While some art museums are content to simply post photographs of their artwork online, these virtual museums have gone beyond "photo and post" to create interactive exhibits. From writing activities, to games and curator-lead video tours, these sites bring art to the Web in a whole new way.
Art Safari is an art and writing activity for elementary and middle-school kids (and their parents) based on four pieces of art from The Museum of Modern Art in New York. "Choose one of the artworks to begin. Questions will guide you to write a story about what you see. Look for clues that help you figure out what's happening in the artwork. Type your answers, or ask an adult to help. Remember: There are no right or wrong answers to the questions. Learn by looking, and have fun!"
Created by Intel, these online exhibits are based on exhibits from a variety of museums around the world. Currently showing are Van Gogh's Van Gogh (from The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam), The American Century: Art and Culture 1900 - 2000 (from the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York) and Bill Viola: Selected Works (from San Francisco Museum of Modern Art). Best clicks are the Family Fun games and Director's Tour, both found at the Whitney exhibit. Some of the pieces are controversial (what is art, anyway?) and may not be appropriate for all families.
"Skilled artists can make us believe that stone sculptures feel as soft as flesh and that painted canvases are as cool as water. How do they do this?" This activity page for all ages starts with a look at details. Is the artwork made of metal carved to look like satin or is it canvas painted to look embroidered? Moving down the page, elementary and preschool-aged artists will enjoy finding the animals and plants hidden in a seventeenth century Indian carpet in the Carpet Hunt Game. More educational features (for all ages) can be found by following the "Looking at Art" link at the bottom of the page.
Fabulous, fantastic, fresh and fun! The art games (think of online paint programs, but then take one big creative step forward) are absolutely addictive. The musical Lizzy stories are in a class all by themselves. When you're done with the kids wing, do continue on to the rest of the site ï¿½ which takes a museum approach to Web graphics such as navigational buttons, Web site counters, and online advertising (including the now classic Hewlett Packard pong-game banner ad.)
"Over the course of 5 weeks, members of the Upper Midwest Conservation Association cleaned and restored a masterwork from the collection of The Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The painting, Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione's The Immaculate Conception with Saints Francis of Assisi and Anthony of Padua is over 300 years old and is one of the largest in the Institute's collection." To view the restoration in Flash and Quicktime, click on the Daily Log. From there, you'll find tabs for the Introduction, Project and Glossary.