Bulky, heavy, pricey – yet flourishing. Art catalogs keep print alive in the digital era




TOK TOPICS : Arts , Sense perception , Emotion , Technology

Case description : Clothbound in a special slipcase , heavy as 17.7 pounds and costs 350 $ and yet , “Matisse in the Barnes Foundation,” is desirable and exquisite. Art catalogs and Books sales, according to Publisher Alley – an Arts sale analyst firm – have remained defiantly analog and successful in selling the entire collection, while being expensive, impractical and very heavy. “ Glossy, oversize pages allow for the presentation of lush imagery in ways that are sharper and more engaging than the pixelated sameness of the Web. If you want to linger at a page, read a bit of text, turn back and look at the image again — if you want to look at something multiple times,” says Sharon Gallagher, founder of Artbook/D.A.P., a publisher and distributor.

TOK LINK : The physical aspect of Arts catalogs with a combination of touch and feel and close visuals appeals to the aesthetics and collector’s instincts – not matched by the convenience and expediency of the e-book. Like a priced possession and treasure , the physical book demands a place for itself –may be on a shelf forever. In psychology of Arts, there is an established relationship between Emotion and Arts wherein emotional responses are core to experiencing Arts and conversely the purpose of artistic expression is to create emotional experience.

Sample KQs:

How far do you agree that the “physical form “ of Arts has deeper and long lasting engagement through Emotion and Sense perception?


In context of “Images” being dominant to “text” – how do you establish relationship of “ Digital” and “ physical/Analog” medium?