Decade in Review for the Art Print Market

Here is my take on The Decade in Review for the Art Print Market. The dates and information supplied are subjective, arbitrary, approximate and included to the best of my ability. Enjoy.

There have been numerous reviews of the past decade in print, broadcast and online media such as this one from Newsweek: Decade in Review (It is seven minutes long).

Here is my take on The Decade in Review for the Art Print Market. The dates and information supplied are subjective, arbitrary, approximate and included to the best of my ability, but not guaranteed for accuracy.

1999 (These items in this year are not officially part of the 2000 Decade, but close and significant enough to include)

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• Commerce Publishing Company sold to Pfingsten Partners LLC. Properties include Decor magazine, and its sister Art Buyers Caravan, Frame-o-rama and Galeria tradeshow division.

o Actually happened in mid-1999, but most changes due to new ownership started in the new decade

o Many longtime employees leave Decor and Decor Expo

• Getty Images buys for $115 million in May 1999


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• Art Buyers Caravan (ABC), Frame-o-rama and Galeria shows rebranded as Decor Expo

• gets initial VC funding

• West Coast Art & Frame Show in second year continues to grow with nearly 250 booths


• Terrorist attacks on 9-11-2001 cause Atlanta Decor Expo show to be cancelled

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o This singular event was a turning point for the industry

o Although some shows continued to grow in size, the industry never fully recovered its momentum as other factors compounded to stymie its growth

• In the wake of the dotcom bomb stock implosion, the founders of purchase from Getty Images for a fraction of Getty’s purchase price


• Pfingsten Publishing & Advanstar Communications agree to single registration fee, to share registration and shuttle buses expenses between venues at the Jacob Javits Centerwhere ArtExpo is held and the Westside Piers where Decor Expo Art & Framing shows are held

• Art Copyright Coalition is formed by Art Publisher’s Association members

• Alyson Stanfield launches


• Pfingsten Publishing & Advanstar Communications agree to co-exist in the Jacob Javits Center putting ArtExpo, Decor Expo in the same location for the first time ever

• West Coast Art & Frame Show fills void in exhibit space as it grows with more art publishers finding success at its show

• Digital art begins to get traction in fine art print market


• ArtExpo New York and the Atlanta Decor Expo (formerly Atlanta ABC Show) continue to grow in size and importance

• Internet retailers command growing sales from consumers and in orders from poster publishers

• Thomas Kinkade featured on CBS News “60 Minutes” show

• Increasing volume of Chinese assembly line oil paintings create concerns


• Barney Davey launches Art Print News; publishing it as an online newsletter

• Atlanta Decor Expo lands at # 145 on the Tradeshow Week 200 signifying it is one of the largest tradeshows in the US

• Advanstar Communications agrees to sell its art properties, including ArtExpo shows and Art Business News magazine to Pfingsten Publishing LLC

• Print-on-demand technology proves to be a game changer as giclée sales eclipse all other media in the limited edition market

• Sharp decline in the number of independent art retailers brought on by the rise of Internet shopping, growth of big box stores, flood of cheap Chinese oil paintings and changes in consumer tastes wreak havoc on the poster publishing business

• and merge. is #145 on Internet Retailer Top 400 and is #95. Both sites continue to operate independently to date

• is launched

• Marilyn Sholin launches


Art Print News changes format from online newsletter to blog

• Summit Business Media LLC acquires Pfingsten Publishing LLC for the latter’s financial publishing properties. Art group gets short shrift as management unsuccessfully seeks a new buyer for it

• is founded

• Thomas Kinkade is reported to have earned $53 million in the period 1997 to May 2005

• West Coast Art & Frame Show continues strong appeal to art exhibitor grows to more than 500 booths


• Changing economic and market conditions continue to cause dramatic declines in booth space at tradeshows and ad space in trade magazines

• Decor Expo New York is cancelled and move to Baltimore. For the first time in three decades there is not a spring international picture framing and poster publishing tradeshow in New York

• Inaugural ArtExpo Las Vegas show opens to mixed signals

• Blogging for independent artists takes on growing use and importance


• Decor Expo Baltimore is canceled

• is acquired by

• Etsy Raises $27 Million to Expand Marketplace for handmade goods

• ArtExpo Las Vegas opens on day Dow drops 600 points. Show never recovers

• Limited edition Shepard Fairey art available exclusively at CafePress through partnership with Rock The Vote

• Wyland paints 99th Whaling Wall “Water for Life” in North Lauderdale, Florida


• Kim Feager, publisher of Decor, Art Business News and Volume magazines, and Eric Smith, Art Group Vice-President purchase the art group properties from Summit Business Media LLC. Feager gets magazines and Decor Expo shows. Smith gets ArtExpo shows.

• Decor Expo Atlanta cancels 2009 show. New owners vow to return stronger in 2010

• ArtExpo Las Vegas show canceled, future is doubtful

• ArtExpo New York announces it will move to Pier 94 from the Jacob Javits Center

• Social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn rise to become important marketing vehicles for artists and publishers

Undoubtedly, there were other momentous events affecting the art print market in the past decade. These mentioned where what easily came to mind for me, thus making this list both arbitrary and potentially inaccurate. I welcome all comments with corrections and additional items worthy of mention in the past decade.

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  1. I’m happy to see that you included the launch of Marilyn Sholin’s Digital Painting Forum (in 2005). Whether you’re a novice at digital painting or a successful pro, it’s the most wonderful, supportive community to belong to!

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