Our mission is to become the definitive and most effective guide to museum-quality fine art on the Internet:
definitive: We have compiled a comprehensive index of every artist represented at hundreds of museum sites, image archives, and other online resources. We have started out by covering the biggest and best sites around, and have links for most well-known artists to keep you surfing for hours. Update September/2004: We have now indexed 1800 art sites, and offer over 60,000 links to an estimated 150,000 artworks by 8,100 renowned artists.
most effective: The Artcyclopedia's custom search engine is already the fastest way to search the Net for information about fine artists. Period.
museum-quality: There are scads of artists with home pages on the Web, many of whom are extremely talented. But we can't list every site, and we really don't want to set ourselves up as arbiters of who produces "quality" art and who doesn't - making such a judgment is impossible over the Internet in any case. We feel that fairest approach is to rely on the worldwide network of museum professionals to make that call. So our general policy is, if an artist is in an arts museum collection, then he or she is qualified to be listed in our database. See our Information for Artists page for more specific information.
What is and is not in the Artcyclopedia's database?
We only provide references to sites on the World Wide Web where artists' works can be viewed online. For calendars of real-world museum exhibits, try a resource such as Gallery Guide Online, or Traditional Fine Arts Online, or the Art Museum Network's ExCalendar, all of which seem to do an excellent job.
The vast majority of the fine artists in our database specialize in painting and sculpture. We do include other artistic media where possible. Examples of these types of media are:
Note that we are primarily oriented to searching by artist name, although we intend to add more and more access by artistic movement, nation, timeline and medium. At the moment we do not have entries for artworks by unknown artists. This includes works with such attributions as "follower of", "workshop of", or "school of" given artists. We do have entries for certain notable individual artists whose names have been lost (for example, the Master of the Saint Bartholomew Altarpiece).
Who is behind this project?
The Artcyclopedia was created by John Malyon, an IT professional, web developer, and entrepreneur currently living in Calgary, Canada. Here is a brief overview of John's background:
17 years in the software industry
10 years project leader roles
9 years data modeling and online interface design
first exposed to the Internet through the WELL, the legendary online community, of which he was a member for several years in the early nineties
fine arts webmaster for 3 years
sometime writer (one professional credit to date: At the Robot Olympics, published in the Whole Earth Review, Spring 1992)
John's current project is to develop a system for commercializing the Artcyclopedia in such a way as to add value for visitors (by providing them with additional useful and relevant information), rather than subtracting value (e.g. through indiscriminate use of banners).
You can contact John at this address:
51 Tuscany Hills Terrace N.W.
Canada T3L 2G7