Exceptional customer support and training

Primer Archives cares about our clients, and we know that our company's success depends on the success of our clients. Our basic monthly subscription includes prompt technical support and a complimentary one-on-one training session. We also prioritize quick and thorough data imports to get new clients up and running as soon as possible. Primer was created from the point of view of the art galleries, art collections, and artists, themselves, to provide tools for greater efficiency and to encourage proactive and profitable business practices. If you have questions about how to run an art gallery, contact us today.

“ Action is the foundational key to all success.” Pablo Picasso

Action is the foundational key to all success.” Pablo Picasso

Unlimited computer, iPads, iPhones & unlimited records at your fingertips

Primer's monthly subscription includes all the devices you use. No extra fee to have your data ready to go on your iPhone or your home computer or anywhere else you want to work. Plus no set-up charge or time commitments. Whether you are preparing for a show at your gallery, studio or museum, working in an art fair booth, curating a client's collection or even off working remotely, Primer helps you create exhibitions, consignments, sales, offers, shipping and anything else you need to get done, including customizable activities. Primer supports you and all your art world needs.


New updates for iPhone, iPad & more: all included

Primer art software keeps you updated at no extra charge. Primer issues new updates to clients as needed. Updates are done quickly and behind the scenes, so our clients can stay focus on their business. Most recently, Primer has updated several new features, including its iPad and iPhone apps. These apps are included at no additional costs to all our users, making their contacts, artworks, exhibitions and art world activities available to them whenever they need it.


Primer at the Art World Conference

We are pleased to be the exclusive art software representative invited to the first annual Art World Conference, a professional development experience bringing together 300 artists and arts professionals at all stages in their careers.

Art World Conference is a business and financial literacy conference that includes panel discussions, conversations, and in-depth workshops addressing many of the opportunities and challenges faced by visual artists and arts professionals who work closely with artists. Topics range from sales, marketing, grants, taxes, managing debt, and investing to managing public projects, new technologies, and growing and sustaining community. The emphasis of all programming is on personal development and empowerment.

Art World Conference is organized by and Heather Bhandari and presenters include top art world professionals. Highlights include a keynote by Deanna Haggag, President/CEO of United States Artists, on empowerment; a conversation on intellectual property and legal rights of artists with Mickalene Thomas and Maria Murguia, Licensing Executive and Marketing Manager, Artists Rights Society; and tech-focused workshops with Patton Hindle, Senior Director of Arts, Kickstarter and Amy Whitaker, Author & NYU Faculty Member.

Paddy Johnson, Writer and Founder, Art F City, will facilitate a discussion on goal setting and initiating opportunities with artist and educator Sharon Louden; Alex Paik, Director, Tiger Strikes Asteroid; Prerana Reddy, Director of Programs, A Blade of Grass; and Caroline Woolard, Founder, BFAMFAPHD. Larry Ossei-Mensah, Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, will lead a conversation that explores how to identify and sustain an audience and community and share strategies and tools related to exposure, engagement and expansion with Kemi Ilesanmi, Executive Director, Laundromat Project; Hilary Néve, Head of Cultural Initiatives, Google; Shannon Stratton, William & Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator, Museum of Arts and Design; and Danny Baez, Founder/Director, Meca Art Fair. Esther Robinson, Co-Executive Director, ArtBuilt Brooklyn, a new, not-for-profit 50,000 square foot art studio and business space in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, will lead an evocative discussion with fellow artists about the modern fight to secure, build, and defend affordable work space in New York City.

We look forward to being a part of this incredible weekend!

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Spring into Primer with complimentary data imports

We are dedicated to making transitions to Primer as smooth as possible. Data importations are included in our low monthly subscription and usually take place in a matter of days. Initial training, either in person or virtually, is also included in our standard customer service. Every user has their own login, password, and security settings, and Primer automatically tracks which user creates or modifies every aspect of any record. Contact us for a personal demonstration of Primer software for art galleries or Primer sofwater for artists and to reserve an importation spot that works best for your schedule.

Switch to Primer and all your data and work history comes with you.

Switch to Primer and all your data and work history comes with you.

Featured Feature: Donations

Primer allows you to accurately record and track donations both to institutional collections and for work donated to raise money at a charity auction. First, use Primer's donation transaction to record when you or a contact donates a work to an institution or collection. As a result, the work is now shown on the collection's page and that donation is archived on both the artwork's page and the client's record. Alternately, use the donation function to properly track when a work is donated to raise money at a charity event. Not only is this donation archived on the records for the artwork and the charity, but it appears in the collection of the contact who ultimately purchased the work. Primer is art software that understands the complexities of the art world and allows you to quickly and accurately track all your client and artwork activity.

