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Internet sites for art museums
Many museums have extensive websites and highly developed online collections. Several museums are listed below. You may find other relevant resources by searching the Internet for museums in specific countries. The resources linked below were chosen specifically for excellent visual content, but include only resources in English.
Cooper Hewitt Museum
The Cooper-Hewitt collection is international in scope, includes both historic and contemporary design, and includes one-of-a-kind and mass-produced items. The collection focuses on drawings, prints and graphic works; product design, textiles, and wall coverings.
Guggenheim Museum – Online Collections
Excellent resource for the study of international contemporary art and artists.
Metropolitan Museum of Art Online Collections
Outstanding online collections from the Met. Categories include: Islamic Art, Decorative Arts, American Painting & Sculpture, European Painting, the Costume Institute, Drawings & Prints, Africa, Oceania & the Americas, Egyptian Art, Musical Instruments, and others.
MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art
This museum in New York City is considered one of the foremost museums of modern art in the world. The permanent collections include works of drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, prints, and film. This museum has established a reputation for innovative, temporary exhibits of performance and installation art.
Museum of Art & Design (was American Craft Museum) Online Collections
Fantastic resource for the study of American craft and its international influences, including ceramics, textile arts, jewelry, and domestic arts.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Excellent resource for contemporary art, artists, and thematic exhibits.
Smithsonian Museum of American Art
Excellent collection of material about art and artists in the US from multiple national collections housed at the Smithsonian Institute.
Beautifully designed online library of the Tate's collections covering art from 1500 to contemporary works. Searchable by artist name, genres, subject terms, with excellent images and descriptions.
The New Museum
Excellent resource on contemporary art, artists, and cutting-edge thematic exhibits.
Whitney Museum of American Art Online Collections
Excellent resource for research on contemporary art and artists in the US.
Internet sites for art and art history
Excellent image database developed by staff at the Watzek Library at Lewis & Clark College in Portland focuses on contemporary ceramic work. Search by method, material, artist name, object type, and even temperature! This is a beautiful site with great inspiration for ceramic artists.
The resources below offer additional information about the history of art. Some sites provide timelines or images to supplement the descriptions at museum websites.
Artcyclopedia offers brief biographies of artists and description of art movements. Three search methods are available: artists by name, art works by title, and art museums. Although the text and descriptions are brief, the links to other relevant web sites are plentiful.
Beautifully designed, this site has descriptions and examples of work from over 25,000 artists, including many contemporary artists. Artsy relates artists to each other and to art historical movements and contemporary styles through the Art Genome Project. There is a commercial element to the site, but it does not detract from the content. Artsy is free but requires login.
Bibliography of the History of Art and Répertoire International de la Littérature de l'Art
The Getty Research Institute provides access to the Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA) and to the Répertoire international de la littérature de l'art (RILA) for no charge on its Web site. These databases, searchable together, cover material published between 1975 and 2007. BHA and RILA contain citations and abstracts for all types of research publications in art history and include citations in foreign languages. These databases do not provide the full text of the articles.
This online museum is an initiative of the Flemish Art Collection and is part of the Flemish Art Collection Website.
Google Art Project
A unique collaboration of over 150 acclaimed art museums in 40 countries. The search capabilities are very clunky and it is recommended to use the Search by Museum category to browse. Create and share your own "collections."
Metropolitan Museum of Art -- Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
Outstanding resource for research on many art historical periods including ancient Egypt artifacts, Greek and Roman art, Byzantine, Renaissance, Asian and Central Asian art, 19th Century art movements, fashion, weaponry, and many other topics up to the early 20th century.
Mother of All Art and Art History Links
Developed by the University of Michigan School of Art and Design, Mother of All is an extensive set of links to research resources, image collections, online digital art, art schools, art departments, and art museums.
Museum of Modern Art Online Learning
Outstanding resource for research on modern art and its influences worldwide, up to the present.
Smarthistory.org is a free and open, not-for-profit, art history textbook using multimedia to deliver unscripted conversations between art historians about the history of art.
About using Wikipedia
Wikipedia is a great tool for a summary of a topic. Wikipedia content is constantly revised, and entries vary in quality. Some of the content is excellent, some is questionable.
Many educators disapprove of the use of Wikipedia. Why?
- Wikipedia entries are anonymous. You have no way of knowing if the author is well-known in the subject area.
- Although some of the content is written by subject experts, other entries may be inadequate or incorrect.
- Articles in Wikipedia may be changed or deleted between viewings.
- For research papers, authoritative resources are required, so it is necessary to consult published books and articles.
However, you can use Wikipedia in a way that benefits your research process.
- Review the article to get general information and terms you can use as keywords for further searching.
- Look at the list of references for the article. Sometimes these references can lead you to excellent books or articles that you may find at the Cheng Library or in one of the Library's journals.
- The Web links at the end of an article are often very useful. You may find related articles and important websites in this list of links.
- As you read Wikipedia articles, you may read notations that call for more evidence or indicate that revisions are needed. These instructive notations may indicate portions of the entry that are inadequate.
- Don't reference Wikipedia articles in your paper, unless you are pointing out something specific to Wikipedia.
Jeff Koons's Gazing Ball (Diana)
Jeff Koons, Gazing Ball (Diana) (detail). From the book Jeff Koons: Gazing Ball, published by David Zwirner, New York, 2014
Evaluating Internet resources
You may find an interesting website using Google or another Internet browser. However, not all web sites provide credible, unbiased information. The categories listed below are just five of the criteria used to assertain the validity of web resources. These guidelines will help you to determine the reliability of a web site.
Is the information provided relevant to your research purpose?
Does the information provided by the site contribute a meaningful perspective to your research question?
Is the information significant and appropriate for your research?
Does the website seem objective in the presentation of the inforamtion?
Does the author state the goals for this site?
Does the content inform, educate or persuade?
If the author is affiliated with an institution (government, university, business, etc.), does this affiliation bias the information presented?
Currency or Timeliness
When was this page created?
Is there a revision /creation date?
Do the links work?
Is the content of the site up-to-date?
For more in-depth information on evaluating websites, see: Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask from UC Berkeley - Teaching Library Internet Workshops.