Enjoy the History of Art?
The History of Art is literally a historical account of an activity or creation made by humankind that is important for its attraction to the senses. Art is an expression of inner creation and can include paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, dance, music, poetry, prose and theatre to name a few. Art can be divided into three main categories being plastic arts, performing arts and practical arts. Plastic art appeals to the emotions by creating something visually beautiful such as a sculpture or an oil-painting; performing art refers to expression of body movement such as in the theatre, music or dancing and practical art is an expression of constructing something such as in architecture, films, fashion or photography. Appreciation of art dates back centuries to Ancient Roman, Egyptian, Greece and China where art was defined in calligraphy, sculpting, bronze-work and pottery through the centuries to the great painters of the time of the Renaissance in Europe. Modern art has given birth to terms such as expressionism, fauvism, cubism, surrealism and minimalism. The sites listed below are all dedicated to the History of Art and whether you have a preference for latter day or modern art, the sites are very useful for finding information and appreciating Art in all its forms.
1. Cambridge University History of Art – http://www.hoart.cam.ac.uk/
This is the site of the History of Art department at Cambridge University. Information about available courses is given along with admissions, details about tutors and information on the department as well as data on the university itself. Key areas of research are medieval art, Renaissance art, Modern day art, 20th century art, British architecture and western culture to name a few. Upcoming events are advertised and full contact details are available on the site.
2. Spartacus Education – http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/art.htm
Spartacus has a very informative section on the History of Art specialising in British Art. Topics can be selected from Art Institutions, Architects and artists from 1600-1950 which are given in an alphabetical list. Each artist has a biography containing links to further information as well as pictures of the most famous paintings.
3. Virtual Library – http://www.chart.ac.uk/vlib/
This is a relatively unknown site, but a valuable one nevertheless since it is a good source for information on the history of art. A collection of links are given leading to museums, history of art groups and galleries. A large selection of images is available along with a list of establishments that have available courses on the subject and students should definitely make use of the section advertising more specialised material.
4. Art History Research Centre – http://www.harmsen.net/ahrc/
AHRC provides key resources for online research to assist art historians in their work. Information can be found in newsgroups, mailing lists, library catalogues and bookstores, collections, universities and article indexes with useful links being provided for each section. The centre was established in 1995 and its aim is to get fellow art historians interested in using the Internet for research purposes.
5. About.com – http://arthistory.about.com
About.com is one of the top sites on the Internet for finding information and the History of Art section is no exception to this rule since it demonstrates a wide range of topics to browse. Categories include Timelines of Art History, Ancient Art History and Medieval, Renaissance, Modern and Contemporary Art. Artists are listed from A-Z and quick tips and video links are given. A section on Works of Art reveals photographs of famous paintings and another section is dedicated to styles of Art.
6. VoS – http://vos.ucsb.edu/browse.asp?id=3404
The Voice of the Shuttle demonstrates General Art History information with visual images, an Artcyclopdia and an Art History Research Centre. Art materials and techniques are discussed with useful links provided leading to galleries and colleges. Art can be searched from each continent around the globe by periods mentioning institutions, organisations and auctions. There are course-syllabi and teaching resources available and suggested links are welcome.
7. Art History Resources – http://arthistoryresources.net
Dr. Christopher L.C.E. Whitcombe is an Art historian with a Ph.D, M.S. and B.A. in Art History. This is his website dedicated to resources on the subject and information can be obtained from books, articles, podcasts, papers, videos, essays and lectures to name a few. The lectures are focused on teaching the History of Art and useful links are provided leading to further information and other Art History sites.
8. All Art – http://all-art.org/
All Art is dedicated to the world of Art History. A visual illustrated history can be viewed and there is a dictionary provided in order to search for art and artists. Information can be obtained from categories such as history of art, prehistoric to Romanesque art, art of the twentieth century, artists that changed the world, architecture and sculpture, photography and classical music. Navigation can be difficult due to the pop-up adverts are very annoying on this site. However, it does contain very valuable information on the History of Art world.
9. Education World – http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/sites/sites053.shtml
Education World has a section exploring the History of Art with tools, templates and worksheets available for studying. Links are provided to other websites for collating information on the Cave of Lascaux, Leonardo Da Vinci and Impressionism. The site’s aim is to educate children in the subject and links are provided leading to the children’s page at the National Gallery and also to SmARTkids. There are lesson-plans and advice is given to teachers regarding resources for coursework.
10. Smarthistory – http://smarthistory.khanacademy.org/
Smarthistory at the Khan Academy is an open resource site for Art History. If you are not sure where to start there’s a beginner’s guide and an index with a host of topics available. Information can be selected by time, artist or style with a long list of possible choices available. There are nearly 300 essays and over 500 videos on the subject and new videos are highlighted. Comments on the blog are welcome after subscription and budding art historians are encouraged to contribute to the material on the site.