Select Topics in Art History
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Art History Web Sites for Select Topics
Egyptian Art in the Age of the Pyramids
The Metropolitan Museum of Art's "Egyptian Art in the Age of the Pyramids" is a comprehensive exhibition of Old Kingdom art. It includes approximately 250 objects from more than thirty museums in Egypt, Europe, and North America and forty-one are presented at this site. You can learn about the Old Kingdom in the introduction or explore the individual works by selecting one of the following themes: Pyramid complexes, tombs of officials, Images of Royalty, Images of Officials and their Families, Portraiture, Images of Artisans and Occupations, Objects, and Daily Life.
Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus
The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus explores through art the emergence of the world's first city-states and empires in Syria and Mesopotamia during the third millennium B.C. The site also relates these developments to artistic and cultural developments from the eastern Aegean to the Indus valley and Central Asia. Famous sites of the ancient world covered include the Royal Graves of Ur, the palace and temples of Mari, the citadel of Troy, and the great cities of the Indus Valley civilization. The exhibition includes approximately 400 works of extraordinary sculpture, jewelry, seals, relief carving, metalwork, and cuneiform tablets. There is a special, in-depth feature designed to complement the exhibition, an essay from the exhibition catalog, and samples from the accompanying Audio Guide.
The New Greek Galleries
The Metropolitan Museum of Art's The New Greek Galleries is an extensive collection of Greek art. You can explore the galleries online by following four interconnected paths: a timeline illustrated with signal works of art, a menu of eighteen art objects selected for this online preview and accompanied by explanatory text, a geographical map of the Mediterranean area where the works of art were produced, and a gallery map coupled with descriptions of the newly designed spaces and a selection of art objects.
Ancient Near East and the Ancient Mediterranean World
The University of Chicago Library preserves deteriorated research materials relating to the history, art, and archaeology of the Ancient Near East and the ancient Mediterranean world. The project focuses on materials published between 1850 - 1950, drawn from two of the Library's complimentary collections: the Ancient Near East and Classics Collections.
The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia, 1256-1353
The Metropolitan Museum of Art's The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia, 1256-1353 features images, audio, and essays related to the exhibition. This exhibition displays more than 200 outstanding examples of illustrated manuscripts, the decorative arts, and architectural decoration. Accompanied by a catalog.
Oriental Institute Virtual Museum
The Oriental Institute Museum is a showcase of the history, art and archaeology of the ancient Near East. The Museum exhibits major collections of antiquities from Egypt, Mesopotamia, Iran, Syria, Palestine, and Anatolia. The Oriental Institute Virtual Museum makes use of a series of Apple QuickTime VR panoramic movies to take you on a tour of each of the Museum's galleries, accompanied by descriptions of each alcove and their artifacts. Where appropriate, links to related materials, such as the Museum's Highlights From The Collections, the Photographic Archives, and relevant Oriental Institute Archaeology and Philology projects elaborate on the most significant objects in greater detail.
Genesis: Ideas of Origin in African Sculpture
The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Genesis: Ideas of Origin in African Sculpture explores the following questions: How did the world begin? What is our ancestry? What is the source of agriculture and of kingship, and other societal institutions? The exhibition explores how artists in distinct African cultures have interpreted these ideas and sought to answer these questions, with a focus on classical sculptural form, the ci wara antelope headdress of the Bamana people. You can see videos illustrating headdress performances and read the transcript of a lecture presented in conjunction with this exhibition.
Art and Oracle: A Scholarly Resource of African Art and Rituals of Divination
The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Art and Oracle: A Scholarly Resource of African Art and Rituals of Divination features objects with color photographs, basic information, and explanatory text. There are fifty works - grouped into eight categories - from the "Art and Oracle" exhibition catalogue, an exhibition list sorted by African cultures, a group of divination objects in South African collections, a selection of related works from other parts of the world in the Met's collection, a map of sub-Saharan Africa, four essays on different aspects of divination in Africa, a glossary of principal terms, and a bibliography of sources on African divination.
In the Footsteps of Marco Polo: A Journey through the Met to the Land of the Great Khan
The Metropolitan Museum of Art's In the Footsteps of Marco Polo offers an interactive map, audio clips, activities and reading suggestions. Use the online Image Explorer to review the works of art you've seen on this journey through art from Venice to China.