Resolve to be as good at business as you are art

As our clients wrap up 2018, they look to Primer for an easy analysis of their business activities. Check your sales by time period, client, tax rate, and more. Track payables and receivables. Understand which artists or artworks were the most profitable. Being an artist or an arts professional is always a labor of love. Artistic and curatorial choices are often made without regard to profit or sales. This means it is all the more important to understand where your proceeds are coming from in order to make the smart business decisions that enable you to continue to expose exceptional art to the world. Wishing everyone a very happy new year and we look forward to being a part of your business plan for years to come!

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Tis the season to celebrate not adminstrate

A client recently relayed that she used to skip out on family Thanksgiving as she was stuck in her gallery preparing for the Miami art fairs. She slogged away putting together Dropbox files of images and captions, pdfs for each artist with available works, configuring work labels, and formatting price lists. She spent hours culling through client lists to figure out who needed VIP pases. Since adopting Primer, her pre-fair routine is a quick two step.

First, it takes a just few minutes to compile a list of collectors she has seen in past years and send them emails offering complimentary fair passes. Second, she quickly creates her art fair presentation page by highlighting the works being brought to the fair. Now she can make pdfs of booth previews, work labels, price lists and more in mere seconds, all ready to email, print, or save. Once in Miami, no prep is required to use Primer to show available works not onsite at the fair – it’s always ready at her finger tips. Plus she has sent all her follow ups and invoices before she leaves the booth for evening events. Finally, as she departs Miami, she can relax knowing all contacts, notes, offers and sales are complete and archived in Primer. She even has reminders set up to follow up with potential clients in the new year. Now she no longer misses her dad’s pumpkin pie or potential sales opportunities.

With our quick data import process, it’s not too late become a Primer user and be Miami ready!

Want to show a client a work that's not in your booth -- no problem -- Primer has all your works ready to show.

Want to show a client a work that's not in your booth -- no problem -- Primer has all your works ready to show.

Texas ❤️ Art

We are excited for the return of the Texas Contermporary in Houston. The fair was postponed last year due to Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts, and our hearts went out to our friends who suffered losses. Houston has always shown amazing love and support for modern and contemporary art. We will be visiting excellent galleries like Inman and the world class collections of the MFA, the Menil Collection and others. At the fair, our clients will be using Primer to do immediate follow ups, place holds, invoice sales, and offer work that is offsite. No time consuming pre-fair prep needed. Artworks can be linked to the art fair page, and it's a snap to make pricelists, offers, work labels, invoices and more. Link contacts who visit the booth and make notes -- they will automatically appear on the contacts' pages as well. As always, Primer strives to help art galleries, art collections and artists work better and smarter.

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Featured feature: Offers

Primer users find it takes mere seconds to put together professional offers documents that can be emailed directly from Primer. These pdfs feature full page images with captions and the option to show price, as well as custom headers and footers. Combined with Primer's CRM features that help determine who and what to offer, Primer can help you become a more proactive promoter of the artworks that you love. Contact us to set up a phone call or video chat to learn more about how Primer can help you sell more work anytime, anywhere.


Aspen in July is amazing in many ways including contemporary art. The Primer team will be in Aspen July 26-29 to visit Art Aspen, galleries such as Baldwin, the fabulous Aspen Art Museum, as well as the artists in residence at Anderson Ranch. We will also visit with Primer clients who will be able to access their crucial information while in Aspen or wherever their summer takes them. If you will be at Aspen, we would be happy to schedule a demonstration of our gallery and artist databases.

Aspen Art Museum  Photo by Michael Moran / OTTO, Courtesy of Aspen Art Museum

Aspen Art Museum

Photo by Michael Moran / OTTO, Courtesy of Aspen Art Museum

San Francisco

One of our favorite cities to visit in the summer is San Francisco. We never miss the incredible galleries located at the Minnesota Street Project in the Dogpatch including Adrian Rosenfeld and Altman Siegal. Among our favorite museums are SF MoMA, whose collection extends even into its Michelin's starred restaurant "In Situ." Wherever you find yourself this summer, Primer can insure that you have everything you need to be a successful artist or art dealer while on the road. Make offers and invoices from your hotel room. Share artwork or look up a client's address from your iPhone in the back of a taxi. Consign in new work while you are at the artist's studio. Primer inventory database allows you to be efficient and effective.

installation of works by Tucker Nichols featured at in situ, the restaurant at sf moma, San francisco.

installation of works by Tucker Nichols featured at in situ, the restaurant at sf moma, San francisco.

Summer travels

For many in the art world, summer means travel. Some are off to art fairs around the world ranging from Art Basel to the Seattle Art Fair. Others flee the hot cities for more comfortable climates such as the beaches in the Hamptons and the South of France or mountain climates, from Aspen to the Hudson River Valley. Primer's secure cloud hosted database allows you to be instantly prepared wherever you are. Access all your available inventory and your client lists for unexpected requests about available work; immediately respond to a curator's inquiry for possible loans; prepare for your fall exhibitions from your remote hideaway; show up at the art fairs without having to spend hours in advance preparing pdfs or dropbox files. Your information is organized and accessible at all times, whether working on your laptop, iPad or iPhone. Summer can also be a great time to finally make that switch to a truly effective program that assists you in selling and promoting your artwork all year round.

