The Metropolitan Museum of Art
There is much quality material for art students, educators, and enthusiasts at the The Metropolitan Museum of Art web site. Start with the Metropolitan Museum of Art Timeline of Art History, a chronological, geographical, and thematic exploration of the history of art from around the world. Each timeline page includes representative art from the Museum’s collection, a chart of time periods, a map of the region, an overview, and a list of key events. The timelines – accompanied by world, regional, and sub-regional maps – provide a linear outline of art history, and allow visitors to compare and contrast art from around the globe at any time in history. There is plenty more here apart from the Timeline: “Just for Fun” has interactive activities for kids, “A Closer Look” examines the “hows and whys” behind Met objects (such as George Washington Crossing the Delaware), “Artist” enables visitors to access biographical materials on a selection of artists as well as general information about their work, and “Themes and Cultures” presents past and present cultures with special features on the Met’s collections and exhibitions. (Many of these individual exhibitions are listed below.)
Art History Resources on the Web
Professor Chris Witcombe of the Art department at Sweet Briar College has perhaps the best organized gateway to art history sites on the Web. His directory is chock-full of useful and regularly updated links and is divided into the following categories: Prehistoric Art, Ancient Near East, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Art in Early Europe, 15th-Century Renaissance Art, 16th-Century Renaissance Art, 17th-Century Baroque Art, Baroque Art, 18th-Century Art, 19th-Century Art, 20th-Century Art, 21st-Century Art and Prints & Photography. He also includes a list of museums and galleries and research resources.
Artcyclopedia: The Guide to Museum-Quality Art on the Internet
The Artcyclopedia editors have compiled a comprehensive index of every artist represented at hundreds of museum sites, image archives, and other online resources. Artcyclopedia only provides references to sites on the World Wide Web where artists’ works can be viewed online and the vast majority of the artists in their database specialize in painting and sculpture. They have a searchable index of over 1200 arts sites, and offer more than 32,000 links to an estimated 100,000 works by 7,500 renowned artists. A great resource for researching particular artists.
World Art Treasures (historical art)
The “Jacques-Eduard Berger Fondation Art and Civilisation” offers World Art Treasures, an impressive site for learning about art and artists through the ages. The site offers lectures and itineraries of the cultural tours, an Artists Slide Library, slides by Country, Region, and City, a Periods Slide Library, Essays, an Audio Section to listen to the different lectures, a Zoom function, and “Puzzle,” a chance to click on a piece of a master work and drag to correct place. Lectures and itineraries include Tell el Amarna, Capital of the Disk, Roman Portraits from Egypt, The enchanted gardens of the Renaissance, Sandro Botticelli, Caravaggio: The Night Prince, Johannes Vermeer, and more. There is also an interactive timeline.
The Getty Museum
The J. Paul Getty Trust focus on the visual arts serves both general audiences and specialized professionals, and it offers an impressive array of services. For instance, the Getty Research Institute provides access to a range of online research tools. The Research Library is accessible to both on-site and remote users and provides access to the Library Catalog, a myriad of collections and other services. The Explore Art section allows you to browse many of the works of art on display at the Getty by name, object, theme, or topic. You can also view current or past exhibitions. Among the best are Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828): Sculptor of the Enlightenment and Raphael at the Gallery. There are also lesson plans and ideas for discussion on many aspects of art and art history. (See the Lesson Plans & Activities section below.)
Voice of the Shuttle: Art & Art History
VoS is an extensive humanities database with many useful links to art history resources. Among their many art history categories are General Art Resources, Artists & Works By Chronology, Museums, Institutes, & Centers, Galleries & Exhibitions, Journals & Zines (Art & Art History), Depts. & Programs (Art & Art History), and Course Syllabi & Teaching Resources (Art & Art History).
About: Art History
This About.com comprehensive gateway to Art History resources is managed by Shelley Esaak, who is a portrait artist, a freelance illustrator and graphic designer, a writer, and an educator. There are plenty of helpful annotated links in multiple categories: Articles & Resources, Famous Names in Art, Timelines of Art History, Movements and Schools, Different Types of Art, Art by Country or Region, Art by Culture or Group, Images / Picture Galleries, Contemporary Art, Find Museums / Galleries, Art Appreciation, Help / Advice for Students, Educator / Parent Resources, Reference and Reading, 60-Second Artist Profiles, Leonardo’s Last Supper, Art History Glossary, The Art History Forum, and more. A broad and helpful site, though obtrusive ads are annoying.
