Everyone loves a good rabbit hole; something I am consistently reminded of when I get on Soundcloud. More than ever, there are plenty of endless online resources for the study and enjoyment of art, and the past year saw more and more museums going online. Below are a few of my favorite art rabbit holes.
Freer Sackler - They started 2015 by putting their entire collection online. They’re still beta testing, but so far, being able to browse over 40,000 works of Asian Art is keeping me busy (I’m brushing up on my antiquities).
The Getty - They continue to digitize resources and last year was a banner year for them as they put over 250 of their publications, spanning over 40 years, online. And they’re only getting started.
The Met - It’s the Met, so you know, it’s legit. With more than 1500 publications online, this is another serious cache for art junkies with what they’ve published over the last 50 years.
BOMB - The magazine’s archive is rich with artist interviews and other interesting long-form pieces spanning film, literature, music and art. This is the only art magazine I’ve ever subscribed to, probably been at least a decade now, and it has always been worth it.
ICAA-MFAH - If you’re into Latin American or Latino art, then Museum of Fine Arts Houston has got you covered. This first-of-its-kind project has over 5400 documents and 131 shared collections. Orale.
LOC - It’s the Library of Congress, enough said. If you live in D.C., then online isn’t your only option for accessing one of the premier libraries (online or otherwise) in the world, which includes especially strong resources on folk art, photography and prints.
Smithsonian - Millions of online resources from their collections, libraries and research institutions.
There are an insane amount of art resources online these days, and this is not an attempt to capture that universe. I like getting lost clicking, and these are some of my favorite places to start. I usually pick an art form or subject that is specific and which I don’t know anything about, and then just search across platforms to see what I find.
For example, this morning, I started with a publication from the Getty site titled “Book Arts of Isfahan: Diversity and Identity in Seventeenth-Century Persia.” Then I did a search for “Isfahan” across most of the above sites and got hits with the Met, Freer Sackler, Smithsonian and LOC. Smithsonian was interesting because it pulled up the Freer Sackler finds, but also pulled up hits from the Museum of Natural History, music archives from the Museum of American History (Duke Ellington composed a piece called “Isfahan” which I then found and listened to on YouTube). BOMB didn’t yield anything on Isfahan, so I substituted “Persia[n]” and got some interesting finds…and there went a few hours this morning learning about Persian arts and culture.