Having just celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the App Store and the long, strange trip it started us on, we’re about to celebrate the 2-year anniversary of one of the biggest parts of that trip: our major acquisition of 1000 museums worth of art through 1000Museums.com.

So be sure to watch this space as that date, Sunday July 22, gets closer. You’ll be glad you did 🙂

Rembrandt van Rijn, The Night Watch, 1642, Rijksmuseum

Ten years ago, on July 10 2008, Apple rolled out the App Store. It sure has been a long, strange trip for us here at Art Authority LLC since then.

In 2008 we were Open Door Networks, founded in 1995 as a dial-up internet provider, and known mainly for developing Macintosh network utilities like the DoorStop Personal Firewall.

The iPhone of course changed everything. When introduced the year before, Apple didn’t allow developers to provide software for it, but they quickly saw the error of their ways and the rest is most certainly history. We couldn’t resist the opportunity to develop iPhone apps, and our iEnvision Web-image browser app was available on day one in the “iTunes App Store” ten years ago.

iEnvision included “bookmarks” to five categories of image sites that we thought displayed particularly well on the iPhone: comics, space photos, newspaper front pages, children’s books and… art! It was a great start for us, and within a month, we broke out the individual built-in categories from iEnvision into individual apps, which we called “Envi apps.” There was “Comic Envi,” “Space Envi”, “News Envi”, “Kid Book Envi” and… “Art Envi.” Many other Envi’s soon followed.

The App Store was a huge success, as was Art Envi in particular. When Apple announced the iPad in early 2010, it was a no-brainer what we were going to implement on Apple’s next groundbreaking device: art, art, art. Art Authority in particular. Art Authority for iPad took Art Envi to the next level, with dozens of times the number of artists and the amount of art, many more ways to search and access the art, and a professionally-designed virtual museum interface. The result: “an experience unlike any other” (the NY Times), which has often sold as the #1 reference app in the App Store. We are proud to have, literally and figuratively, changed art history with our art apps.

Our transition from Macintosh network experts to Art Authority was just getting started. The Art Authority app’s widespread acclaim was noticed by a number of real art authorities, including the Getty Museum’s Stanley Smith and digital printing guru R. Mac Holbert. In early 2016 we got together with Stanley, Mac and other art authorities to form Art Authority LLC. The company had become the app.

Our trip didn’t stop there. E-commerce company Project A had long been associated with Open Door’s efforts, and with their e-commerce know-how, Stanley and Mac’s printing expertise and the app’s access to 100,000+ works of art, we had everything we needed to move Art Authority beyond the app world into selling museum-quality reproductions. Many companies had gone from physical goods to electronic; we went from electronic to physical goods.

The final piece of the puzzle (so far) fell into place when we acquired the assets of art e-commerce pioneer 1000Museums. 1000Museums.com remains the principal site for selling our (physical) wares, and the museum relationships that the site has helped nurture look to be the next big step in what has certainly been a very long, strange 10-year trip. All started by Steve Jobs, the iPhone, and the App Store.

Happy Anniversary!

Next up in our Focus series: FocusOnPicasso.com, a site designed to help art lovers explore and obtain reproductions from the different periods and styles of the artist often called the most influential of the 20th century. The site opening is timed to link with the start of the new National Geographic Channel’s “Genius” series, entitled simply “Picasso.” FocusOnPicasso.com lets TV watchers and art lovers everywhere view, learn about and purchase archival reproductions of key works from each of Picasso’s highly varied creative periods.

As with other Art Authority Focus sites, FocusOnPicasso.com provides a succinct overview of major aspects of the subject and makes available museum-approved archival prints of key works of art involved. In addition to exploring by period, users can also browse through Picasso’s works by subject matter as well.

Portions of purchases from Focus sites go back directly to the institutions involved. All Focus sites feature our 1000Museums brand, known for the latest in print-on-demand technology, top-quality archival reproductions, and a broad set of museum and cultural institution relationships. The full 1000Museums print-on-demand line is available at 1000Museums.com.

