Madison, WI-based cataloger The Guild billed itself as a “virtual art gallery” when it launched in 1998. But as it turns out, catalog art collectors are relatively few and far between. “Our customers are more upscale consumers,” says Guild spokesperson Ed Taylor. “Traditional art collectors tend to have their own channels for obtaining art and move in more-specialized circles.”
To better address its customers, Guild on Aug. 1 mailed a redesigned and renamed catalog, The Artful Home, to 400,000 customers and prospects.
Rather than displaying simple close-up shots of art pieces against plain backgrounds, the new catalog shows the artworks in homelike settings. A painting is photographed on a wall above a small display case, for instance, and a vase is shot on top of a side table alongside a chair. “We’re trying to provide inspiration and ideas for how these works can be incorporated into the home and workplace,” Taylor says.
The $5 million company, which is retaining the Guild corporate name, offers on its Website about 10,000 pieces by 1,000 artists. The latest catalog, like the previous versions, presents a seasonal collection of 300 pieces. The Guild houses no inventory. Rather, it transfers orders directly to the artists, who handle their own fulfillment.