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Feb 23 2011

The Spanish Manner: Drawings from Ribera to Goya

Inspired by the technical and aesthetic achievements of Italy and Flanders, Spanish draftsmen in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries created works that continue to impress modern viewers. The online exhibition was designed to complement an in situ exhibit at the Frick Museum in New York, and it features works by Goya, Ribera, and Murillo. On this site, visitors can look over introductory essays on the exhibit and read over a nice piece on the emotional and artistic content of works by Goya. Moving on, the “Podcasts” area contains several podcasts, including a conversation with curators to discuss several key works in the exhibition. The site is rounded out by an exhibition checklist which allows users to view the various works here.

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Feb 23 2011

Abstract Expressionist New York

This exhibition from MoMA maps the artistic and cultural impact of the Abstract Expressionists onto the geography of New York City. The site’ s introduction points out that it was these artists who “catapulted New York City to the center of the international art world during the 1950s.” MoMA’s collection was also profoundly affected by Abstract Expressionism, since the museum began acquiring works by these artists in the 1940s. The exhibition website showcases seven Abstract Expressionist masterpieces, by Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, Philip Guston, Mark Rothko, and Ad Reinhardt. The homepage background is a map (that links to a larger map with more locations) with clickable, numbered, Abstract Expressionist hangouts. For example, click on #9 and youll find the Waldorf Cafeteria on Sixth Avenue off Eighth Street, where the artists used to congregate and sit for hours over cups of coffee until the management ran them off and they began to frequent other establishments, such as #11 on the map, the Cedar Street Tavern. To enhance the experience even further for those readers in New York or heading there for a visit, there is the deluxe AbExNY Visitor Package that includes admission, exhibition catalogue, and voucher to eat at a MoMA cafi. There is even an AbExNY iPhone app, so you can walk around NYC with the exhibition in your pocket.

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Oct 05 2010

The Bridges Organization

The connection between art and mathematics is well known, and the Bridges Organization has been bringing together these two worlds since 1998. The group started in Kansas, and since then they have traveled to cities in North America and Europe. On this site, visitors can learn about their past conferences, and view some of their galleries of images. The “Virtual Museum” area is a real treat, and visitors can look at spherical paintings, geometric sculptures, and algorithmic visual art. Moving on, the “Educational Resource Center” area features links of interest to educators, including sites dedicated to teaching mathematical thinking through origami and such. The site is rounded out by past conference reports and information about their leadership.

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Sep 28 2010

BBC: A History of the World

This website from the BBC and the British Museum takes another important step into moving the museum experience online. People usually go to museums to see historic objects, and that’s exactly what A History of the World makes possible, via the web. For example, one week’s theme was status symbols, and the object of the day was the David Vases, two Chinese blue- and-white porcelain vessels, named after their most famous owner, Sir Percival David (1892-1964). Visitors can listen to a short program on the vases, episode 64 or read the transcript; view the vases on a timeline of history; and view a set of images of the vases from all angles. Because the site is operating in the era of online communities, not only is it possible
to view 100 objects from the British Museum, but anyone who signs up for the site can also contribute objects as well - see Dolly’s wardrobe, a set of paper dolls with costumes, or the typewriter that belonged to author Arthur Ransome.

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Sep 14 2010

UWM Book Arts Collection

Here’s a chance to get a look at 31 artists’ books, in digital form, without having to make a trip to the Special Collections Department at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Included in the collection are examples of many different book and paper arts techniques, such as papermaking, different styles of hand-binding, and page design. Browsing the collection works better than searching, because it’s a bit difficult to predict what terms will result in a successful search in a collection as varied as this. The books have been scanned carefully, so that it is possible to not only read every page but also to see the style of the covers and binding details. For example, “Book” by Brian Borchardt, consists of a series of short quotes related to books, including the well-known Jorge Luis Borges, “I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.”

