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Inspiration & Education on the Web

Art museums are an excellent resource for artists and photographers alike. They offer permanent collections and feature traveling exhibitions, often accompanied by classes, lectures and study series. For artists, these are no-cost or low-cost opportunities to study artistic method and stylistic period, along with the cultural influences of early, modern and contemporary art and artists. When you feel the need to seek inspiration or learn from the great masters, chances are there’s a museum nearby – or just a click away. Here are a few of REDIMAT’s favorites:

An American Favorite
No bookmark list is complete without the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Among our favorite online galleries is Treasures to Go, which showcases pieces from more than 500 different exhibits ranging from impressionism to the sophistication of the Gilded Age, from folk art to the radical trans-formative works of the Modern Age. Whatever your style or genre, as an artist you’re sure to discover or recover inspiration with the masters at this web-based treasure trove.

For The Shutterbugs
Meanwhile, photographers will want to focus on the Smithsonian’s Photography Collection. This inclusive online display includes notable works of more than 1,500 American photographers. Highlights include work by the New York Photo League, the art of Man Ray, American daguerreotypes, and contemporary photographic art. Photographers will find applications in the curator’s review of image detail, composition and technical insight provided with many of these exhibits.

While you're there, be sure not to miss all the resources available. From Net-based photography projects to communities for ‘talking pictures,’ there’s plenty to choose from.

A Timeless Favorite
If you’re seeking a scholarly perspective, The Metropolitan Museum of Art provides an invaluable reference and research tool for artists navigating The Timeline of Art History. A chronological, geographical, and thematic exploration of the history of art depicted by works from around the world, the timeline maps artistic expression from prehistory to 1800 AD. Each image is accompanied by supporting material and can be enlarged for closer scrutiny. Artists will find a bonus in the online Special Topics or Resources sections, detail-rich with information on artistic movements, media, cultural influences and period artists.

Diverse Denver Art Museum
Add variety and heritage to your national art tour with a visit to the Denver Art Museum, where you can experience a plethora of styles, ranging from early Native American works to the diverse modern, contemporary art. Online at The Denver Art Museum, one of the museum’s best online resources is an educational 163-page museum and art study, available for download here.

The Museum’s "Interpretive Project" explores the impact of museums and the arts on patrons – both novice and experts – and was designed in part, “to help novices become more expert in and rewarded by works.” The study focuses on how people experience art and how they visit museums--both of which should be points of interest for the business-minded artist. Attitudes towards non-profit museums and for- profit galleries are often similar, so gaining insight on your patron's experience helps you create a more meaningful (and potentially profitable) interaction. Pay special attention to the 'Learning to Look’ section for insights on enriching your gallery presentation to appeal to multiple audiences.

No 'big name' museum around you? No problem! Discover inspiration and education through your local or regional museums – greats place to connect to other artists in your community. By visiting often; you support and promote the arts in your community, and consequently, your own work, too.

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