Saturday, May 30, 2009

The History Of Artists Trading Cards

Art cards go by many names these days; Artist trading cards, fine art cards or ACEO cards. ACEO stands for Art Cards, Editions and Originals. In the 16th century, however, they were mostly portraits and they were always sold, not traded or given away as they were in the next few centuries. In the 16th century, fine art cards were the first wallet sized pictures. Artists also painted these small paintings to be used for exchange when people arranged marriages.

In the mid 1700's the French invented the idea to place advertising on these cards and not long afterward the English picked up on the idea and followed suit.

The Impressionists traded fine art cards, too. They did so among themselves in order to study the styles and techniques of other artists. Sometimes they traded or sold their artists cards to pay for items of necessity like food or art supplies.

In 1887 "baseball" cards started to appear. These early cards very rare. They were not mass produced. Cards during this time were usually sold with bubble gum, chewing tobacco and Cracker Jacks. As they were marketed with different size products, baseball cards were different sizes. Baseball cards became standardized to a 2.5 x 3.5 format in the 1960's. This is the same size used in todays art trading cards.Today hand made artist trading cards are popular once again. They are fun to collect and trade.

In 1997 a project known as Art Trading Card (ATC) began. Most would credit reviving the ATC trading sessions in the modern era to M. Vänçi Stirnemann, who began trading sessions in Zurich, Switzerland. The idea behind this project was for artists to meet with one another and trade their art. ATCs were NOT to be sold!

It is the ACEO that started initiating the buying and selling of art cards. Great ACEO information including artist information, art card groups and forums can be found on ebay.

Art Cards are made from many medias like water color, acrylics, collage, charcoal, pen and pencil or mixed media. Ebay has picked up on this trend and you can find ACEO for sale there as well. There are also private dealers who auction these cards and artists who sell them outside of Ebay.
To learn more about Art trading cards visit my next blog which will tell you more about collecting Artists Trading Cards Or visit my website

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

An artists trading card, also called an ACEO or art card is an original piece of artwork or print that is only the size of a baseball card. This 2.5 x 3.5 format is the standard for fine art cards. The artists cards are meant to be traded of course!

The problem was that only artists were trading cards in order to study each others work. Finally an artist realized that the general public would also like to trade these cards and they were made to be traded among the masses. Artist trading cards are traded at shows and through the mail.

They are originals, small editions and, most importantly, self-produced. Anybody can produce them. The idea is that you trade them with other people. Trading is usually done with other fine art card producers. Trading can be done in person or at trading sessions. It's not about money: participants in trading sessions and editions should not be charged any money. The experience of trading is the reward. There are monthly TRADING SESSIONS at different places.

If you have a favorite artists or genre, you could be lucky enough to own an original piece of artwork or two or three! Art cards should have the name of the artist and other relevant information on the back of the card. These pieces, although small, are meant to be shown. Collectors frame them or display them in trading card binders.

The difference between an art card and an ACEO is that while art cards are intended to be traded only ACEO's are produced for selling. Ebay has a large collection of art cards to choose from and artists also auction their work online. These small works of art are done in many media.

  • Watercolor
  • Oil
  • Acrylic
  • Colored Pencil
  • Pastels
  • Pen and Ink

and in many genres

  • Collage
  • Abstract
  • Surrealism
  • Impressionism
  • Expressionism
  • Realism

This art is extremely collectable and fun. Every imaginable subject is covered. Fine Art Cards are a great hobby. Check out my website or visit my other fine arts cards blogs

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