The Glory of Byzantium
The Metropolitan Museum of Art's The Glory of Byzantium includes many images from the MMA's collection and can be accessed in a number of ways. You can explore Byzantine works of art, investigate a theme in Byzantine art, and probe the history of Byzantium. You can also view the works of art in a visual timeline. There is a glossary as well as a special resource area for teachers.
Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur
A presentation by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, this is an exhibition from the School of Art and Design at San Jose State University featuring 157 Sumerian objects that were excavated by the British archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley, director of the joint excavations of the British Museum and the University of Pennsylvania Museum at ancient Ur in the 1920s and 1930s.
Web Gallery of Art
The Web Gallery of Art is a virtual museum and search-able database of European painting and sculpture of the Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque periods (1100-1850), currently containing over 15,400 reproductions. Biographies, commentaries, and guided tours are available. Furthermore, a search engine allows you to find pictures in the collection using various search criteria. The guided tours make it easier to visit the Gallery and to understand the artistic and historical relationship between the artwork and artists included in the collection.
Cleopatra: A Multimedia Guide to the Ancient World
Cleopatra is an interactive guide to the Ancient Art collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. "Stories" accompany the objects, and there are lesson plans for grades 4-12.
Huntington Photographic Archive of Buddhist and Related Art
The John C. and Susan L. Huntington Photographic Archive of Buddhist and Related Art of the College of the Arts, Ohio State University contains nearly 300,000 original color slides and black and white and color photographs of art and architecture throughout Asia. Countries covered in the collection include India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, China, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, and Myanmar (Burma). Works range from approximately 2500 B.C.E. to the present, and documentation includes contemporary religious activities in various parts of Asia. The Archive documents the art and architecture of these countries in situ, as well as works of art found in most major Asian, European, and American museums. This broad, yet detailed collection contains predominantly Buddhist material, but also includes Hindu, Jain, Islamic, and other works.
Pharaohs of the Sun: Akhenaten, Nefertiti, Tutankhamen
Pharaohs of the Sun: Akhenaten, Nefertiti, Tutankhamen, from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, captures the revolutionary epoch known as the Amarna Age (1353-1336 B.C.). This exhibition brings together over 250 objects from museums all over the world - from Cairo and Luxor to Paris, Berlin, and Boston. View twenty selected highlights that trace the story of Akhenaten, his city, and his legacy. Linked to each of these highlights are related objects with which you can explore the exhibition further.
The Perseus Classics collection integrates textual and visual materials on the Archaic and Classical Greek world and the Roman world. The collection contains extensive and diverse resources including primary and secondary texts, site plans, digital images, and maps. Art and archaeology catalogs document a wide range of objects: over 1,500 vases, over 1,800 sculptures and sculptural groups, over 1,200 coins, hundreds of buildings from nearly 100 sites and over 100 gems.
ABZU: Guide to Resources for the Study of the Ancient Near East Available on the Internet
Abzu is a guide to the rapidly increasing and widely distributed data relevant to the study and public presentation of the Ancient Near East via the Internet. Abzu has been available on the Internet since 5 October, 1994. View items recently added to ABZU. The editor of Abzu is Charles E. Jones, Research Archivist and Bibliographer at The Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago.
Theban Mapping Project
An impressive site that focuses on the Theban Necropolis, the Valley of the Kings, the tomb of Rameses II, and Egyptology. It offers maps, a timeline, Q&A's, and updates on the KV5 (Rameses tomb) archeological expedition
The Age of Enlightenment in the Paintings of France's National Museums
The Website offers extensive historical background and information about painters of the Age of Enlightenment as well as images of their paintings found in France's National Museums.
Creating French Culture: Treasures from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
Creating French Culture from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France traces the history of power and culture from Charlemagne (b. 742?-d. 814) to Charles de Gaulle (b. 1890-d. 1970), through the prism of more than 200 "magnificent treasures."
Splendors of Christendom: Worldwide Tour of Churches, Cathedrals and Monasteries
Includes hundreds of images of works of art found in churches, cathedrals, and monasteries from around the world.
Lantern Slides of Classical Antiquity
Bryn Mawr College has a large collection of slides and prints from classical antiquity. These images are not simply classroom aids now, but resources for scholarship.
Vatican Museums, Vatican City
This site offers online tours of the collections of art and antiquities at the Vatican museums. Collections include the Gregorian Egyptian and Etruscan Museums, Raphael's Rooms, the Pinacoteca (Art Gallery), and the Ethnological Missionary Museum. Visitors can examine various rooms in the Vatican, including the Sistine Chapel. Visitors may also take a virtual tour of each room.
