Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Art as Old Lover

I'm going to keep going on this image-rich vein for a while. I'm on a summit, and can only come down from here, and then will go into words and more things you have to work on a bit. 
But now. Art. Art to stare at. Old art. Established art. Of course there is a lot of new, exciting, daring, interesting art online right now, too - and I'll cover that later, but not today. Today I want to share a few of the places I go when I need to visit old friends and lovers...
Of course there's this place: 
Metropolitan Museum of Art - but you've probably never heard of it, right? (There's an assumed winking emoticon there, by the way) Well, I had never explored its website until a long standing obsession with The Unicorn Tapestries tipped me towards it. 

Here you can explore in a very research-trippy environment all the ca. 1495-1505 goodness is there for you to explore, and if you've read The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracey Chevalier this activity will have deeper meaning for you. There are other "Explore and Learn" pages,  as well as a Timeline of Art History that makes me giddy. These pages run the gambit interest from the precocious preschooler to the seasoned art aficionado, so don't feel silly exploring them (or intimidated). Of course, there's also the museum's collection database, I could get lost in there (much like Claudia in From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler). 

Other "places" I explore are listed below, and for obvious reasons, they are beautiful and worth more than a passing glance. Be willing to dig a bit, some of the website's treasures aren't particularly out in the open. I've tried to hyperlink these to the collection pages, for ease of movement...

The National Gallery - UK
Met Museum's Collection Database
Explore and Learn - Met Museum
Art Institute of Chicago  
The Louvre - Kaleidescope (easy to navigate database - pieces by theme)
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection

Peacocks and Peonies- La Farge

The Child's Bath - Cassatt

Vase in the Form of a Woman's Head - 
So, go and explore some of these databases; search for old lovers and find new ones. Find old friends. If you're like me and live far away from them in person, you can reunite online. Facebook for art lovers. 

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