Is Artnet Really Done?
***Please see the comment below from ArtNet and read the specifics of what happened to their organization at this link: http://artnt.cm/LEmKLF They contacted me with this updated information shortly after this post was published.**
Just read some sad news on Gallerist, the art news section of the New York Observer.
Apparently, Artnet, the online art market, database and journal has just suddenly ceased publication. I checked their Twitter account and — as of 30 minutes ago — they were still tweeting, so the news seems a bit odd. I mean, if they were tweeting less than an hour ago and now they’ve closed shop…..?
In the Gallerist article, Dan Duray explains that the news came after Hans Neuendorf, who has been the CEO for 17 years, announced his resignation. Duray informs us that German-based Arnet closed their magazine offices in Berlin, New York and Paris – today. The Gallerist post appeared at 2:19pm. Their last tweet was around the same time. However, as you probably know, there are tools now that can automate tweets in advance, so there’s no way of knowing if an actual person sent that tweet.
If this is true, it will be a shame to see them go. I remember when Artnet launched because it was around the same time I started my M.A. in Art History. With research being a large part of that degree, I loved the idea of an online database for art. I even interviewed with them once, but couldn’t come to an agreement on compensation, though I recall really wanting to work for them. They set a precedent for the art world in terms of online marketing and the dissemination of information about art. They were the first.
Duray’s article concludes with a quote from editor Walter Robinson, “One thing I could add is that Hans Neuendorf gave me a great opportunity 16 years ago when he hired me to help launch the magazine.”
I checked again as I’m finishing this post and there’s still nothing on the Artnet site or Twitter page that would indicate they’ve closed shop. I tweeted their @Artnet account, “Say it isn’t so?” but no response came. Duray’s last post about Artnet on Gallerist, dated March 23rd, indicated they were moving to the Woolworth Building, but didn’t mention any plans to close.
I really think this will be a loss. I hope, somehow, it’s not accurate. Stay tuned….