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Sep 14 2010

Cincinnati Art Museum: The Collection

The Cincinnati Art Museum has a long and storied history, and their collection includes works by a variety of artistic masters, old and new. This website provides interested parties with access to items from their permanent collection, courtesy of a grant from the Harold C. Schott Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The works here are organized into ten different themes, including “Photographs”, “Art of Africa”, and “American Decorative Arts”. The “American Decorative Arts” is worth a look, and it contains items from the Rockwood Pottery Company, which was established in Cincinnati in 1880, and is still in business. In the “European Painting & Sculpture” visitors shouldn’t miss works like the portrait of Philip II by Titian. Visitors will also appreciate the easy to use search engine and the accession and provenance details which are provided for each item.

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Jun 29 2010

Leonardo da Vinci and the Art of Sculpture

The website from the Getty Museum accompanies the exhibition “Leonardo da Vinci and the Art of Sculpture: Inspiration and Invention”, organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and on display in Los Angeles until June 20th, 2010. The website features a slide show with images of 11 works of art, some by Leonardo and some by other artists, including older artists who influenced Leonardo and his followers. An image of Donatello’s Bearded Prophet, 1418-20, is accompanied by audio discussing Donatello’s impact on Leonardo, while the last three slides examine the master/pupil relationship between Leonardo and a younger artist, Giovanni Francesco Rustici, 1475-1554. Visitors to the site can also listen to an introduction to the exhibition that lays out its overall intent from co-curator Julian Brooks.

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Jun 21 2010

Wyndham Lewis’s Art Criticism in The Listener, 1946-1951

Wyndham Lewis was an important and influential British artist in the twentieth century, and he was also well known for his art criticism and fiction. This digital collection sponsored by the Arts & Humanities Research Council brings together his art criticism from The Listener magazine between 1946 and 1951. The project was directed by the University of Plymouth and the University of La Rioja, and it also contains selected essays by Jan Cox on Lewis’s criticism and a detailed introductory essay by Alan Munton.
Visitors can click on “The Articles” area to read Lewis’s writings and also use the “Artists Referred to in Articles and Letters” heading to look for Lewis’s references to Salvador Dali, Francis Bacon, and Henri Matisse. Any visitors with an interest in art history and criticism will find much to admire and enjoy at this site.

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Jun 21 2010

Reading: Harvard Views of Readers, Readership, and Reading History

Reading has been around a long time, but as Robert Darnton of Harvard University suggests, “Reading has become one of the hottest subjects in the humanities, perhaps because it seems especially intriguing now that so much of it has shifted from the printed page to the computer screen.” It’s a nice introduction to this online exploration of the intellectual, cultural, and political history of reading as found in the holdings of the Harvard Libraries. Within this collection visitors can look at personally annotated books owned by Keats and Melville and glance over the historical textbooks that document the pedagogical basis for reading instruction during the past several centuries. Visitors can use topical headings like “Learning to Read” and “Reading Collectively” as a point of entry into these items. One section that shouldn’t be missed is the “Book Clubs and Associations” area, as it features records from the Cambridge Book Club and recommended works from a number of other groups. All told, the collection includes over 250,000 pages of text, and it’s a site that visitors will definitely want to visit more than once.

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May 10 2010

Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present, March 14 - May 31

The live video web feed shows a woman with shoulder-length blond hair, wearing a white blouse and blue jeans tucked into brown boots, seated at a wooden table across from another woman with long dark hair in a braid that falls over her shoulder and down her front. The dark-haired woman is wearing a long red dress, and has a mystical air about her. They do not speak, but their chests rise and fall with their breathing. Finally the blond bows to the dark-haired woman and rises.   The dark-haired woman stretches and shifts in her chair. Another woman sits down in the blonde’s spot. This is an example of what visitors to the website for the exhibition “Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present” at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) might see in roughly 20 minutes of watching, during museum hours. Abramovic sits in silence at a table at MoMA’s Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium and invites visitors to take the seat across from her for as long as they wish.   The artist will not respond, but MoMA has interviewed museum goers who spent time sitting with Abramovic, and posted their responses on its Inside/Out blog. The show is a retrospective of 40 years of Abramovic’s work, and a crew of almost three dozen was hired in order to present and recreate past performance pieces.

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