Art Business

“It has been my experience that artists who succeed have adopted the mindset of a business person and consider their time and resources as an investment in the business of their art.”

Mary Virgina Swanson

from her book The Business of Photography: Principals and Practices


Pop artist Andy Warhol famously said,

“Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art.”



5 thoughts on “Art Business

    • Hi Marcy
      Good point. I actually purchased a photo of Andy Warhol, that has that quote in rather large letter on the print, from the Andy Warhol museum shop. I have it near my computer and so use it. I welcome quotes from others who are knowledgeable or have been successful in art business. BTW, Marcy thanks for the Museum brochure sent in the mail–perhaps you put me on your mailing to receive it. I opened it and nice to see you inside. I know an artist who teaches workshops there too. Plus another artist nearby in Ithaca, perhaps you would like to connect with her? She is a lecturer at Cornell. Let me know and I’ll give you her contact info.


  1. I would agree fully, my only comment however is that when Mary Virgina Swanson talks of “artists”, she is actually referring to commercial photographers, not photographic artists, and there is a significant difference between the two. Mary Virgina Swanson is an accredited expert on the business of photography, not the business of art. In the world of commercial photography, the photographers are often referred to as “artists” or “talent”, especially by reps and agents. However, this is confusing, as most of those photographers have no knowledge or experience in the world of photographic art, were the word “artist” has an entirely different interpretation. I just felt this needed clarification, as whilst I totally endorse the point that professional artists need to apply business logic to their activities, the fact that you are providing a quote from somebody that has very little experience with “art”, seems a bit conflicting.


    • The Mary Virgina Swanson quote is from her book, The Business of Photography: Principals and Practice, in which she discusses fine art photographers, galleries and museum exhibitions for photographic artists, grants from non-profit agencies for photographic artists.


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