There are so many good, independently owned art galleries and print shops that it's difficult to make a "best of" list, but we're trying anyway. The following sources have introduced us to great emerging and established artists whose works run the gamut of affordability, from $10 prints to original works in the hundreds or low thousands.
- Lumas (New York City/Online): Still mainly an online seller of photography, Lumas has beautiful, arresting, colorful images at affordable prices.
- Robin Rice Gallery (New York City): Robin Rice Gallery is a small gallery in the West Village and a great resource for beautiful and affordable new photography by new and emerging artists at prices that range from $400 to the low thousands.
- photograph (San Francisco/Online): There are approximately 2,000 photographs in the store, and there are another 8,000 online. You can find black and white images, as well as color, from a variety of archives, collections (including Corbis) and both well-known and amateur photographers. The photos are available in six sizes, and cost between $25 and $75.
Prints and Posters
- Hatch Show Prints (Nashville/Online): Hatch Show Prints is one of the oldest working letterpress print shops in America, responsible for those distinctive two-color posters that were used to advertise music shows by the likes of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. Prices run from $10 to $75, orderable online.
- Posteritati (New York City/Online): Posteritati is in the quiet end of SoHo, but it is a mecca for folks who love antique movie posters. They have EVERYTHING from Japanese versions of American films, Italian films, classic James Bond posters and everything in between.
- Print Society (Online): Print Society just launched, and is like an Etsy JUST for prints — photographic prints, screen prints and letterpress. It aggregates all artists and galleries that want to display their work.
- Renegade Handmade (Chicago/Online): Renegade Handmade is a completely unique one-stop shop for DIY goods, featuring the work of over 300 artists and printmakers.
- Om from India (New York City): Mark Baron and Elise Boisanté's collection consists of over 400 Indian God prints, most of which are from the 1880's to the 1920's, but they also have some of the "best of the 1930's and early 1940's." Prices range from $30 to $2,000 with most between $100 and $400, and they have a great website and fine catalog (which they'll send only if you're really serious), but you have to come see them in person to buy a print.
Painting and Mixed Media
- The Lost Art Salon and Gallery (San Francisco/Online): The Lost Art Salon in San Francisco is an extensive collection of period paintings, drawings, sculptures, and ceramics by lost artists from throughout the 20th Century. Lots of images updated on the website so those of us not lucky enough to live near San Fran can still take advantage of this stellar idea.
- The Beholder (San Francisco/Online): San Francisco graphic designer Suzanne Shade started The Beholder so that people could find and buy art outside of the gallery system, and so that artists could connect with a large audience via the web. Prices range from $100 to $5,000, with most pieces priced between $100 and $500.