Art.sy Puts Art At Your Fingertips

Candice McMillan
Oct. 10 2012, 10:14AM EDT

For music, there's Pandora. For film, there's Netflix. And now for art, there's Art.sy. Art.sy is an online storehouse of fine-art images as well as an art appreciation guide. This start-up's mission is to make all the world's art freely accessible to anyone with an internet connection, and is aimed specifically at those already comfortable with browsing image-driven websites on monitors and tablets. The Art.sy API helps promote accessibility on a developer level. Art.sy's growing collection already boasts 20,000 artworks from leading galleries, museums, private collections, foundations and artist estates from around the world, all accessible for study and enjoyment. It's powered by a digital analytics system called the Art Genome Project that works by making connections between things like subject matter, art-historical movements and formal qualities, allowing users to search for and discover new and similar works. With a catalog that includes different pieces from institutions like the British Museum, the National Gallery in Washington, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and a recent partner, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in Manhattan (a branch of the Smithsonian), Art.sy aims to make connections between artworks that may be from completely different worlds in it's hopes to encourage and inspire new generations of art lovers. In recent comments, according to The New York Times:

Mr. Chan of the Cooper-Hewitt said sites like Art.sy were not meant to replace museums, galleries or books, but rather to help the public, especially art neophytes, stretch the boundaries of their taste. “You shouldn’t need to be a scholar to discover works of art that you might be fascinated by,” he said. “You go to museums and you browse — chancing upon things is what it’s all about. The Art Genome is another way of creating serendipitous connections.” “For our culture,” he added, “particularly people who live with the Web as part of their natural lives — anyone under 25 — this is a natural way of browsing.”

 

Photo by Art.sy

Candice McMillan

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