The initial effort by the NMAA includes images and explanatory text relating to over 500 art works. Additionally, the site offers two online exhibitions: "The White House Collection of American Crafts" and "Secrets of the Dark Chamber: the Art of the American Daguerreotype," as well as information about museum departments, ranging from the library, to the education, publications, and other departments. The library section of the site offers telnet access to the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) catalog. Information on fellowships and internships is also available. But the crown jewel of the NMAA web site is the "Galleries" section, which includes captions with essential information about each work of art. It is searchable by artist, title, date, medium, and by a range of "themes," which includes such categories as: Landscape Paintings, Contemporary Landscape Photography, Works by African American Artists, Works by Women Artists, Works by Hispanic Artists, Folk Art, and Pueblo Indian Watercolors. A search will pull up results which include a thumbnail reproduction of the work, which can then be "clicked on" to pull up a larger version of the image. For example, a search on artist "Cornell" brings up a brief list of four works by Joseph Cornell. Following any of these to the entry for the work will bring up information on the artist, the title of the work, its date, provenance, its medium and size. The image in this display, in turn, will lead to an even larger reproduction of the work. A search on "Lawrence" brings up a work by Jacob Lawrence, "The Library," and a photograph of Lawrence. The entry for "The Library" includes an explanatory essay in addition to the basic registration information. This site is a model for museum sites. It offers a variety of ways in which to explore the collections, from pre-set guided tours, to searchable indexes. Scholars and browsers alike will find much of value here, with a promise of more to come on an ongoing basis.
Library, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
Reviewed September, 1995.