The American Museum of Natural History will unlock thousands of old photos from their vault, they announced this week. The new online image database (officially launching on Monday the 28th) will take you behind the curtain, delivering images that span the 145-year history of the Museum. The collection features over 7,000 images—many never before seen by the public—and includes photos, rare book illustrations, drawings, notes, letters, art, and Museum memorabilia. They say "it’s like stepping into a time machine and seeing a long ago NYC or just catching glimpses of ghosts from a forgotten world now seen only by researchers and Museum staff." Previously. [more inside]
The Memory of the Netherlands is an image library making available the online collections of museums, archives and libraries. The library provides access to images from the collections of more than one hundred institutions and includes photographs, sculptures, paintings, bronzes, pottery, modern art, drawings, stamps, posters and newspaper clippings. In addition there are also video and sound recordings to see and listen to. The Memory of the Netherlands offers an historic overview of images from exceptional collections, organized by subject to provide easy accessSearch 833928 objects from 133 collections from 100 institutions.
For the past three months, the Art Institute of Chicago has been putting their Launchpad videos, designed to provide more context of museum-goers at the Institutes, on YouTube. The short videos include modern artists recreating art using ancient, medieval, and newer techniques in mosaics, glassblowing, pottery, painting, silversmithing, marquetry, and coin production plus conservation of art. There are also a few videos focusing on individual pieces in the collection.
On April 13, the Rijksmuseum will reopen to the public after a renovation and makeover that took five years longer than expected and went tens of millions of dollars over budget. The museum's most famous painting was also one of the last to be restored to its original location: Rembrandt's "The Night Watch". Sponsor ING Bank celebrated with a unique and special flashmob. [more inside]
The permanent collection of the (US) National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago contains more than 2,500 pieces of art by 250 artists, all of which can be seen at NVAM Collection Online. The site includes biographical material on the artists who created the work. Featured Artwork. A small selection. (Via. Images at links in this post may be nsfw, and/or disturbing to some viewers.)
Savagery - Arcadia - Consummation - Destruction - Desolation. The five stages of The Course of Empire, a fascinating quintet of paintings by 19th century artist and Hudson River School pioneer Thomas Cole. In it, an imaginary settlement by the sea becomes the stage for all the dreams and nightmares of civilized life, a rural woodland grown in time into a glorious metropolis... only to be ransacked by corruption, war, and a terrible storm, at last reduced to a forgotten ruin. At times deceptively simple, each landscape teems with references to cultural and philosophical markers that dominated the era's debate about the future of America. Interactive analysis of the series on a zoomable canvas is available via the excellent Explore Thomas Cole project, which also offers a guided tour and complete gallery of the dozens of other richly detailed and beautifully luminous works by this master of American landscape art.
Abstract artist Ilya Bolotowsky is represented in quite a few museums. But a painting of his, Vertical Diamond, appeared in a more unusual location,, was snapped up for bargain price of $9.99 and was nearly recycled into pet paintings. A label on the back of the painting from the Weatherspoon Art Museum led the museum's registrars to dig into archived files and track some of the painting's history before it found itself in the bargain bin.
The Elements of Drawing: John Ruskin's Teaching Collection at Oxford digitizes the drawings, engravings, and paintings that John Ruskin collected (and created) for use in teaching drawing. The objects can be viewed separately or in their teaching order and context, with Ruskin's own catalog annotations. The site also suggests how modern art students can put the collection to use, with instructional video and a variety of drawing exercises. Ruskin also assembled another fine art collection for working-class viewers in Sheffield; you can see that collection at the Museum of Sheffield, which also helps sponsor a digital reconstruction of the original museum building, the St. George's Museum.
There is currently a far reaching retrospective at the MOMA in New York on painter Willem de Kooning, that most deeply European of the Abstract Expressionists who drew the international art world's attention to New York back in the post war years. He's most famous as the creator of one of the few paintings of the 20th century that stills retains the ability to shock. But, as this quite interesting MOMA website shows, there was a lot more to his enterprise than most people realize. My first post here by the way.
HEIST: Paintings by Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani and Fernand Léger, worth ~$100 million, stolen! (Washington Post link) [more inside]
Don't Eat the Pictures! Sesame Street gets locked inside of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. [more inside]
Tales from the Land of Dragons. 100 years of Chinese paintings. From the overview :- 'In China, painting is one of the "Three Perfections," linked with calligraphy and poetry as the most refined of artistic endeavors. This exhibition ... focuses on the years in which the great traditions of Chinese painting were established, during the Tang, Song, and Yuan dynasties ... '
Schplerter. Schplutz! Sklop, splerd, and splood, too! No, I'm not cussing you out. I am telling you to get thee hence to the Museum for Non-Primate Art, where you can learn what these terms mean, as well as see cats dance and paint!