WWWVL: History of Art
The History of Art Virtual Library is a gateway of links relating to Art History sponsored by CHArt, the Computers and History of Art Group. This site is aimed at everybody interested in art, but it has a special focus on the academic study of Art History. If you have an interest in art history and would like to find images online or to learn more about particular artists, the sites they list be of use to you.
Smithsonian American Art Museum
The Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) is America’s first federal art collection, dedicated to the art and artists of the United States. More than 7,000 American artists are represented, including major artists such as John Singleton Copley, John Singer Sargent, Georgia O’Keeffe, and others. The featured themes and topics of the collection include Colonial portraiture, nineteenth-century landscape, American impressionism, twentieth-century realism and abstraction, New Deal projects, sculpture, photography, prints and drawings, contemporary crafts, African American art, Latino art, and folk art. Today the collection consists of more than 40,000 artworks in all media, spanning more than 300 years of artistic achievement. The Smithsonian Online Exhibitions feature prize holdings from different eras in American history. The online version of American Art, the academic journal of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, has articles of interest to art historians.
Library of Congress: The American Memory
The American Memory Collection from the Library of Congress contains primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States. The site offers more than 7 million digital items from more than 100 historical collections. Included are multimedia collections of photographs, recorded sound, moving pictures, and digitized text. Select collections to search, search for items across all collections, and explore teaching and learning ideas with American Memory.
Mark Harden’s Artchive offers over 2,000 high quality scans of artwork for educational purposes. The museum is divided into several galleries: The Artchive, Glyphs Art Reviews, The Galleries, Theory and Criticism, Juxtapositions, Art CD-ROM Reviews, and Art Links. The Artchive offers browser access in HTML format to the archive for all of the fine art scans. The Galleries is the entry point to the online exhibitions currently showing.
WorldArt Web Kiosk
The WorldArt image database allows you to search over 35,000 images from throughout the world. Portfolios of art, architecture and sculpture arranged by geographic area or time period. Faculty, staff, and students of the California State University System created this database. Categories: American Paintings and Sculpture; Ancient Near Eastern Art; Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; Asian Art; European Paintings; European Sculpture and Decorative Arts; Egyptian Art; Greek and Roman Art; and Islamic Art.
Art Images for College Teaching
AICT is a free-use image resource for the educational community by art historian and visual resources curator Allan T. Kohl. AICT is intended primarily to disseminate images of art and architectural works in the public domain on a free-access, free-use basis to all levels of the educational community, as well as to the public at large.
Reunion des Musees Nationaux (RMN), France
The Photo Agency of the Reunion des musees nationaux (RMN), French National Organization of Art Museums, houses more than 100,000 color transparencies and 500,000 black-and-white negatives relating to works of art in France’s national museums: paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, drawings and photographs. Language can be switched to English using a button on the upper-right corner of the website.
Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide
Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide is the world’s first scholarly, refereed e-journal devoted to the study of nineteenth-century painting, sculpture, graphic arts, photography, architecture, and decorative arts across the globe. The chronological scope of the journal is the “long” nineteenth century, stretching from the American and French Revolutions, at one end, to the outbreak of World War I, at the other.
Mother of all Art and Art History Links Page
The Mother of all Art and Art History Links Page is available courtesy of the School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan. It offers a gateway to Art History Departments, Research Resources, and Online Exhibitions.
Site Officiel du Musée du Louvre
At the official web site of the Louvre there are virtual tours of many of the galleries and exhibitions. The site presents a selection of the works of art from each of the seven departments of the museum.
Spartacus: Encyclopedia of British Art, 1600-1950
This Spartacus Educational UK resource offers brief essays and information on Art Institutions, Artists 1600-1750, Artists 1750-1900, Artists 1900-1950, and Architects.
AskArt offers extensive information on over 52,000 American artists. Artists search-able by name.
Art History: A Preliminary Handbook
Dr. R. J. Belton of the Department of Fine Arts at Okanagan University College has produced this excellent guidebook to Art History. Sections include Why Study Visual Culture? Evaluation in Term Papers (Research, Thinking and Writing Skills), Further Basic Questions to Ask Yourself About the Work, Some Points for Writing Any Essay, and Academic Documentation in the Department of Fine Arts.
