page 103.) Like the rest of the world at large, the art world is firmly implanted in the Information Age. But who does the work? Traditionally, website maintenance would require a fairly skilled person with some knowledge of HTML programming. It is very unlikely that an art gallery would hire its own in-house Web designer or programmer. Galleries have had to work within their existing staffing structure to figure out who is responsible for site maintenance. But most gallery staffers are focused on the job at handâ€”working with museums and collectors, organizing exhibitions, managing and supporting the gallery artists, and, in most cases, managing a public exhibition space. So the task of website maintenance can sometimes be lost in the shuffle. For gallery websites to be successful, they must be kept up-to-date; so a maintenance solution that simplifies operations has become an absolutely crucial piece of the Web puzzle. THE UNIQUE FUNCTION OF ART GALLERY WEBSITES
Art is not a commodity. Although it is sold from a gallery to a collector or museum, the process is much more complicated than selling books, CDs or consumer electronics. E-commerce, with few exceptions, is not what drives an art gallery in its search for a website. The primary purpose of an art gallery website is to represent the gallery, its exhibitions and artists, to the art public. It is a mission of communication and presentation: the website must serve as an extension of the gallery, both in its content and its look. Each gallery has its own identity, and it is the job of the website designer to capture the feel of the gallery and deliver an online version of that experience to anyone using 12
The Art World and the World Wide Web. Essays, Interviews and Case Studies.