Art-lovers the world over will no doubt be pleased to hear that more than 60 world-famous museums and arts organisations are set to launch dedicated websites on a new top-level domain, .Art.
The first-ever domain created exclusively for the global art community has signed up, amongst others, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Centre Pompidou, Fondation Cartier, the Guggenheim Museum, Hauser & Wirth and the Tate & Walker Art Center, who intend to either fully migrate their sites or consolidate their existing websites to .ART from where they will “showcase unique content from their artists and / or collections.”
Hauser & Wirth say that they will be celebrating the gallery’s 25th anniversary by launching an interactive site detailing the gallery’s 3-year history chronologically, Fondation Cartier will be making their collection available to the public for the first time via the new domain, Centre Pompidou plan to create a site with information available in English and other languages, and Canesso Gallery, Galerie Meyer, Oceanic and Eskimo Art, Tomasso Brothers Fine Art and a host of others will fully migrate their sites to .Art domains.
“We are honoured that so many respected institutions from all over the world share our vision and conviction that .Art and conviction that .ART will transform the arts community’s relationship with the internet and help protect their brands heritage online”, says .ART’s founder Ulvi Kasimov.
.ART’s CEO John Matson adds “the domain is short simple, and memorable, and has immediate association with the arts. For our Early Adopters a .ART domain is a natural expression of their brand.”
Amongst the Art aficionados and big-wigs pledging their support to the new domain were the Tate’s Digital Director Ros Lawler, who commented that the Tate were “delighted to take part in the launch of this new domain, which will help promote some of the world’s greatest art collections, galleries and museums.
Benoit Parayre at the Centre Pompidou called the domain “long overdue”, whilst Lélia Pissarro, great-grandaughter of artist Camille Pissarro, and co-owner of the Stern Pissarro gallery described the internet as having had “the biggest impact on the global art market. It has brought art to every corner of the world.”
.ART’s website suggests that a .ART domain “will instantly identify you as a member of the art world and position you as a key player in the international arts community”, as well as pointing out that purchasing a domain early “affords you protection against the future”, as “no-one else can buy it.”
The rights holder in charge of operating and selling the domains is UK Creative Ideas Ltd. an international team based in London, says the .ART website, and is the result of an agreement signed between ICANN and the UKCI.
The team say they have contacted more than 250 “influential individuals and institutions in the art world to explain the role of .ART”, as part of an “Early Adopter” scheme designed to promote the concept.
The launch is slated to take place in three stages; between December and January 2017, the first batch of domains are set to be provided to ICANN-registered, trademark only organisations in a project dubbed “Sunrise”.
From February to May, and exclusive registration programme, “Founder’s Programme”, will be launched, providing domain names to “established members of the art world only”, and finally, from May 2017, there will be “general availability for all.”
In the past the art world and the digital have often found themselves at loggerheads, with fans of traditional art-work not always keen to go digital, claiming it damages the authenticity and tradition of the art world and its past masters.
Perhaps .ART can win over any remaining digital doubting Thomases – sites will have to be careful, however, and keep hold of their existing domains, so that they can re-direct their existing traffic to their new-fangled sites.
A flashy new domain name or a flash in the pan. It’s up to the art world to decide.