First, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos laid out a cool £163 million to buy the legendary Washington Post newspaper – the paper that broke Watergate that eventually led to the fall from grace of President Richard Nixon in a political bugging and dirty tricks scandal.
Now, in the same week, Amazon Art is selling works by famous names like Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali.
In total, the Amazon Art showcase for investors has over 40,000 art pieces from around 150 American galleries.
Besides fine art, the site also displays sports collectibles, comics and musical instruments.
Spend £3 million online
Prices range from a budget £28 for a portrait of a cat to £3.12 million for Willie Gillis: Package from Home by Norman Rockwell.
Peter Faircy of Amazon Marketplace said: “Adding art and collectibles to what we can offer online shoppers is very exciting for us.
“Amazon Art brings galleries into a new market place and offers millions of art lovers a chance to view works they would not normally be able to see without travelling thousands of miles.”
Artists showcased on the site include Warhol, Dali, Marc Chagall and Damien Hirst.
Buyers can search the site by artist, subject, medium, size, colour and price.
Each piece is showcased with an image and information about the work and artist.
Around 500 works are offered for no more than £64 and more than 2,500 works priced at over £6,500.
Amazon started selling books online nearly 20 years ago, and has developed into an online marketplace offering tools to garden furniture.
Demeaning for artists
Although the Amazon Art project excites artists, galleries and collectors, some stuffy art critics are upset at Amazon entering the market.
“It’s demeaning for artists,” said Georgina Adam, who writes for the Financial Times and the Art Newspaper.
“A unique art work is more than a product. It is a unique creation. The way Amazon sells art devalues it.”
Buying and selling art is reckoned to be a £40 billion international market that is growing by a fifth every year.
“Our gallery sells more online in a month than traditional walk-in galleries sell in a year,” said
Rebecca Wilson, a director of Saatchi Gallery.
“The internet gives us access to a massive global audience and our team of curators makes sure the best is seen by as many people as possible.”