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Artist Registries

Back in 2004 we created our first online artist registry for legendary New York gallery, White Columns. Since then we built a number of similar sites for different organizations - each getting better than the last. Organizations use them to serve as a centralized location to bring together the work of artists from around the world and bring that work to the attention of curators, galleries, and collectors.

The date, the most successful registry is ArtistsSpace's, The Irving Sandlier Artist File Online. With over 10,000 registered artists displaying 59,000 works, this is the largest artist registry in the United States (as far as we know).

Here are a few we've built:

About the Registries

We used a combination of MySQL and PHP to create a completely customized application. The focus is on having a clean look so site visitors can focus on the art and not be distracted by 'clever' bells and whistles. After establishing the design, we focus on the backend user-interface. Since the users come from the art world, we work to make sure the artists wouldn't be bogged down by technical details or specifications. We even created an image resizing script in order to save the artist from having to resize the digital images of his or her work. Artists simply fill in a few forms, upload images from their desktop computers, and click the submit button.

Features include:

  • Account and Permissions Management
    • The creation of password-protected accounts for
      administrators, artists, and registered users.
    • Different levels of access are assigned to each user, which
      can be modified by the main administrator.
    • Group level permissions can also be created, ie. artists,
      administrators, panelists, users, etc.

  • Favorites/Lightbox
    • Favorites functionality (aka: The Lightbox):
    • The Favorites¬Ě feature allows users to save artists as
      favorites, and is available to anonymous & registered users.
    • Registered users may save the records for future use
    • All users may print and e-mail the list of records, which
      include the artists' contact information.
    • Registered users additionally have the ability to share
      a link to his/her favorites list if desired.

  • Updatable profiles:
    • Allows artists to update their profile information and upload
    • Modifications subject to administrator’s approval.

  • Artist Tools:
    • Artists be able to upload and manage images of their work
    • Automatically resizes uploaded images to appropriate
    • Ability to upload and display:
      • biographical information
      • contact information
      • statement of work
      • video content in a specified format
      • upload an image of choice to identify the video content
        in their portfolio
      • ability to designate the order of display for their work

  • Artist Management Tools for Administrators:
    • Administrators can review, accept, reject, or file artists
      that submit their work online.
    • Administrators can comment on work for other administrators
      to see.

  • Reporting:
    • Modify and create reports from the database directly online.
    • Sample reports:
      • newly added artists
      • top "x" most viewed artists
      • artists with the most panelist comments
      • custom reports using any data fields in database

  • eMailing:
    • Send emails to groups directly from the application. For
      example, an administrator can...
      • email all artists about an upcoming event
      • email all registered users about new artists on the site
      • email all administrators that they have until the end of
        the month to submit comments
      • email all users of new functionality or reporting
    • The CMS keeps statistics on the number of emails sent and


  • Low cost of ownership
  • Building of community in the art world
  • Powered to thousands of simultaneous users
  • Raising visibility of artists that may physically be in remote locations

ArtistsSpace's demanding bandwidth and hosting needs are also provided by ClearDev servers.


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