My Journey: In Search For The Ultimate Digital Art World

Morgan Library II - Limited Edition 1 of 10, photography by Reinhard Görner | Image source:
Morgan Library II - Limited Edition 1 of 10, photography by Reinhard Görner | Image source:

Oh Rembrandt and More Rembrandt.. My Inspiration

In the second year of my Masters program at Christie’s, I interned at the Morgan Library and Museum’s Drawings and Prints Department as a curatorial researcher. After graduation, I was hired for the museum’s very first online art cataloguing project, “Corsair,” for the museum’s extraordinary Rembrandt prints (etchings) collection.

“Corsair” was led by a world-renowned Rembrandt scholar, the acting head of the Department at that time, John Langeloth Loeb Professor Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann of The Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Under the guidance of this eminent scholar, I had an incredible opportunity to immerse myself in over 500 of some of the most important Rembrandt etchings in the world. As you can imagine, it was a dream job for any art history major, let alone one embarking on a second career. I relished every moment of that experience and to this day feel very privileged to have had that opportunity.

It was during this time of intense research that I had my eureka moment and first envisioned ARTDEX. I thought, if we could catalogue Rembrandt online, why not every piece of art? What if we created a massive online archive for the entire world where all the hidden and unseen art could finally emerge from behind our countless walls and basements, private homes and archives? What if we could bring the entire art world together online?

What’s The Big Idea?

Over the following years, I threw myself into bringing my vision to life. Like any entrepreneur, I faced plenty of hurdles and challenges, and like any entrepreneur, I find my way through them. Although ARTDEX is not the only online platform for art archival (our friends at Behance offer a similar service, allowing a design community to upload images and store information regarding their portfolios) and there are a number of heavy-duty archival software suites available for museums and galleries, ARTDEX aims to take it to another level.

We’re not just offering a way to catalogue and archive art – that’s a great thing and everyone needs it, but our vision is larger. We’re offering a way to connect the entire art world. Through ARTDEX, you can connect and communicate with other people that share your love of art. It’s like a Facebook or a LinkedIn for the art world – you’re not just keeping records, you’re connecting with other people who care about art. You can also connect with individual artworks or collections – each has its own page and its own history of comments and interactions. In addition to following artists and collectors you like, you can use ARTDEX to discover new artists and new art! Whether you’re an artist, a student, or a collector, ARTDEX is there to connect you to an ever-expanding community of art lovers from around the world.  

Museum with my love by Blake Cheek @blakecheekk on Unsplash
Museum with my love by Blake Cheek @blakecheekk on Unsplash

The Art World Is Disconnected

For most of human history, art has existed in silos. Museums and universities offer large art collections that are open to the public, but you have to be able to get to that physical location. Private collections are art repositories closed to the public. Galleries are yet another silo. Even more art can be found in the workshops of artists and on the walls of art lovers and small collectors. There’s so much incredible art out there, but the art itself and the people who love it are separated. That’s what makes ARTDEX so special! It’s not just about putting art online because it’s easier to manage the paperwork. It’s about putting your art online to share it. To show it to other people who deeply care about it and find enormous pleasure and satisfaction sharing it with others from around the world. It’s about breaking down the barriers in the art world to build an authentic, global community of artists and art lovers, reaffirming the importance and power of all the art in the world – not just what makes it into museums and galleries. The art world is disconnected but ARTDEX is working to bring it together – art for all!


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