Getty Center: Resources for Teachers
K-12 teachers can get reference materials, lessons, and activities from the Getty Institute. In the Professional Development Opportunities section, Looking at Decorative Arts examines furniture, tapestries, porcelain, and scientific objects; Looking at Portraits offers lesson plans, suggested questions, and activities prompt discussion and activities about six different portraits; Language Through Art helps ESL students learn new vocabulary, and practice using it by looking at and describing portraits, landscapes, and narrative works of art. Art and Language Arts are lessons by Los Angeles-area elementary teachers that use artwork in the Getty Museum collection to teach students language and visual arts skills. ArtsEdNet includes lesson plans, curriculum ideas, an image gallery, and ArtsEdNet Talk, an online community of teachers and learners.
Eyes on Art
This interactive Pacific Bell site is devoted to helping students learn how to look at art. The Teacher’s Guide section explains the rationale and criteria behind each of the student activities and offers ways to facilitate (students) getting the most out of the curriculum.
National Gallery of Art
The National Gallery of Art has over 120 free-loan education resources. Titles range in format from color slide programs and teaching packets, to videocassettes, CD-Roms and DVD’s. The varied program topics provide opportunities for use in non-art curricula such as social studies, literature, and foreign languages.
ARTSEDGE – the National Arts and Education Network – supports the placement of the arts at the center of the curriculum and advocates creative use of technology to enhance the K-12 educational experience. ARTSEDGE offers free, standards-based teaching materials for use in and out of the classroom, as well as professional development resources, student materials, and guidelines for arts-based instruction and assessment.
The Odyssey Online project was developed to help educators teach using works of art from the ancient Near East, Egypt, Greece, Rome and Africa. The Teacher Resource explains ways in which this project meets curriculum standards. Designed for elementary and middle school-aged students.
This online activity is for independent readers, or an educator who enjoys reading aloud. It shows, interactively, how to discern which clues in any given portrait help to put it, its subject, and often the artist all in historical context. A wonderful way to introduce (or reinforce) the concept of critical thinking in art.
Art History Adventures
Educational Web Adventures develops award-winning online learning activities about art, history, and science. Their mission is to create exciting and effective learning experiences. Their Art History Adventures is a fun, educational experience appropriate for elementary school children. There are also Teachers’ Resources.
KinderArt is all about making art fun for kids and easy for adults who teach art to kids. Currently, there are over 1000 art-incorporating ideas and lesson plans, as well as an extensive library section and many, many other features.
Art Teacher on the Net
Offers ideas, lesson plans, and projects for teachers, parents, and group leaders. It offers a spot for the exchange of ideas between educators, as well as after-school and adult education project areas.
Art History Quiz
Five questions related to art history that change monthly.
Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur
A presentation by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, this is an exhibition from the School of Art and Design at San Jose State University featuring 157 Sumerian objects that were excavated by the British archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley, director of the joint excavations of the British Museum and the University of Pennsylvania Museum at ancient Ur in the 1920s and 1930s.
Web Gallery of Art
The Web Gallery of Art is a virtual museum and search-able database of European painting and sculpture of the Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque periods (1100-1850), currently containing over 15,400 reproductions. Biographies, commentaries, and guided tours are available. Furthermore, a search engine allows you to find pictures in the collection using various search criteria. The guided tours make it easier to visit the Gallery and to understand the artistic and historical relationship between the artwork and artists included in the collection.
Cleopatra: A Multimedia Guide to the Ancient World
Cleopatra is an interactive guide to the Ancient Art collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. “Stories” accompany the objects, and there are lesson plans for grades 4-12.
Huntington Photographic Archive of Buddhist and Related Art
The John C. and Susan L. Huntington Photographic Archive of Buddhist and Related Art of the College of the Arts, Ohio State University contains nearly 300,000 original color slides and black and white and color photographs of art and architecture throughout Asia. Countries covered in the collection include India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, China, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, and Myanmar (Burma). Works range from approximately 2500 B.C.E. to the present, and documentation includes contemporary religious activities in various parts of Asia. The Archive documents the art and architecture of these countries in situ, as well as works of art found in most major Asian, European, and American museums. This broad, yet detailed collection contains predominantly Buddhist material, but also includes Hindu, Jain, Islamic, and other works.
