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Just Three More Days! MFA Lets You Listen And Learn Free


I'm writing just a quickie on this, because there's a time limit. About six weeks ago, I received an interesting press release from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, headlined MFA PUBLICATIONS DEBUTS ITS FIRST HIGHLIGHTS SERIES E-BOOKS, MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND ARTS OF KOREA. They were "full-color, multimedia-enhanced digital books," for $9.99 each. The musical instrument one seemed especially intriguing because it promised 25 audio and 23 video clips accompanying the text. It features more than 100 instruments in the museum's … [Read more...]

Form And Landscape: The Huntington’s Experiment With An Online Exhibition


Since May 1, the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Garden has been presenting an online exhibition that is part of the Getty Center's Pacific Standard Time Modern Architecture in LA initiative. Since everyone says we're going to be having more of them (online exhibitions), I decided to find out how this one was going. It's called Form and Landscape: Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Basin, 1940-1990, and it had a rich reserve to draw on: an archive of 70,000 photographs donated to the Huntington in 2006 by … [Read more...]

Everything’s Up to Date In Vatican City


The Vatican's first foray into the Venice Biennale this year isn't its only recent venture in the "contemporary" art world, if you define contemporary as state-of-the art: if you go to the Vatican Museums's Gregorian Etruscan Museum, you can now enter a digital recreation, sort of, of the Regolini-Galassi Etruscan tomb, a site northwest of Rome that was discovered in 1836 and dates to between 600 and 650 BC. Artifacts from the tomb, which included silver pieces, gold jewelry and bronze cauldrons, eventually were sold to the Vatican, and are now … [Read more...]

How The Web Is Changing the Museum World


My headline is way too broad -- one could write a book, or at least a long white paper, on how the web is changing the museum world. And I'm not talking about museum websites. But here are three disparate ways we've seen change in the last few days. 1) Last week, the BBC reported that a crowd-sourcing site it started with the UK's public collections -- called Your Paintings (I reported on that initiative here last year) -- led to the discovery of an unknown van Dyke. Previously, the portrait was considered to be a copy; covered in dirt, it … [Read more...]

Why Isn’t The Met’s Chinese Exhibition On Its Website?


It was months ago when I first learned that the Metropolitan Museum of Art* was organizing an exhibition from its permanent collection to send to China. It came to pass in February, when Earth, Sea and Sky: Nature in Western Art -- Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened in Beijing, at the National Museum of China. Billed as exploring "the grand theme of nature as it has been depicted by painters, sculptors, and decorative artists in Europe, America, and the Near East, from antiquity to the present day," the show was … [Read more...]

What Happened At Google’s Art Hangout?

Well, I didn't see it myself, yet, but the commenters on the Google + site for its new Art Talks series, which I wrote about here, seemed mostly satisfied. One man, from Italy wrote: "...this is a very interesting project. We would like to air the next episodes of the Google Art Project live on national TV in Italy, especially the Art Talk with the London National Gallery with Caroline Campbell, Curator of Italian Paintings before 1500. Do you think this could be possible? If so, can I ask you to help me get the proper … [Read more...]

“Art Talks” Tonight, On Google +

Tower of Babel

So what are you doing tonight at 8 p.m., EST? Want to hang out, talking about art with someone from the Museum of Modern Art? Google hopes so. Someone there obviously see value in adding features about art, because the Google Hangout venture of the Google Art Project, scheduled to debut this evening, is the start of a series called "Art Talks." (That's the official announcement.)  These regularly scheduled online talks are designed to explore masterpieces, according to an account on Mashable, though the first tranche seems a bit broader than … [Read more...]

The Tate Recommends Art For You And Me


Did you click on that link to the Tate in my recent post about Becoming van Gogh in Denver? I did. And I was surprised by two features of the Tate website. Aside from showing me a good reproduction of the drawing I wanted you to see, the museum supplied, beneath the van Gogh, "Other works of art you may be interested in." Amazon and other commercial sites use this technology (and they don't always get it right), but this was either the first time I noticed it on a museum website or a relatively new development. I was eager to see what other … [Read more...]

Museum Websites Are Getting Better, But I Have Two Pet Peeves


While I was checking around on museum websites the other day to see which ones would be open on Jan. 1 and which would not, I noticed that many museums have updated their websites in recent months, mostly for the good.  Some have been radically redesigned and show off their art handsomely. A few look a tad corporate to me. And everyone's got moving images (which is bad news only if they take a long time to load). But I noticed two big deficiencies. On some, it's actually hard to find out visiting hours and, worse, admission fees. In a few … [Read more...]

Jim Cuno Takes On The Art History World


I'd never heard of an online publication called The Daily Dot until it was called to my attention yesterday because, of all things, the president of the Getty Trust -- Jim Cuno -- had written an op-ed piece for the site.  And in what seems strange to me, his piece has more Facebook likes (262 at this writing) than any other op-ed on the new opinion page -- weird considering the esoteric subject. But maybe, perhaps, not quite so weird because Cuno chastises art historians for being behind when it comes to digital technology, and the site is … [Read more...]

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