Art Authority, through our 1000Museums brand, has been helping museums expand the reach of their collections by providing curator-approved archival reproductions from those collections for a decade now. The museums receive increased exposure along with much-needed revenue through royalties on sales, and art lovers get increased access to the art they love. Many others have been helping the art world in similar ways. Today we’re proud to announce that we’re going to be helping one of those helpers.

I Require Art is a “Digital Arts Platform” consisting of a long-established FaceBook page, blog and set of online galleries. Plus as of today, an online store. That’s where we come in. We have been selected by I Require Art to provide archival reproductions for that store. As you’ll see, I Require Art chooses only a few works for which to offer prints, and makes available only the highest quality reproductions of those works. So it was natural that they would look toward 1000Museums’ proven quality record and set of museum relationships.

We are honored that I Require Art chose us to help them help the art world, and we look forward to a long and expanding relationship.

In 1941, at the high point of the Great African-American Migration, Jacob Lawrence created and captioned a sequence of 60 small paintings visually and poignantly portraying that migration. Viewed in its entirety, the series creates a narrative, in pictures and words, which tells the story of that exodus.

Lawrence’s Migration Series was quickly recognized, not just as a representation, but as an essential piece of the ongoing movement. Not just documentation of history, but part of history. Both the Museum of Modern Art and the Phillips Collection competed to purchase the works, which were ultimately split between the two museums, with odd-numbered panels going to the Phillips and even-numbered to MoMA. The split broadened access but made it just about impossible to “read” the whole “story” in order, let alone in its entirety.

Jacob Lawrence, The Migration Series, Panel no. 1: During World War I there was a great migration north by southern African Americans, 1940-41. Phillips Collection © 2016 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

On rare occasions, all 60 panels have been exhibited together, most recently in Seattle. But we’ve been unaware of any place in cyberspace where you could acquire the whole story and hang it on your wall. Until now. Art Authority is proud to announce that, as part of Black History Month, we have worked with the Phillips, MoMA and the Lawrence Foundation to make available 1000Museums-brand archival prints of all 60 panels.

We’re so proud that we’ve taken things beyond just these foundational panels and created an entire web site devoted to celebrating related works of art by a number of major African-American artists. The site, FocusOnAfricanAmericanArtists.com adds context to Lawrence’s panels not just through other important works by him, but also by others who came both before and after. Works by early artists Henry Ossawa Tanner and Horace Pippin, later artists Romare Bearden and Faith Ringgold, and many more. All available through the museum-approved quality of 1000Museums archival reproductions.

Another small piece of an ongoing story.

As part of our “Best for Last” sale, the award-winning Art Authority for iPad and iPhone apps are completely free this weekend only. We’re hoping all you last-minute Christmas shoppers will use the apps (or the 1000Museums.com web site) to take advantage of the LAST two days you can order our 1000Museums archival prints and get them in time for Christmas* at the BEST sales prices of the year (30% off through promotion code BESTFORLAST).

So, if there’s anyone left on your gift list (and we’re betting there is), please download the apps (if you haven’t already), go to the built-in 1000Museums Gift Shop, and put in your orders. After that you can enjoy the apps for free throughout 2018 and beyond.

*Sorry, but due to our custom processes, only unframed prints shipped in the US will make it in time for Christmas.

 

Through our 1000Museums brand, Art Authority is proud to be a Charter Sponsor of Museum Store Sunday, which is tomorrow! MSS is the museum equivalent of Black Friday, and we’re kicking off our holiday campaign with some serious specials to highlight the day:

So please go visit your local museum(s) and then please come back and visit a thousand more through our apps and the 1000Museums.com web sites.

If you’ve been a fan of Art Authority apps, you probably know that we’ve pioneered a number of new features since debuting our award-winning virtual museum app along with the iPad in 2010 (and even earlier as iEnvision with the iPhone in 2008). SmArt ResolutionArt Near Me, Art Real Size, and Art Like This to name a few.

Today we’re happy to announce another one: the Art Authority virtual museum (100,000 works and counting) now includes a real Gift Shop. As we hinted out when we acquired 1000Museums.com we have integrated that site’s museum-approved archival reproduction capabilities directly into the iPad and iPhone versions of Art Authority.

Now Open: The 1000Museums Gift Shop! Real-world, physical prints in five sizes with custom framing options. Top quality. Museum-approved. 1000Museums has been providing these products through their (now our) web site for a decade, and now you can get them through our apps too.