New York City gallery dog, Robert, spends his Augusts in the cool Catskill mountains.

New York City gallery dog, Robert, spends his Augusts in the cool Catskill mountains.

Featured feature: Custom transactions

Primer art software allows our users to manage all their various art world activities and caters to their unique needs, including our custom transaction which faciliates any type of transaction imaginable. Our clients report using this function for an array of activities such as event space rental, commissioning catalogue essays, appraising a client's collection, curatorial projects, artwork rental to a film production and more. You can add artworks, items, or costs/fees to these transactions and you can generate the accompanying document detailng the actvity. Primer's custom transaction completes our offering of 15 standard activities including sales, purchases, consignments, loans, donations, valuations, returns, and more, making Primer the complete management tool for art galleries, artists, art advisors, and art collectors.


Payments to artists and consignors

Primer makes it easy to create payments due to artists and consignors for sold artworks. Each payment transaction also allows you to quickly create a clear payment statement detailing the sales and owed amounts. Like all documents in Primer, you have the ability to make custom edits before saving in a PDF format. Just another facet of managing and tracking all your art related activities with Primer's easy to use functionality. Coming soon: details on our new accounting section that will allow you to analyze your receivables, payables and profitability.

Featured feature: Presentations

This section of Primer allows you to organize and archive any presentations of artwork. Most of our clients use this feature for exhibitions, art fair booths, private salons, curated rooms and the like. Quickly make and edit a variety of related documents including checklists, pricelists, work labels, and full page work previews in any custom order. Edit, save, print and/or email these pdfs directly from the presentation window. Link all contacts who attended the show or transactions, such as sales and offers, related to the event and make a single note that appears on both records. Tap on any image to show in full screen, with the ability to scroll full screen through the entire selection of works. Each individual user can set their own reminders for tasks related to the show. Presentaions are an elegant way to manage and document your exhibition history. One of the many ways that Primer is helping art galleries, art collectors, curators and artists spend more time conceiving and mounting great shows and less time on administration.

A sample presentation page for an art fair booth. Click on a work's image to see in full screen.

Running into the new year!

A huge thank you to our Primer clients, including art galleries, art collections, artists, and art advisors from around the world that made 2017 our best year yet. We traveled to meet new and existing clients in Boston, Berlin, Basel, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Park City, San Francisco, Santa Fe, and more. We introduced many exciting developments such as Gmail integration, and we heard from clients that Primer has allowed them to streamline their activities from several redundant programs to one focused platform, making them more efficient and cost effective -- in additon to helping them sell more! We look forward to further developments and growth in 2018 as we continue to strive to the best art software, providing our clients with their art inventory management, client relationship manager, exhibition archive, mobile apps, and more. Thank you all for your referrals, feedback, suggestions and kind compliments. Nothing is more important to us than providing excellent and honest customer service.

"Weaver" by Jeff Ladouceur, a Primer Ambassador Artist

"Weaver" by Jeff Ladouceur, a Primer Ambassador Artist

NEW feature: enhanced Gmail integration

Primer makes it even easier to track and analyze your history with your contacts, with our Gmail correspondence viewer. Clients who use Gmail or G Suite will be able to review all emails with specific contacts as well as all emails in their general inbox from within Primer itself. Just another way, Primer keeps our clients focused on their workflow, operations and sales. While this special viewer is limited to Gmail, Primer users can still email any documents or images from within Primer using Mac Mail, Outlook, or other web-based emails. Primer is constantly developing to be the best tool to manage your art gallery or art collection, including inventory management, exhibition archives, transactional activities, and as a client relationship manager (CRM).

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CRM: Client Relationship Manager

Primer was created exclusively for the art world to act as an inventory management database, an exhibition archive and a CRM, client relationship manager. How is Primer a CRM? Our program includes easy to use, unique features to help you better understand your clients and anticipate which artists and artworks to offer. Contact us to learn more about our client analytics and why a great Los Angeles art gallery recently attested that it previously took three separate programs to accomplish what they now do with Primer.

Let us give you a virtual tour of Primer's client relationship manage and other functions.

Let us give you a virtual tour of Primer's client relationship manage and other functions.

Hello San Fran

A big welcome to all our new San Francisco based clients using Primer art software to manage their artwork, clients, exhibitions and transactions. In addition to our everyday virtual tech support, we make routine visits to San Francisco for in-person training and support at clients' galleries and office. Just this week, we were delighted to visit "Patio Music," the new exhibition by Primer ambasssador artist, Tucker Nichols, on view at Gallery 16 through October 28th.

Tucker Nichols installation at Gallery 16, San Francisco

Tucker Nichols installation at Gallery 16, San Francisco