What follows is a random assortment of art and antiques related websites that we have visited and enjoyed in the last few weeks. Your discoveries and suggestions are always welcome.
This is, without a doubt, the most useful, free, art research site we have come across. Provided that is, you are interested in one of the 24,000 North American artists covered by the site. If so, the wealth of information available here is remarkable.
The creation of the late Roger Dunbier, and we have to assume dozens of others, askart.com is an excellent example of the vast potential of the Internet for providing this type of reference material. The site is searchable a variety of ways, the primary one being by the artists name. For a more casual search however there are a number of categories that will offer a selection of artists based on their style of painting, their "school," or the prices their works bring. Click on "Notable Sculptors" for example and you get a list of 100 of the most notable of the 3784 sculptors included in the site. Clicking on an artistís name brings up a summary of the information about the artist available on the site, the extent of which can be quite extensive.
The summary for sculptor Paul Manship, for example, includes such details as the fact that there are 83 references to this artist in books, a list of 25 museum holdings, 83 auction records, and an amazing 72 images of the artists work. There are also biographical profiles of each artist culled from a variety of sources.
All of this information is provided with no charge and only minimal intrusion of commercial interests in the form of dealer/gallery lists and links. This site is truly a labor of love, and fortunately, a continuing work in progress. If we gave out stars for these things this one would get five out of five! Bravo!
Interested in the art world of the late 19th and early 20th centuries? If so, this is a great site with an unusual take on a very specific period in the fine arts. More a virtual museum than a reference site, it is like a coffee table book focusing on the "alternative" art movements and lesser known artists and poets of this era.
This is also one of those unusual hybrid sites, non-profit but sponsored by, and with ads for, commercial galleries and other related businesses.
The museum portion of the site includes 1696 paintings representing the work of 183 artists. Not comprehensive by any means, but a variety of art movements and styles are well represented and explained. There is also a poetry portion of the site, which includes 283 poems by 47 poets representing the poetry of the same turn of the century era. Not exactly among the most useful sites due to its limited nature, but very enjoyable and informative to visit. An added bonus if you are among those who like sending e-cards (I am not one of them), the poster business linked to the site has plenty of great visual images available to send for free.
We stumbled across this site, that of the Hunterian Museum of the University of Glasgow, while doing some research on Charles Rennie Macintosh, the Scottish arts and crafts movement designer. As it happens, the museum houses the recreated remains of the Macintosh House, of which they have created a great Quicktime tour.
That is only what brought us to this site though, and there are other major collections which the museum is noted for. These include an extensive art collection, and an amazing collection of ancient and early coins and medals.
As with most sites this one seems to be constantly evolving, bringing more images online all the time. For those interested in the work of Macintosh this is a must, and for the merely curious it is certainly worth a visit.
This is a great little online guide and price guide that focuses exclusively on Roycroft copper. There is some historical and background information about The Roycrofters and their role in the American arts and crafts movement, but the extensive catalog and price guide to Roycroft copper wares is the real reason to visit.
Casually and frankly written by your web host "bigfatty" (obviously a devotee who prefers to remain anonymous), the site offers collectors, dealers and the merely curious a wealth of very useful information. Site searches are simple and straightforward, and the numerous illustrations load very efficiently making it a pleasure to use.
This site is an effective companion for roycroftercopper.com, focused more on the history and philosophy of the Roycrofters than their products and current values. This does seem only appropriate, as The Roycrofters was at least as much a social-philosophical movement as a maker of copperwares.
Beyond the information included in the site itself, there is a long list of related links, offering everything from "roycroftie" screen savers to an in-depth bibliography of Roycroft information.