20/05/2022
Discussions
Adam Wells
Art History Online
Last month, the Museum of Art and Photography in Bangalore launched a free open-source online encyclopaedia covering over 1,000 years of Indian art history. We take a look at how online spaces such as this can encourage and enhance an interest in the art world…

In the early days of the internet, many speculated about its potential to revolutionise communication and allow a greater spread of information throughout the world. Whether or not this potential has been realised may still be a matter of debate, but there are still certain corners of the internet which strive to educate and provide greater accessibility to the art world. One recent example of this is MAP Academy, a free, open-source online encyclopaedia launched last month by Bangalore’s Museum of Art and Photography. The Museum describes the site as ‘a new resource exploring the histories of art in South Asia’, containing resources and information on over 1,000 years of Indian art history.

An 11th century sandstone sculpture of a Celestial dancer (Devata). Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Such online archives are not unheard of in the art world; in 2011, Google launched Google Arts and Culture, a service featuring works from over 2,000 museums around the world, collecting high-resolution images, information and analysis of various pieces of art. Similarly, the Tate collective have digitised their entire collection on their website, allowing visitors to view and learn about over 70,000 pieces of art within the British National Collection. The importance of such online collections cannot be overstated when considering accessibility within the art world, with a whole world of culture being opened to those who may not have the time or resources to visit the physical galleries.

Untitled, Bhuri Bai (c. 1980). Courtesy of Hervé Perdriolle.

Where MAP Academy fits into this, as the project’s founder Nathaniel Gaskell explained in an interview with the New York Times, is in providing a less Westernised perspective on the Indian art being displayed. Gaskell notes that “prior to this, people got their information on Indian art either from Western institutions or from the market or from very specialised academics who write books that most people cannot understand”, with MAP Academy filling this gap and giving an Indian perspective on over 2,000 pieces of art, including works from such movements as the Bengal School of modernist painters and the Punjabi Bagh embroidery tradition.

Krishna’s Longing for Radha, from the Gita Govinda of Jayadeva (circa 1820-25)

The advantages of such online resources are clear, particularly in the case of MAP Academy; as the art world begins its belated engagement with the colonial origins of many of the world’s largest collections and repatriation efforts such as the Benin Bronzes get underway, the concept of national artistic ownership has come under greater scrutiny. Similarly, as galleries and museums around the world strive to diversify their collections, resources such as this encourage the broadening of the artistic canon to include more than just Western art, making the study and mainstream perception of art history significantly richer as a result.

Dancer's Headpiece in the Form of a Panjurli Bhuta (boar spirit deity), 18th century, copper alloy, Kerala

Such new projects as these naturally bring up questions about the future of the art world, particularly for galleries and museums; as explored in a previous article, the spatial context of art can play a large role in our experience and understanding of works. However, such virtual spaces should not be viewed as replacements for physical gallery spaces, but rather as resources to enhance them. By facilitating accessible engagement with art, such resources should encourage a greater understanding and appreciation of the art world, and perhaps even bring a new cohort of art-lovers to galleries to experience pieces in person, with more diverse resources such as MAP Academy bringing a traditionally ignored branch of the art world to greater prominence.

MAP Academy can be found here.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
20/05/2022
Discussions
Adam Wells
Art History Online
Last month, the Museum of Art and Photography in Bangalore launched a free open-source online encyclopaedia covering over 1,000 years of Indian art history. We take a look at how online spaces such as this can encourage and enhance an interest in the art world…

In the early days of the internet, many speculated about its potential to revolutionise communication and allow a greater spread of information throughout the world. Whether or not this potential has been realised may still be a matter of debate, but there are still certain corners of the internet which strive to educate and provide greater accessibility to the art world. One recent example of this is MAP Academy, a free, open-source online encyclopaedia launched last month by Bangalore’s Museum of Art and Photography. The Museum describes the site as ‘a new resource exploring the histories of art in South Asia’, containing resources and information on over 1,000 years of Indian art history.

An 11th century sandstone sculpture of a Celestial dancer (Devata). Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Such online archives are not unheard of in the art world; in 2011, Google launched Google Arts and Culture, a service featuring works from over 2,000 museums around the world, collecting high-resolution images, information and analysis of various pieces of art. Similarly, the Tate collective have digitised their entire collection on their website, allowing visitors to view and learn about over 70,000 pieces of art within the British National Collection. The importance of such online collections cannot be overstated when considering accessibility within the art world, with a whole world of culture being opened to those who may not have the time or resources to visit the physical galleries.

Untitled, Bhuri Bai (c. 1980). Courtesy of Hervé Perdriolle.