The Perseus Classics collection integrates textual and visual materials on the Archaic and Classical Greek world and the Roman world. The collection contains extensive and diverse resources including primary and secondary texts, site plans, digital images, and maps. Art and archaeology catalogs document a wide range of objects: over 1,500 vases, over 1,800 sculptures and sculptural groups, over 1,200 coins, hundreds of buildings from nearly 100 sites and over 100 gems.
ABZU: Guide to Resources for the Study of the Ancient Near East Available on the Internet
Abzu is a guide to the rapidly increasing and widely distributed data relevant to the study and public presentation of the Ancient Near East via the Internet. Abzu has been available on the Internet since 5 October, 1994. View items recently added to ABZU. The editor of Abzu is Charles E. Jones, Research Archivist and Bibliographer at The Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago.
Theban Mapping Project
An impressive site that focuses on the Theban Necropolis, the Valley of the Kings, the tomb of Rameses II, and Egyptology. It offers maps, a timeline, Q&A’s, and updates on the KV5 (Rameses tomb) archeological expedition. Main website is down due to lack of funding, so the provided link leads to a temporary mirror.
Creating French Culture: Treasures from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
Creating French Culture from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France traces the history of power and culture from Charlemagne (b. 742?-d. 814) to Charles de Gaulle (b. 1890-d. 1970), through the prism of more than 200 “magnificent treasures.”
Vatican Museums, Vatican City
This site offers online tours of the collections of art and antiquities at the Vatican museums. Collections include the Gregorian Egyptian and Etruscan Museums, Raphael’s Rooms, the Pinacoteca (Art Gallery), and the Ethnological Missionary Museum. Visitors can examine various rooms in the Vatican, including the Sistine Chapel. Visitors may also take a virtual tour of each room.
This website is conceived as a companion to the Islamic galleries at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Intended as a general introduction to Islamic art, it draws upon examples from the museum’s comprehensive collection, which includes works from an area extending from southern Spain to Central Asia, ranging in date from the seventh through the nineteenth century.
American Photographs: The First Century
The Smithsonian American Art Museum offers a broad selection of photographs from The Charles Isaacs Collection of American Photography. The images include Civil War images by George Barnard and the Mathew Brady Studio, and western landscapes by Timothy O’Sullivan and William Henry Jackson. There is a mix of familiar and lesser-known photographers and styles of work in order to explore ideas about the influence of photographic culture in America during the years from 1839 to 1939.
The Digital Michelangelo Project
Researchers from Stanford University and the University of Washington are attempting to advance the technology of 3D scanning and place this technology in the service of the humanities by creating a long-term digital archive of some important cultural artifacts. The project focuses on some of Michelangelo’s sculptures, including the famous David statue. Check out two photographic essays about a physical replica of the David and download ScanView, a program that lets you “fly around” models of Michelangelo’s statues.
The Great North Museum
The Great North Museum is a museum in Newcastle-upon-Tyne with a focus on natural history and ancient civilizations. At was formed in 2009 from the merger of the Hancock Museum and the Museum of Antiquities. It is the principal museum of archaeology in north east England and teaches about the history of the region, especially Hadrian’s Wall and the Roman frontier. It has a renowned collection of artifacts, models, and archives relating to the Wall, and a full-scale reconstruction of the Temple to Mithras at Carrawburgh. Other displays illustrate the variety of life in the region from early prehistory to the 17th century. There is a virtual gallery of special exhibits, including Hadrian’s Wall and Flints and Stones, with nice images and explanatory text. Also offers an Object of the Month.
The Biography Channel
Biographies of Impressionist artists such as Degas, Monet, Morisot, Pisarro, and Renoir are found here.
Treasures of the World: Mona Lisa
Part of the PBS Treasures of the World Series, Mona Lisa is cast as a masterwork of art in an engaging story of crime and discovery. The section revolves around the Mona Lisa’s disappearance in 1911 but its true focus lies in Leonardo’s technique and the myth of Mona Lisa. Visitors, particularly students, should gain a greater appreciation of the Da Vinci masterpiece.
Rodin-Web.org purports to be the world’s largest website on Auguste Rodin. It contains an overview of ca. 220 public Rodin collections, biographical data, extensive bibliography, image database, links to useful resources, email network. Rodin-Web constitutes an art-historical database, an Internet guide, and an online forum at the same time.