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How to use the bulk artwork import function with ease

Did you know you can import artworks to your My Collection menu in bulk?! This bulk artwork import function is a big time saver if you already maintain a spreadsheet of the items in your collection or have an extensive art collection. This guide helps you with the process and outlines four common challenges and how to resolve them.

The process

From the Dashboard page, select My Collection from the Collector options.

The interface for the Capital Art platform with the options Dashboard, My Collection, Gallery and Reports at the top of the screen. My Collection is highlighted.

To add new artworks in bulk, choose Import Artworks. Download the Excel template.

Image shows the My Collection page for a Capital Art user. The button Import Artwork is highlighted with a red circle around it.

The sample line in row 2 guides you in completing the details of each artwork on a new row. Since you need to refer to the sample line often, you need not delete the sample row. The upload process automatically does not include the sample row.

The template used for the bulk artwork import function contains notes which guide you as to what is required in each column.

Once you have completed the Excel template, save the document as a comma-separated values (CSV) file format and select Upload CSV file from the Artwork File Import page.

The indicator will tell you how many artworks were processed successfully and how many failed. The artworks will only be added to your My Collection page when all import results are successful.   

Common issues and their solutions

Below are some common problems and their solutions to ensure the process is as easy as possible. Let’s work through them together.

Problem 1: Nothing happened. 0 artworks, 0 successful, 0 failed

Oh no. This result might be one of the most confusing. It can also be associated with the error message “Expected column 1 header to be ‘Artist Name'”.

This error usually means that the document might have used the incorrect column delimiter relative to what the system expected, such as a semi-colon delimiter, whereas the delimiter should be a comma. It is possible to amend this by opening the CSV file, highlighting the first column, and selecting Data from the menu bar and Text to Columns. You can then move each entry separated by a semi-colon into a separate column using the wizard: Select Delimited, then Next>, select Semi-colon, then Next>, select General and then Finish.

That process makes all data appear in their column. Save the file as a new CSV file and upload that.

Suppose you’re reading this before doing any work. In that case, you can also check that your Excel product is using a comma delimiter on the system, in which case, when you save the document as a CSV, this issue should not occur.

Problem 2: You don’t know the artist’s year of birth

You may know the artist’s name but don’t know and can’t find their year of birth. Ditto for the country with which they are associated.

The solution is instead to delete the artist’s name and leave all fields related to the artist, such as country and year of birth, blank. 

Once you have uploaded the artworks, go back to the artwork record and on the Details tab, search the artist names for the artist you were looking for in case the name is already on the system. If you don’t find it, please email and indicate any details you might have for the artist. We will assist with locating the requisite information where we can.

Remember that if you don’t know the artist of the painting or sculpture, leave the Artist Name field blank. 

Problem 3: The country used is resulting in an error

You might have indicated the country that the artist is from, but that is resulting in upload failures. South Africa and Nigeria are pretty intuitive, but when trying to add South Korea, you will get an error.

You can refer to this list for the country’s name to use and copy and paste that into the spreadsheet.

Problem 4: The row referred to in the bulk artwork import error doesn’t make sense relative to the error message

Your failed import might indicate an error message indicating an issue, like the country name being Congo at “row (4)”, but row four shows the artist’s country as Niger. 

The error messages show the row number for the data that is eventually uploaded, so they exclude the row with column titles and the row with the sample record. So if the error message refers to row four, it refers to row 6 in the Excel or CSV file.

Additional assistance for the bulk artwork import function

If the bulk artwork import keeps failing and you can’t seem to fix it, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our customer support at – we don’t want you left feeling frustrated! Attach the Excel file and screenshots of the errors; we’ll help resolve the issue.

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