e.artis is strategically located at the heart of Chemnitz, nestled between the present-day modern city and the remnants of the quintessential architecture of the 19th century industrial era. Not far away, the Karl-Marx-Monument or as belovedly known as dor Nischl, the landmark of the city, watches us. It is no wonder; it has come to be an integral part of the cultural fabric of the city. This February 2019, having continuously served the art lovers and consignors, e.artis is celebrating 10 glorious years in the art market. On this occasion, we would like to extend our gratitude to each one of you, who has been a part of our journey and would like to walk you through our amazing journey so far.
Reflecting on how it all began, the Founder & Managing Partner Konstanze Wolter recollects all with a smile, “As an art enthusiast, I always held a fascination for fine arts and the sheer pleasure one can derive from even marvelling at them. When I stumbled upon the opportunity to start a business in art, I didn’t hesitate. But soon I realised that even having a well-charted out blueprint for business can’t prepare you for what’s in store for you. For this one reason, I became a close observer of the art market and it made me aware of how the art market can be murky. I was saddened particularly by the price-transparency issues and felt that the auctions were not frequent enough. These two things took fun and fairness out of the equation. I quickly learned from my mistakes and revamped our business model for the needs of the art market. We launched weekly online auctions of fine arts, including high-value works, starting at just 1 €, throwing open the doors of the art world to all. Buyers can bid the value they deem the piece of art is worth. My vision was to provide a platform, where any art enthusiasts could have a whole new level of shopping experience anywhere from the globe that is fun, fair and secure. Over the decade, since the inception of our business, we have expanded our service ranges to cater to all segments of art lovers.”
The journey so far!
When the real estate bubble in the US burst causing ripples of effect across the world resulting in a global financial crisis, the business world altogether slowed down taking rather cautious steps. It was during the same period our founder Ms Wolter gave life to her enterprising idea of starting an online art auction, away from the hustle-bustle of art scenes. Not in Berlin or Munich but in a city, you might consider in those times unlikely for an art venture. It was a single person venture, which started with a weekly online auction of 3 – 5 items and often going up to 10 items. It was also a year of lot of hiccups. Soon, we realised that the business model we adapted was not feasible for the art market. We quickly learned from the mistakes and evolved to cater to the needs of the market.
2010 – 2012
From the mistakes made and the lessons learned, we started paving the way for success. The first major breakthrough came in the form of a deal from Schmidt Bank Art Collection, which consisted of more than 2000 artworks and we increased the number of items auctioned weekly from 10 to 50. This provided us with the leverage to increase the size of the team and develop office infrastructure.
2013 – 2014
With our growing success in the art market, in the year 2014, we expanded our services to online shop, which featured handpicked items that were curated by Ms Wolter and our in-house experts. As one of our major initial achievements, we sold more than 2000 artworks for an art gallery.
Having taken root in the art market, e.artis with its growing team, customers, and the warehouse requirements for numerous artworks, moved its base to a new office in the centre of the city, where it could provide better access to art lovers and build a tapestry along with the other galleries in the city to enrich the art scene in Chemnitz. As a part of enriching the art scene in Chemnitz, we opened e.artis contemporary and represented some of the emerging yet fine contemporary artists. We introduced group and solo exhibitions of our represented artists and exhibition opening receptions, where the art lovers could interact with the artists and engage in conversations over a glass of champagne.
2016 – 2017
In an attempt to draw crowds of art lovers to the city, Ms Wolter initiated Look for Open Gallery in 2016, where we played host along with other galleries in the city to encourage art lovers to look for an open gallery and embark on an evening of rendezvous with art. It instantly struck an avid chord with everyone in Chemnitz and even with art enthusiasts from outside the city that today it has come to three consecutive years of successful completion.
e.artis enriches you with art – our guests engrossed in art!
Since its inception, every year has been more eventful than the past. Two large sculptures, the last artworks of the former SchmidtBank collection, found their way through us to the Technical City Hall, Chemnitz and remains in the city, which is a pride and pleasure to us. In addition, we were invited by the international arts platform Artsy to work together to increase our market presence. This helped us to reach a wider audience. Minister of State, Petra Köpping visited us on the occasion of the Saxon Founders Award. With e.artis contemporary we participated in our first fair, the Photo Basel 2018. As another milestone, we landed with the estate maintenance of Lambert Maria Wintersberger and you can find our engaging chronicle of maintaining the artist’s estate through our blog posts. Read more.
e.artis started with a single person’s vision and efforts and today it has grown into a delightful team.
Ms Wolter recounts how her journey from a single member to a team of nine was achieved through anecdotes from a decade, “ I started alone and as you can imagine it was not always easy.
The first time I delegated work was for packaging. We tested the strength and durability of our parcels by packaging fragile old porcelains with our packaging material and threw them out of the windows. Though it might have invited many raised-eyebrow-looks from onlookers, we didn’t settle down until we had ensured that the packaging material and techniques were the best and the contents were intact. Even in the event of undue handling of the parcels, the contents would not suffer.
Next, I brought in a photographer to our team. So that we could give our online customers a very realistic view through pictures, how the artwork would look in reality. Soon a shipping manager and an art expert joined the team. Later on, an assistant to streamline the office functioning and a gallery manager to ensure gallery experience joined. The team keeps growing and the functioning keeps evolving. We are a digitalized business and we strive to give our customers the best business experience in the art market.”
Plans for the future!
e.artis means business and it is here to stay. Looking at our decade long journey, we have learned to identify the changing requirements of the art market and adopt our business solutions accordingly, so that we can continue to serve any art lover wanting to have the best shopping experience from any corner of the world that is fun, fair and secure.