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Art Republic
At first sight Art Republic gives a convincing first impression as a sleek online art poster and book shop, and the lively design and layout alone are enough make it worthy of mention, but it is in fact much much more. With its searchable database listing current exhibitions and events for 1250 museums across the globe, from New York to New Deli, as well as compendia of artist biographies and artistic terms, this is an excellent online resource guaranteed to hold the interest of any art lover. The poster section itself is nicely configured, allowing you to browse by themes or search for specific artists or titles from the reassuringly exhaustive catalogue, which stretches as far as contemporary works and photography. You can view prices in UK Pounds or US dollars and shipping is available to most countries. Though a few other poster sites have successfully employed the seductive shop and learn formula, this is easily one of best and for museum goers the exhibition guide certainly gives it the edge.


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Moma
An obvious choice perhaps, but the fact is that the New York Museum of Modern Art's site remains one of the more engaging. Not so much for its presentation of selected works from the collection, which is woefully threadbare, but for the fabulous online projects section which houses all kinds of forward-looking initiatives by multimedia artists, undertaken in connection with or sponsored by the museum. Equally impressive and state of the art is the area dealing with current exhibitions. You will need a modern browser and the latest version of the Flash plug-in to sample these goodies, but it's all well worth it. The site's design is a little incongruous in places and the subdivisions of the opening menu can be a little confusing at first, but hunting around produces all kinds of interesting bits and pieces. While we look forward to the arrival of the long-awaited Guggenheim online museum, this one is still up there holding its own among the best.


 

The Louvre
Suitably conservative in design and with a formal elegance in keeping with the subject matter, this jewel of a site is a perfect online counterpart to the grand old institution. As expected a selection of works from the various curatorial departments is available. While still somewhat limited in quantity, this is certainly broader and more enjoyable than MOMA's and a good many others. Where the site really shines is in the so-called "Visite Virtuelle" that gives fabulous 360 degree panoramic views of the various halls. If necessary download the Quicktime Plug-in, you won't regret it. The rest is pretty much the usual fare: the various headings give you access to general visitor information, an online shop, advance ticket sales and a history of the museum, all available in French, English, Spanish and Chinese.


Global Gallery : The Online Art Source
High quality fine art prints and posters. Massive range, past masters and contemporary.

Bookends
As an offshoot of Bookplace, a UK-based online book retailer, this monthly magazine will appeal to many avid English-language readers. A host of recent titles come under scrutiny, in some cases with the chance to sample the first chapters. It's very important here to underline again this connection with Bookplace, because you must bear this in mind when accessing the site. You're very unlikely to find much in the way of scathing criticism of any featured publication and this alone might have lead us to exclude it from our top site selection. However, what ultimately earned it a place, was the genuine enthusiasm for the subject and knowledge evident in the guest columnist articles and monthly interviews with authors. To their credit Bookends have included some reviews culled from the Sunday Times, but for serious criticism or a more high-brow emphasis, you will be best served by specialist sites such as the excellent Times Literary Supplement. As is amply demonstrated by the news, cartoons and competitions, what this site does well is providing a light and entertaining glimpse of the current print world while keeping you informed and up to date on recent publications.


     
Also Recommended in this Category:
Tate Gallery Operabase What's On Stage
Project Gutenberg Poetry.Com The Art Connection

       

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