Where to Buy Museum-Quality Affordable Prints Online
We share some of our favorite sources for purchasing fine art prints online.
The online art business is now a multi-billion dollar enterprise. While it's incredibly exciting that more and more people are using the web to discover and support new artists, not all art sales platforms are created equal - particularly where prints are concerned. For those who want to start or build on a contemporary art collection, buying prints can be a wonderful way to have work from prominent artists without the hefty price tag of paintings or sculptures.
Far from exhaustive, below we've included some of our favorite sources for purchasing museum-quality, fine art prints online. We have only included those groups who offer online purchasing directly through their website, however there are many more print publishers who would gladly send information on currently available pieces if contacted via email or phone.
We use the term, "fine art print" to encompass pieces that have been produced using autographic techniques such as silkscreen, lithographic, etching, relief (linoleum/woodcut/letterpress) or monoprint techniques and have been produced in a limited and finite edition. For more information about each of these processes and what to look for when purchasing print, take a look at our previous posts "Five Things to Know Before Collecting Prints" and "Knowing Your Printmaking Processes".
Let us know your favorite places to head to purchase prints online - we are always on the lookout!
We're really fascinated by the model that Uprise uses, which is that they emulate the traditional artist/gallery relationship but take it online. They present their artists at numerous art fairs every year and sell their work with regional exclusivity. Which means, if an artist is approached by a traditional gallery for representation, they will move on from Uprise.
Another really innovative element to their business model is the payment plans they offer for the purchase of more substantially priced items over a period of time. Additionally, they have cultivated strong relationships with designers and brands through their art consulting services and offered many of their artists an exceptional platform for large-scale commissions.
The pieces offered in their "Prints" section represent a wonderful range of screenprint, etchings, woodcut and some beautiful mixed media monoprints ("one-offs" made using the printing press but not editioned.)
Edition Copenhagen was established 1959 and is a lithographic workshop and gallery space located in the Christianshavn district of Copenhagen. Edition Copenhagen has three partners Rasmus Urwald, Dannie Vieten and Peter Wissing Sørensen and is one of the leading lithographic workshops in the world. The intention of the owners is to create a haven, where the artist can roam freely in order to continue developing the printing process and to pass on the knowledge of lithography as a unique medium of artistic expression.
Each year Edition Copenhagen invites a number of international and Danish artists to create lithographs in the workshop. All of the invited artists have exhibited widely in galleries, contemporary art centers and museums around the world. Besides inviting established artists Edition Copenhagen also aims at working with new and upcoming artists.
At Picture Room started in a shoebox space in NoLita before moving to Brooklyn Heights last year and expanding both their inventory and the special programmed events that have always been important to their model. They feature work from emerging and established contemporary artists as well as rare prints, posters, artists’ books, and art publications. Pieces are typically pulled from private collections, galleries, and institutions, or directly from individual artists they have discovered. I is their mission "to provide access to a diverse, researched, relevant collection in an open and informed environment. We work with interior designers, art advisors and identity consultants to make their experience buying artwork for specific projects fluid and simple."
Counter Editions veers from what might constitute "affordable" for many, but they're included as the prints and multiples they produce are from leading contemporary artists (Tracey Emin, John Baldessari, Howard Hodgkin, Rachel Whiteread, Martin Creed) and would constitute an investment in starting a serious contemporary print collection.
Founded in 2000 Counter Editions collaborates closely with the artist to produce exclusive editions in different mediums including screen print, photography, etching, fine art lithography, collage and bronze.
They have become the UK's leading website for buying contemporary art. For all print collectors, there is great importance in which collections pieces from a specific press are placed - prints from Counter Editions have been purchased by numerous international collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Kunstmuseum Zurich, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the British Council.
Cicada Press is run from within the printmaking department at UNSW Art and Design at the University of NSW in Sydney. It was established by its Director Michael Kempson in 2004 and it brings together working artists and printmaking students to produce new editions that are then made available for purchase.
Some of their most exciting work comes out of their annual Indigenous print workshop. Each February, Cicada Press brings together early and mid-career Indigenous artists from diverse parts of the country to participate to share a studio for two weeks. The workshop creates a space where stories are told by some of Australia’s most exciting Indigenous artists and the resulting works are bold and thought-provoking insights into contemporary voices in Australian art.
We recently became aware of the wonderful Le Oui, which was started in early 2017 as an publishing offshoot of Nationale, a contemporary art gallery in Portland, OR. They release silkscreen prints in close collaboration with established and emerging artists, often ones who have exhibited at Nationale. Even better, they donate a significant percentage of their proceeds to organizations fighting for social justice and equality.