Featured Museum Site
April, 1999Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
The FAMSF (the full name is too long to write, or even to say) are somewhat of a legend on the Internet for having put 70,000 artworks to date on their web site. This is orders of magnitude beyond their nearest competitors, the largest of which top out at a few thousand images.
And as this is Golden Age of Illustration month at the Artcyclopedia, it is important that the FAMSF isn't afraid of mixing "illustration" with fine art. They have works online for Edwin Austin Abbey, Aubrey Beardsley, Walter Crane, Maxfield Parrish, and Howard Pyle.
In addition to having a huge database, they also experiment aggressively with different techniques for displaying fine art. One of the genuinely cool features they have developed is the ability to ZOOM in to magnify many images by hundreds of times. Of course the picture eventually becomes pixelated because you are zooming in beyond the limits of the digitized image.
Images get displayed in 3 or 4 different ways at various places on the site, and they also support a couple of plug-ins and use Java applets as well. They do a reasonably good job integrating all of this technology, but from a visitor's point of view it can still be somewhat confusing and less-than-intuitive. Still, I won't deduct points for that: there are so many sites where there is much less than meets the eye, that I am not going to complain about a rare site that is doing too much genuinely interesting work on the bleeding edge.
|Previous Featured Museums|
|March, 1999:||The Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam|
|February, 1999:||The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia|