition of Kara Walker’s Sugar Sphinx produced by Creative Time on my blog ( The password is ‘ever’ for anyone who wants to check it out. We’re reconstructing it so it’s not fully accessible.) I think that this is a brilliant plan that will allow art to reach such a variety of people and serve as a very vital resource. Especially with documenting performance pieces or pieces that inevitably disintegrate like Kara Walker’s sugar mammy sphinx that was made completely of sugar in a warehouse that is currently being converted to condos), Google Cultural Institute could prove a vital resource. I’m interested in starting an online museum today, so I will be paying close attention to this project. I also love Google Art Project and the website like it like Curiator that allow people to create their own exhibitions and collections from a database of art. This can be a great tool in arts education and, as we discuss in our marketing class, how to make the experience of consuming art a personal and customizable thing. As with selling online and auctions, Sotheby’s is trying its Ebay collaboration again to attract younger bidders who may be comfortable spending high amounts online, and Amazon is venturing into fine art sales as well. Paddle8 is a big online auction company that works with auction houses like Phillips to do niche market auctions like they’re auction of video and net art last year. Also Artsy is big on connecting galleries with buyers and work on a pretty much honesty policy that gallerist who do sell work will give a portion to Artsy. Online sales are much weaker but even Christie’s has online-only auctions now. I think auction houses and collectors are still testing the market and warming up to the idea of paying millions online. One day.

  2. sarasps85
    September 19, 2014

    Your article made me try google cultural institution for the first time. Thank you, it´s great.
    I agree with you, technology is giving us more options to engage with arts without putting in question its inherent value. This is my opinion. The experience of attending a performance or see a work of art in person is irreplaceable. As arts managers we should take advantage of this kind of tools and use them the best way possible. I see it more as an educational tool.
    Regarding the online auctions, something that it is not at all my area of expertise, I believe it will continue to growth. More and more people are buying things they can’t touch and look at which is something that slowly I start to understand as I have been doing it myself. Off course, not with Art:).

  3. carolynsupinka18
    September 19, 2014

    I never used this site before! Wow, thank you so much for the find. I really appreciate the fact that the article, rather than focusing on fears about how the internet and social media may make libraries irrelevant, instead focuses on the ways that it can ENHANCE artistic experiences, and to share them on a broader scale! Another website that promotes the sharing and exploration of works of art is ArtStack. I have it as an app on my phone, and using this app, you can create your own profile of preferences and interests in visual art, and it will create a customized stream of artworks for you to browse through based on this. You can ‘collect’ art yourself by saving the images to a portfolio, and sharing them with your friends.

  4. gaochang619
    September 19, 2014

    This site seems to benefit indoorsy guys, namely, me, a lot! What’s more, I find it easy to get some context of these exhibition stuff and study them without time limit, and I do not need to worry about hearing alarms like “Hey lady, please keep away from this painting.”
    I strongly agree with the point of view that people prefer face-to-face interaction with visual art works. At least for me, standing in front of the original painting makes me feel that it is a real entity. And I can easily feel the texture,color and stroke of them. Therefore I would like to say that online museum is kind of supplement of a realistic museum. It is stunning when they come to a perfect consistent.
    And this blog reminds me of that you have mentioned the need for a website about art history. This website is not art history course but it provides a clear and linear content of historical art works. Go and check this.

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This entry was posted on September 17, 2014 by .
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