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Best Websites: Art & Art History

Art History

American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life, 1765-1915
This site presents the history of American vernacular painting from the Colonial era until the early 20th century. Includes portraiture, scenes from everyday life and themes (like the taste for European art in the late 19th and early 20th centuries). Also features the works of prominent American artists who lived primarily in Europe, such as Mary Cassatt, or those who traveled widely, such as John Singer Sargent.

The Getty Research Institute: Art & Architecture Thesaurus On Line
Covers over 125,000 terms relating to art, architecture, decorative arts, archival materials, and material culture. For each term, a short definition is provided along with a hierarchy of related terms which can be browsed.

Art History Resources on the Web
Christopher Witcombe maintains this fairly comprehensive art history site. Users may search by art period and style, museums and galleries or by prints and photography. The page is international in scope.

Art In Context
Art in Context was established in 1995 to serve the international fine art community and general public by providing an online reference library for the publication and dissemination of information about artists and where to find their work. Note: this source lists recent and past exhibitions for different artists' work.

Art on the Net
Join fellow artists in sharing works together on the Internet. Enjoy visiting artists studios and roaming the gallery.

Art Project, powered by Google
Google has partnered with (for now) 17 of the world's top museums, including the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy; the National Gallery in London; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Visitors may navigate the site by selecting a particular museum from the home page. Additionally, one or more images from each museum may be viewed at an extremely high resolution (between 7 billion and 14 billion pixels), an option that allows viewers to examine texture and see individual brushstrokes. Certain images will be blurred, again at the discretion of each museum and for copyright reasons. Though the images cannot be downloaded, visitors to the site may create their own Artwork Collection by saving a particular view of any of the more than 1,000 images included within the site.

Art Through Time: A Global View
Explores art, culture, and human history and how they impact each other. Visitors interested in viewing the video segments need only find the topic they are interested in, under "Individual Program Descriptions" on the right hand menu, and then click on the box icon with "VoD" under it. Some of the topics include "Converging Cultures", "History and Memory", and "The Urban Experience".

Offers access in HTML format to fine art scans, information about artists and excerpts from classic art criticism/theory.

Artcyclopedia provides an index of images and information on some 6,000 artists, with a strong emphasis on U.S. and Western European painters and sculptors. Search for a specific artist or browse by movement, medium, subject or nationality. Go to Picture Search to locate images on the Web.

Includes the major 20th century and contemporary visual artists. Search for the artist under the first letter of the artist's last name.

A clearinghouse for Web resources on Art and Architecture.
Extensive information on 23,000 North American artists.

Ed Tech Teacher: Best History Sites > Art History
A gateway to various art history websites, lesson plans, activities, and more.

Eternal Egypt
This site features "high-resolution images, three-dimensional reconstructions of Egyptian monuments and antiquities, as well as virtually-reconstructed environments, panoramic images, and panoramic views of present-day Egypt captured by robotic cameras located from the top of Karnak Temple to the streets of Old Cairo." Access images and information about Egyptian artifacts and architecture using a map, timeline, topics, or related methods. Includes a glossary. Searchable. In English, French, and Arabic. From IBM and the Egyptian government.

Inscribing Meaning: Writing + Graphic Systems in African Art
This site explores the relationships between African art and the communicative powers of language, graphic systems and the written word. Offered by the National Museum of African Art, this exhibit looks at how various writing traditions have communicated a wide range of ideas, such as those regarding religious traditions, cultural activities, and so on. The exhibit is divided into sections titled "Ways of Knowing", "Inscribing the Body", "Sacred Scripts", and "Writing Politics".

Mother of All Art and Art History Links Page
Hosted by the School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan, this site acts as a gateway to a number of art history resources. Check here for a list of art history departments, research resources, visual collections resources, image collections and online art, digital art, fine art schools and departments, art museums, and textual and linguistic resources.

National Museum of American Illustration
Includes a virutal tour of the museum which devotes itself to American illustrators who worked during the "Golden Age of American Illustration" (1870-1965). Works by artists such as Rockwell, Wyeth, and Gibson can be viewed.

Sculptor.Org: A Comprehensive Resource for Sculptors
Despite having some broken links, this site is useful for new or accomplished sculptors, and organizations or persons interesting in acquiring materials or sculpture; furthermore, it is the only free "comprehensive" site on sculpture currently available.

Smithsonian Archives of American Art
Contains an impressive array of American art-related materials including images, oral history interviews and exhibits. Especially useful is the “Collections Online” link, which allows users to find complete holdings of selected artists.

Timeline of Art History (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
A chronological, geographical, and thematic exploration of the history of art from around the world, as illustrated especially by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection. 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. Other features include a special topics category and a tutorial for first time users of the site.

World Wide Art Resources
One of the largest and most comprehensive gateways to the arts, including museums, exhibitions, agencies, publications, history, employment and supplies.

Updated 1/10/19