Postcards have always been a popular souvenir and a fun way to send a quick message home while on vacation. Often depicting famous buildings or landscapes, The National Trust Library Historic Postcard Collection suggests that “these postcards also provide unique evidence of the evolution in American architecture, with rare glimpses of buildings or places that may no longer exist or have dramatically altered over time.”
The Getty Research Institute‘s mission “is dedicated to furthering knowledge and advancing understanding of the visual arts.” To meet this goal, the Institute has many digital collections, including images of art, architecture, photography, and primary sources such as artists’ letters.
The Institute also has a Photo Study Collection of about a million of its photographs available online. The Collection acts as a reference tool for studying antiquities and Western art.
At the end of this month, GRI will launch the Getty Research Portal, “a free online search platform providing global access to digitized art history texts in the public domain.” These digitized art books will provide easy access to critical scholarship. Stay tuned to learn more!
Alphonse Maria Mucha was a Czech painter in the late 1800s. He is best known for his French Art Nouveau style illustrations for theatrical posters. The Mucha Foundation was established in 1992 and is devoted to teaching and sharing his art.
The Foundation’s website is an excellent source of reading and imagery about Mucha. The Timeline section places Mucha in political and cultural contexts. The Gallery has over 300 works available for online viewing. Browse all the works or by themes. For fun, there are Color Your Own Mucha downloadable pdfs.
The Consortium allows you to browse all of these collections at once. Search by collection, composer or lyricist, or subject. Almost everything in the Consortium is accessible for viewing. You can limit your search option to “digitized content only” to only view what is available online.
The Consortium also gives you the option to drag records into a virtual personal collection and then save or email the records.
The National Gallery of Art has terrific web resources for students and teachers of visual art. NGA Learning Resources offers learning packets, media, and online resources for teaching everything from 15th century European art to 21st century American art. Search by resource format, subject, or artist name. For instance, there is a teaching packet on Art Since 1950, a podcast of an interview with artist Jim Dine, and a slideshow of the Golden Age of Chinese Archaeology. Many of the resources are available as a pdf, podcast, or a webpage. Others you can request to borrow from the National Gallery of Art – just create an account! It’s free!
Want to explore a history of life from way back when? Retronaut will take you there. British ex-museum curator Chris Wild has been culling images, videos, music, and more from public and private archives.
The website is organized by decade but you can also search by categories (like art, fashion, and music) or clusters (such as steampunk or Through the Lens of…photography). You can also add your own content and leave comments, enhancing the visual collection and adding memories.
Want to learn more about the past? UArts Libraries has a great subject guide for 2oth Century Research by Decade. This will help you find books and articles on just about any event in the 20th century!