If you are a culture vulture like yours truly, you probably yen for the escape that only the art museum can provide. And if you are like me, you are probably also strapped for time. But courage! The library once again can come to your aid.
Take, for example, The ART Collection through OhioLink’s Digital Resource Commons. You can search for works of art at museums throughout the country. A simple search, and voila! You can view Rembrandt from the comfort of your own home. An added bonus: you can alter your view of an artwork by zooming in or out, panning or flipping. That means no worries about ruining it by getting too close and accidentally touching the canvas. You may, however, smudge your screen if you are staring way too close and intently. The ART Collection is a database, so please have your card ready for home enjoyment–it’ll ask you for your card number.
If you like things the old-fangled way and don’t trust them infernal computation machines, you can stride into the library and check out a book. Here are a few suggestions:
Smithsonian Q & A: American Art and Artists- presents a concise history of art in America, all in an easy-to-read format with plenty of illustrations.
30,000 Years of Art- A behemoth of a tome (and that’s an understatement) that features art from around the world from neolithic sculpture and painting to postmodernism. Difficult to lug, but well worth the exercise for mind and body.
Michel Nuridsany’s 100 Masterpieces of Painting- This lush book features works from prehistory to the contemporary. While I don’t always agree with the author’s picks, the large illustrations make excellent eye candy.
501 Great Artists- A chronological listing of important Western (and some Eastern) artists since the Middle Ages. A great resource for those who are just delving into art history or just want to expand their general knowledge.
Civilisation: A Personal View by Lord Clarke- This documentary series from the 1960s is still considered groundbreaking. Featured is a young Patrick Stewart acting in a scene from Hamlet.
Until next time, that’s all ye know on earth and all ye need to know.