Poets, Lovers, and Heroes in Italian Mythological Prints
The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Poets, Lovers, and Heroes in Italian Mythological Prints presents more than 100 woodcuts, engravings, and etchings that extol popular mythological tales. Themes consist of the ancient gods as patrons of music, poetry, and painting and as participants in music competitions; the heroic exploits of Hercules; and the legendary history of Rome.
This website is conceived as a companion to the Islamic galleries at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Intended as a general introduction to Islamic art, it draws upon examples from the museum's comprehensive collection, which includes works from an area extending from southern Spain to Central Asia, ranging in date from the seventh through the nineteenth century.
American Photographs: The First Century
The Smithsonian American Art Museum offers a broad selection of photographs from The Charles Isaacs Collection of American Photography. The images include Civil War images by George Barnard and the Mathew Brady Studio, and western landscapes by Timothy O'Sullivan and William Henry Jackson. There is a mix of familiar and lesser-known photographers and styles of work in order to explore ideas about the influence of photographic culture in America during the years from 1839 to 1939.
Maecenas: Images of Ancient Greece and Rome
The photographs were taken primarily for use in teaching by a professor at the University of Buffalo and can be used for any purpose except a commercial one. This website has been assisted by grants from the Classical Association of the Empire State and the Classical Association of the Atlantic States.
Ancient Near Eastern Art: New Light on an Assyrian Palace
The central gallery of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Gallery for Assyrian Art recreates an audience hall in the palace of Ashurnasirpal II (r. 883-859 B.C.) at Nimrud in northern Iraq. Objects in an adjacent gallery illustrate the ivory carving and other art of the Assyrian empire and its neighbors. Learn more about the palace of Ashurnasirpal II, the city of Nimrud, and the stone reliefs and carved ivories of the Assyrian empire through the following sections: map of Assyrian empire, Excavations at Nimrud, Ivories from the Northwest Palace, and Releifs. View a virtual reality reconstruction and a drawn rendering of the interior of the palace.
The Digital Michelangelo Project
Researchers from Stanford University and the University of Washington are attempting to advance the technology of 3D scanning and place this technology in the service of the humanities by creating a long-term digital archive of some important cultural artifacts. The project focuses on some of Michelangelo's sculptures, including the famous David statue. Check out two photographic essays about a physical replica of the David and download ScanView, a program that lets you "fly around" models of Michelangelo's statues.
The Museum of Antiquities
The Museum of Antiquities is the joint museum of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. It is the principal museum of archaeology in north east England and teaches about the history of the region, especially Hadrian's Wall and the Roman frontier. It has a renowned collection of artifacts, models, and archives relating to the Wall, and a full-scale reconstruction of the Temple to Mithras at Carrawburgh. Other displays illustrate the variety of life in the region from early prehistory to the 17th century. There is a virtual gallery of special exhibits, including Hadrian's Wall and Flints and Stones, with nice images and explanatory text. Also offers an Object of the Month.
The Biography Channel
Biographies of Impressionist artists such as Degas, Monet, Morisot, Pisarro, and Renoir are found here.
Leonardo da Vinci: Master Draftsman
This site by the Metropolitan Museum of Art accompanies an exhibit of drawings by Leonardo da Vinci. The drawings can be examined closely with a zoom feature and the site includes audio commentary, a scholarly bibliography, an introductory essay, and even a discourse of da Vinci's left-handedness.
Treasures of the World: Mona Lisa
Part of the PBS Treasures of the World Series, Mona Lisa is cast as a masterwork of art in an engaging story of crime and discovery. The section revolves around the Mona Lisa's disappearance in 1911 but its true focus lies in Leonardo's technique and the myth of Mona Lisa. Visitors, particularly students, should gain a greater appreciation of the Da Vinci masterpiece.
This biographical resource on the Renaissance artist Michelangelo Buonarroti discusses his life and achievements and offers links to many of his great works. The site has three major sections: Early Life, Mid Years, and Final Days and each section highlights key events of Michelangelo's life as well as his most important works. A concise and useful overview aimed at high school students.
Rodin-Web.org purports to be the world's largest website on Auguste Rodin. It contains an overview of ca. 220 public Rodin collections, biographical data, extensive bibliography, image database, links to useful resources, email network. Rodin-Web constitutes an art-historical database, an Internet guide, and an online forum at the same time.