For art dealers, finding a gallery or dealer offering an Andy Warhol Jackie O can be quite difficult. But in September, a scheme will allow art galleries around the world to buy and sell art electronically at the touch of a telephone keypad.
The Art Research & Trading Cooperative (ART Co-op), in Santa Fe, N. M., is a network of IBM-compatible computers equipped with Dialogic Corp. "call-processing" circuit cards and software--the kind used by bank-by-phone systems. After entering their personal ID number, ART Co-op members can scan current offerings, make a bid for a piece, or even search for works of a particular artist in a data base of 16,000 contemporary American artworks offered by over 1,000 American and 300 Japanese dealers, just by punching in the correct codes from an ART Co-op catalog. When a sale is made, the network automatically faxes confirmation letters to both parties and updates its data base.