I’ve compiled a bunch of links to free online images, books, and miscellany relating to both art and history. It wasn’t a concious decision, it’s one of those things that float through my vision as I’m diving into the ‘net and I grab links. For one thing, as an artist, studying art is like… eating, to fuel my body. Or maybe just breathing. I’m not usually conciously doing it, it’s just happening. For another thing, as I’m writing, I often need odd little bits of research, and visual can be every bit as inspiring as puzzling out the meaning of some obscure text. No, I don’t write historicals (well, one short story, but…) and I don’t plan to. However, using history and real people to give my work a foundation makes it more real, and making it real for the reader, as real as it is in my head, is a good thing.
So go on, make it a feast for your eyes, and feed your mind on more art, science, and history than ever available to just anyone who cared to look. We live in a rich time.
So… The British Library released a MILLION images free online. You can use them in your own artwork, but they are also amazing just to browse through.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has released hundreds of texts on art and art history free online.
And now the Getty has followed suit, putting many rare art books up for online viewing and download.
And Open Culture, in itself a really neat resource for homeschoolers, artists, and the generally interested, has a link to a hundred thousand medical images. Excellent resource for students of art and history, not to mention medicine.
At the Wellcome collection (which I was having trouble with, it wasn’t working well for me, sadly) you can discover things like the Insulin 8.27 diagram, an interesection of art and science begun by Dorothy Hodgkin in the 1930’s.