14 Simple Tips for Finding, Buying and Framing Art Online

Art that doesn’t suck: A beginner’s guide

March 7, 2018 9:00 am

“If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t f*ck them,” American filmmaker and weirdo nonpareil John Waters once said.

A strong sentiment, but a virtuous one.

Meaningful connections tend to spring from common ground. And art — from the books on your shelf to the paintings on your walls — is one of the easiest places to find that ground.

So to help you bring more art into your home, we’ve compiled 14 excellent tips for finding, buying and framing art online, from the classics to the avant garde to the undiscovered.

For more guidance on the spirit and thought behind collecting, see Chicago Magazine’s excellent guide How to Buy Art, which includes info on how to identify a genius and when to circle back to something that might seem out of fashion.


The Selects Gallery, just launched in February, is a repository of fine art photography pulled from the archives of incredible fashion and lifestyle photographers from around the world. Order and customize frames in a click.


Artsy is a hugely important all-in-one type resource for artists, gallerists, collectors and even just enthusiasts who want to know more about what’s going on in the art world. You can shop art by price, period, gallery, color and so on, or try to absorb more than anyone could care to know about arty goings on in every corner of the world. They also have a live bidding section on the site to keep things exciting for buyers.

Saatchi Art is a global online marketplace/art gallery with astounding variety. You can find photos, paintings, sculptures and more. To celebrate Women’s History Month, they’re currently offering 10% off all originals with the code and %15 off originals $1,500 and above.

Artcloud does not have a shoppable function, but it offers extensive inventory from hundreds of galleries around the United States and transparent pricing as well as a secure way to initiate dialogue with gallery to purchase.


Inkifi prints your Instagram pictures and other photos on fine art paper to be delivered in ready-to-hang frames handmade from reclaimed wood. Carrying many FSC-certified products (Forestry Stewardship Council), you can buy books, prints and posters and even acrylic renditions of your image.

If you are a planning a gallery wall or other artsy renovation, PictureThat allows you to see what images in your camera roll would look like displayed around your home. They also offer the option to buy digital prints.

Social Print Studio allows you to print your own photos on wood, metal and canvas in addition to an array of paper products and peddles a limited frame selection in poppy colors or black.


If you just want Vincent van Gogh in the guest room, Ansel Adams in the hall and Georgia O’Keeffe in the powder room, there’s art.com. (Hey, nothing wrong with the classics!) It’s the least fussy option with a predictably huge inventory and framing options.

Art by Beth Hoeckel on Society6


Vango is a marketplace where artists apply to have their work featured. Allows you to shop by theme (Neighborhoods, Surfers) or genre (Abstract, Photography) and purchase originals, and you can commission work through their artists if you don’t find what you are looking for.

At Society6, “every purchase pays an artist.” And it is indeed a great place to find truly unique and up-and-coming designs … printed not only for your walls but also on phone cases, blankets, duffels and apparel as well. Great rabbit hole to fall into.

And — bear with us — Etsy. You will find absolutely anything you set your mind to on this site, I swear. To test this theory, I randomly typed “mint fish frame print” into the search bar and was returned this gorgeous number. So I remain convinced.


It’s easier than ever to create custom-dimension frames or to simply send in your images for no-hassle printing and framing. We like Level Frames for their no-fuss minimalist vibes, but if you want a wider variety of aesthetics, like say shiny gold bamboo, try Framebridge. Frameology is another source of options, though a fair bit tamer in pearl and polished wood.

Now go forth and buy some art.

Main image by @emmanuelle.hauguel for The Selects


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