Marquis Who's Who this week announced the launch of an Artists' Gallery web site that will feature artwork from hundreds of prominent artists. The gallery first appeared in the 2008 print edition of Who's Who in American Art before launching as a standalone online offering.

The Artists' Gallery ( is searchable by artist name and media. Works range in style from oil and watercolor to sculpture and photography, and are selected by the artist. Each listing includes information such as title of the work, media, dimensions, representing gallery, personal web site and the artist's contact information. In addition, they also contain the artists' full biographical entries as they appear in the Who's Who in American Art.

The public can view the site free of charge. Marquis has already announced plans to include more artists on the site later this year.

What a clever idea. Of course, something so visual should have visual representation. Text listings just don't give such listings justice. This is really giving artists a true online portfolio; one that can't be communicated through those traditional text listings. Such listings, of course, provide value. But that value is only supplementary in this case. A picture really is worth 1,000 words.

The value extends to the featured artists (who will gain tremendous additional exposure) as well as Marquis. Since the company likely charges a fee for inclusion on the site, the new offering will help the company sell more subscriptions to the print Who's Who in American Art, thus serving as an innovative new source of revenue for Marquis.