As an early adopter of the Internet for the presentation and promotion of artwork, Diane Farris Gallery has a strong interest in the use of websites, blogs and social media by artists. DFG first launched its website in 1996, when less than 1% of the world’s population used the Internet. In 1996, the number of websites was still countable at approximately 100,000 sites. The majority of websites for art were built by educational institutions and other large organizations, and were primarily text-based.
The Gallery was eager to explore the potential of the web despite the limitations. Because animations were limited to small animated gifs (pre-Flash), we used java applets to create a large rotating screen display on our main page (see below). Although it was time-consuming, we displayed numerous images of works of art for each artist. Many people will remember there were no digital cameras, and scanners often took a full minute to buffer an image.
We kept busy implementing “cutting edge” developments from what was fondly called “The Information Highway”. The site had rotating banners and ads, a searchable online database and a feedback form. A page for “Catalogues and Collectibles” sold books and videos on our artists, using an email order form. The site included a street map and directions from the airport.
Diane Farris Gallery was also instrumental as a resource for other galleries, institutions and artists. In 1996, our website created and began maintaining an extensive list of links to art education sites, museums, art fairs, auction houses and other commercial galleries as they came online in order to encourage the acceptance and use of the medium for collectors., the majority of which were in New York. Diane Farris was among the first to promote the earliest websites of Laurie Anderson, Geurrilla Girls, Pace Prints, Art ’96 Chicago, ArtFair Seattle, Christie’s, Sotheby’s and the Banff Centre for the Arts, among many other major American and Canadian museums.
At the end of April, 2011, Diane Farris Gallery closed its gallery doors on 7th Avenue. On September 15, 2011, DFG expanded its online presence with a new website, gallery shop and blog. We invite you to explore the site and its new features.