MARCH 2001

 

 

 

Prior 
Website-ings
Articles

Compiled by Bryan McMullin

 

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.

The Victorian Web

http://landow.stg.brown.edu/victorian/victov.html

The homepage of this site might also well be called the Victorian Hub, as it is the center of this massive "web" of information relating to "literature, history and culture in the time of Victoria". It is the creation of George P. Landow, a professor at Brown University, and a pretty amazing creation it is. A literal "web" of links, where links lead to other links, words within the text are links to even more links, and most of the hundreds of images are themselves links to more information and images. As diverse as it is, this site should appeal to both the most dedicated scholar as well as the more casual web surfer with an interest in history.

Divided into relatively specific categories such as political history, social history, gender issues, science and technology, and various fields of the arts, these turn out to be only the broadest of categories as each is further broken down into far more specific links to even more detailed information. Furthermore, everywhere you seem to go within this web, there are links to even more related issues, many of which may never have occurred to you. Probably the most impressive aspect of this site is the fact that it is largely self-contained. There are occasional links that take you outside the web, but once here, you’ll probably much rather stay.

 

The William Morris Society

http://www.ccny.cuny.edu/wmorris/morris.html

As broad as the previous site was, this one is narrow. Its sole focus is the work and life of William Morris, arguably the most influential and enduring designer of the 19th century. Much of the information contained in this site is fairly basic stuff, especially for those already familiar with Morris’ work, but there are other sections, like the one of images of Morris and his contemporaries, which can be quite fascinating.

Much of the emphasis is on The William Morris Society itself, and various activities of and for the society, but there is a wealth of historical material and original information, as well as links to a variety of related pages, including some to commercial vendors of Morris designed or influenced products, making this a useful site for those interested in this creative genius.

Arts & Crafts Movement

http://www.gray-cells.com/ArtsAndCrafts/

This is one of those sites that would appear to just be out there, without a connection to anything else that is antiques related. The parent site is apparently a company called Gray Cells Technologies, some sort of IT company with no connection to the antiques business. It is, never the less, a relatively useful site with much more information than is first apparent. A variety of Arts & Crafts related topics, both American and English are covered, and while the individual bits of information are relatively brief, they do include at least the basics of each topic, and usually the most useful and pertinent information is included.

Initially divided into an Intro section, a People section, a Places section and a Things section, each of these is further divided into more specific categories. Under the Things section for example, you can click on Newcomb Pottery, and up pops a brief two-paragraph description, but a description that also includes an illustration of the mark and even some very basic price information. This is certainly not a site for the advanced collector, but for the beginner, or dealer looking for some basic information about the arts and crafts movement it could prove most useful.

Just For Openers

http://www.just-for-openers.org/

This is a great little site dedicated to collecting bottle openers. Openers were a popular form of regional and local advertising, and this site is organized based on the state of origin. Not a lot of history or background, but strong on quality images. A quick trip through this site will make you aware of something you might easily over-look otherwise.

Barbiedacollezione

http://web.tiscalinet.it/barbiedacollezione/

This is an online museum dedicated to Barbie, but with a couple of twists. The first is that this site is all in Italian, and the second is that these things sure aren’t the Barbie dolls my sister played with some forty years ago. I got a kick out of these over-the-top "dolls" in their elaborate outfits however, and the sites over-the-top use of just about every animated gimmick they could download was only fitting. You won’t learn a thing (unless your Italian is up to par), but a visit will probably put a smile on your face as it did mine.

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