What a wonderful world we live in when we can visit major art museums and see their collections from the comfort of our padded seats. The digitalization of their collections proceed apace. More and more museums are providing their collections online. This makes it a pleasure to browse.
For the sake of this post, let’s stick with the U.S. and the U.K.
For example, the entire collection at the Freer Gallery of Art will probably be available when they close in January 2016 for a year and a half’s renovation.
If you can’t get to D.C.’s National Gallery of Art (which is not part of the Smithsonian), browse their art online.
The Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford have just made several collections online as well. Their earlier digital collections are now part of Digital Bodleian.
Other British museums have joined in the trend. The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Tate Museum with “2,500 artworks by” Joseph Turner and the British Museum are now all searchable.
Finally they are now giving the world the ability to see one-of-a-kind works of art that will never ever be on display.
A Chinese book from 1633 with woodblock prints and calligraphy was just digitized by The University of Cambridge’s Digital Library. It had never been opened.
Now The Shi zhu chai she he pu is open to the world… and it is exquisite.
UPDATE: The Rijksmuseum Digitizes & Make Free Online 210,000 works of art