The Gift Shop can be easily accessed from within the Art Authority museum in three different ways:

  • From the lobby of the museum, just tap the Gift Shop sign. Going in through the lobby gives you access to the full 1000Museums Gift Shop, which includes tens of thousands of works. On the iPad, you can even browse some of the 1000Museums all-time favorites before entering the full Gift Shop.
  • By viewing the “Art you can buy” show in the main directory, and each period room’s directory (on the iPad). These shows include all works in the Art Authority museum (or the specific room) that are available in the Gift Shop too.
  • When viewing individual museum works, just tap the “Available at 1000Museums” or “BUY” button to view and purchase reproductions of the work within the Gift Shop.

One of the main reasons we acquired 1000Museums is because our missions were so closely aligned: bringing all the world’s art to all the world. Now our apps and web sites are closely aligned too. And just in time for the holidays!

Art Authority LLC and the National Gallery UK today announced a major new relationship to make museum-quality archival prints of key National Gallery artwork available to US customers through Art Authority’s 1000Museums print-on-demand technologies. The center point of the relationship is the site FocusOnNationalGalleryUK.com. The site, available today, makes dozens of all-time favorite National Gallery works available in five print sizes, with multiple framing options.

As with other 1000Museums “Focus On” sites, FocusOnNationalGalleryUK.com offers a unique curated collection of archival reproductions of works by major artists and institutions, in this case National Gallery works by European masters including Canaletto, Monet, Turner and Van Gogh. Art Authority and the National Gallery worked together to design and curate the site. Additional works and products will be added in the near future.

Vincent van Gogh
1889
National Gallery London

“To make prints of the National Gallery’s paintings more accessible to customers in the United States, we have chosen to partner with Art Authority and their 1000Museums brand, due to the high quality of their reproductions and knowledge of our collection, as well as their long-established relationships with the art world” said Douglas Gilmore, Trading Director at the National Gallery Company. “We look forward to a long and productive collaboration.”

“We are proud and honored that such a venerable institution as the National Gallery chose us to bring their works to the U.S.” said Stanley Smith, Chief Museum Officer for Art Authority. “We are particularly gratified by their recognition of our commitment to quality and our cutting-edge technologies.”

Art Authority has worked with a number of other institutions and artists’ estates on similar “Focus on” sites including:

• Focus on Frank Lloyd Wright – FocusOnFLW.com
• Focus on Mark Rothko – FocusOnRothko.com
• Focus on Henri Matisse – FocusOnMatisse.com
• Focus on Library of Congress – FocusOnLibraryOfCongress.com
• Focus on Latin American Masters – FocusOnLatinAmericanMasters.com

The full 1000Museums line of fine-art reproductions is available at 1000Museums.com.

In concert with the opening of the multi-site art event “Pacific Standard Time:LA/LA,” through our 1000Museums brand, we are proud to announced “Focus on Latin American Masters,” a site devoted to major Latin American artists of the 20th century. The site at FocusOnLatinAmericanMasters.com supplements the “far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles” that is PST:LA/LA.

As with the various other 1000Museums “Focus On” sites, FocusOnLatinAmericanMasters.com makes available a unique curated collection of archival reproductions of works by major artists and institutions, in this case Latin American Masters of the 20th century including Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros and José Clemente Orozco. As with other “Focus On” sites, Art Authority has worked directly with the institutions involved, in particular the San Diego Museum of Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), both of which have shows as part of PST:LA/LA.

Frida Kahlo, Girl from Tehuacán, Lucha María or Sun and Moon, 1942, Coleccion Perez Simon, Mexico

“Focus on Latin American Masters” and all Art Authority’s Focus On sites feature their established 1000Museums brand, known for the latest in print-on-demand technology, top-quality archival reproductions, and broad set of museum and cultural institution relationships. Other “Focus On” sites include:

• Focus on Frank Lloyd Wright – FocusOnFLW.com
• Focus on Mark Rothko – FocusOnRothko.com
• Focus on Henri Matisse – FocusOnMatisse.com
• Focus on Library of Congress – FocusOnLibraryOfCongress.com