Artist trading cards Information

Artist Trading Cards are miniature works of art about the same size as modern baseball cards, or 2 ½ X 3 ½ inches , small enough to fit inside standard card-collector pockets, sleeves or sheets. The ATC movement developed out of the mail art movement and has its origins in Switzerland. Cards are produced in various media, including dry media , wet media , paper media . The cards are usually traded or exchanged rather than sold.

Art trading cards can be seen as the modern incarnation of several much older artistic forms. Because of their small size and usually modest price they have been linked to portrait miniatures, which flourished in the 14th century, and were often used as advertisements by wealthy merchant families in arranging marriages for their daughters. Until this time art collecting was mainly the hobby of the Noble and Royal classes.

In later centuries artist trading cards were used throughout Europe and America as art training tools. Artists would trade the cards between themselves to study each others techniques and explore new art movements. The cards paid a particularly important role in the Impressionists art movement. The Impressionists utilized both sides of their artist trading cards, art on one side and a kind of brief resume on the other. The Impressionists were the first known artists to use the cards in trade for anything other than more art. Impressionists often traded the cards with art collectors in exchange for room, board, and art supplies.

Wikipedia, Artist trading cards, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artist_trading_cards (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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