Browsing the Art Museums of the World

My Favorite Web Sites - Winchester Star - 7/5/01
 by Martin Zombeck

This is a bi-weekly column providing an annotated list of Web sites that may be of interest to the community. Each column will list sites that belong to a particular category: search engines, art, online newspapers and magazines, health and medicine, history, business and economics, etc. or sites relevant to a particular season, for example, skiing or gardening. Most sites will be non-commercial. To make it easier to access the sites, each bi-weekly column will be posted on the Town of Winchester's Web site so that the sites can be accessed and bookmarked without having to be typed. Previous columns will be archived at the Winchester site, also.

I have listed the addresses of the Web sites of several Boston area art museums and several art museums in the United States and Europe. You can take a virtual tour of a specific museum, sample the fine art collection (most museums offer hundreds of high quality images of major art works), browse or order from the gift shop, review the schedule of exhibitions, lectures, or concerts, conduct research with online databases, obtain resource material for art courses, learn the history of the museum, and obtain detailed information on programs for adults and children. I have also listed a site that provides the addresses of the Web sites of all the major art museums in the world. Most are busily digitizing their collections for public view.

Besides the museum sites, there are literally thousands of high quality Web sites that provide resources for the study or enjoyment of art. I have listed a few that will provide a gateway to many of these sites. Tens of thousands of high quality images of major artworks are available on the Web. They can be found by artist's name, name of the work, period, movement (e.g. Pop Art, Impressionism), medium (for example, sculptors, illustrators), subject (for example, landscape painters), nationality, or gender. Artist biographies are also given. Many university art departments provide material from their art history courses online.

To whet your appetite, I have listed a site that provides 2,200 of Vincent Van Gogh's paintings, sketches, watercolors, and drawings.

Boston area museums

Museum of Fine Arts (Boston)

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston)

Clark Art Institute (Williamstown)

Worcester Art Museum

DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park (Lincoln)

U.S. museums

Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York)

Art Institute of Chicago

The National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC)

European museums

Louvre (Paris, France)

The National Gallery (London, United Kingdom)

Rijksmsueum (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Prado Museum (Madrid, Spain)

The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)

Art resources

A fine art search engine. A comprehensive index of artists represented at hundreds of museum sites, image archives, and other online resources : 700 leading arts sites, and more than 24,000 links directly to an estimated 80,000 works by 7,000 different artists. Search by artist's name, artworks by title, or art museums by name/place.

Artcyclopedia's List of United States Art Museums
Lists the Web sites of major museums in the United States. Indexed by state.

Artcyclopedia's Master List of Non-US Art Museums
Lists the Web sites of major museums throughout the world. Indexed by country.

CGFA - A Virtual Art Museum
Over 5000 images of paintings by major artists.

Distinguished Artist Series of Traditional Fine Arts Online
Over 2,500 deceased American painters, sculptors and photographers of note are indexed in alphabetical order. Links are provided for resources on American artist schools and movements - Early American, Hudson River School, The American Ten, American Expressionism (for example, Mary Cassatt), Marine Paintings and Drawings, Western Painters, Wildlife Painters, and more.

The Vincent van Gogh Gallery
2,200 of Van Gogh's paintings, sketches, watercolors, and drawings and all of the artist's 864 letters (English translations) are online.
Online Art Net magazine; links to 1,300 member galleries; gallery exhibitions

Art References
A list of museum and art resource links from the Winchester

The next column will feature area attractions suitable for a day trip. Previous columns with live links can be found at

When he is not updating the Town of Winchester Web site (, Martin Zombeck can be found at either the Packer tennis courts or at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, where he is a physicist.