After a Year of Being Forced to Sell Art Online, Gallerists Have Learned 5 Surprising Lessons—and It’s Clear There’s No Going Back

For nearly a year, art dealers unable to travel the art-fair circuit have taken up the many online viewing rooms (or OVRs for short) that Art Basel, Frieze, and other fairs have made available.

OVRs have certain advantages: collectors like the price transparency many fairs have demanded, and gallerists enjoy saving money on costly flights, hotels, and dinners. On the downside, the novelty of the online fair wears off quickly given the relative lack of excitement that accompanies staring at a screen.

We asked more than a dozen art dealers, from small to midsize to mega, about what they liked—and didn’t—during this year of OVRs. Here’s what we learned.