Where MAP Academy fits into this, as the project’s founder Nathaniel Gaskell explained in an interview with the New York Times, is in providing a less Westernised perspective on the Indian art being displayed. Gaskell notes that “prior to this, people got their information on Indian art either from Western institutions or from the market or from very specialised academics who write books that most people cannot understand”, with MAP Academy filling this gap and giving an Indian perspective on over 2,000 pieces of art, including works from such movements as the Bengal School of modernist painters and the Punjabi Bagh embroidery tradition.

Krishna’s Longing for Radha, from the Gita Govinda of Jayadeva (circa 1820-25)

The advantages of such online resources are clear, particularly in the case of MAP Academy; as the art world begins its belated engagement with the colonial origins of many of the world’s largest collections and repatriation efforts such as the Benin Bronzes get underway, the concept of national artistic ownership has come under greater scrutiny. Similarly, as galleries and museums around the world strive to diversify their collections, resources such as this encourage the broadening of the artistic canon to include more than just Western art, making the study and mainstream perception of art history significantly richer as a result.

Dancer's Headpiece in the Form of a Panjurli Bhuta (boar spirit deity), 18th century, copper alloy, Kerala

Such new projects as these naturally bring up questions about the future of the art world, particularly for galleries and museums; as explored in a previous article, the spatial context of art can play a large role in our experience and understanding of works. However, such virtual spaces should not be viewed as replacements for physical gallery spaces, but rather as resources to enhance them. By facilitating accessible engagement with art, such resources should encourage a greater understanding and appreciation of the art world, and perhaps even bring a new cohort of art-lovers to galleries to experience pieces in person, with more diverse resources such as MAP Academy bringing a traditionally ignored branch of the art world to greater prominence.

MAP Academy can be found here.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
20/05/2022
Discussions
Adam Wells
Art History Online
Last month, the Museum of Art and Photography in Bangalore launched a free open-source online encyclopaedia covering over 1,000 years of Indian art history. We take a look at how online spaces such as this can encourage and enhance an interest in the art world…

In the early days of the internet, many speculated about its potential to revolutionise communication and allow a greater spread of information throughout the world. Whether or not this potential has been realised may still be a matter of debate, but there are still certain corners of the internet which strive to educate and provide greater accessibility to the art world. One recent example of this is MAP Academy, a free, open-source online encyclopaedia launched last month by Bangalore’s Museum of Art and Photography. The Museum describes the site as ‘a new resource exploring the histories of art in South Asia’, containing resources and information on over 1,000 years of Indian art history.

An 11th century sandstone sculpture of a Celestial dancer (Devata). Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Such online archives are not unheard of in the art world; in 2011, Google launched Google Arts and Culture, a service featuring works from over 2,000 museums around the world, collecting high-resolution images, information and analysis of various pieces of art. Similarly, the Tate collective have digitised their entire collection on their website, allowing visitors to view and learn about over 70,000 pieces of art within the British National Collection. The importance of such online collections cannot be overstated when considering accessibility within the art world, with a whole world of culture being opened to those who may not have the time or resources to visit the physical galleries.

Untitled, Bhuri Bai (c. 1980). Courtesy of Hervé Perdriolle.

Where MAP Academy fits into this, as the project’s founder Nathaniel Gaskell explained in an interview with the New York Times, is in providing a less Westernised perspective on the Indian art being displayed. Gaskell notes that “prior to this, people got their information on Indian art either from Western institutions or from the market or from very specialised academics who write books that most people cannot understand”, with MAP Academy filling this gap and giving an Indian perspective on over 2,000 pieces of art, including works from such movements as the Bengal School of modernist painters and the Punjabi Bagh embroidery tradition.

Krishna’s Longing for Radha, from the Gita Govinda of Jayadeva (circa 1820-25)

The advantages of such online resources are clear, particularly in the case of MAP Academy; as the art world begins its belated engagement with the colonial origins of many of the world’s largest collections and repatriation efforts such as the Benin Bronzes get underway, the concept of national artistic ownership has come under greater scrutiny. Similarly, as galleries and museums around the world strive to diversify their collections, resources such as this encourage the broadening of the artistic canon to include more than just Western art, making the study and mainstream perception of art history significantly richer as a result.

Dancer's Headpiece in the Form of a Panjurli Bhuta (boar spirit deity), 18th century, copper alloy, Kerala

Such new projects as these naturally bring up questions about the future of the art world, particularly for galleries and museums; as explored in a previous article, the spatial context of art can play a large role in our experience and understanding of works. However, such virtual spaces should not be viewed as replacements for physical gallery spaces, but rather as resources to enhance them. By facilitating accessible engagement with art, such resources should encourage a greater understanding and appreciation of the art world, and perhaps even bring a new cohort of art-lovers to galleries to experience pieces in person, with more diverse resources such as MAP Academy bringing a traditionally ignored branch of the art world to greater prominence.

MAP Academy can be found here.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
20/05/2022
Discussions
Adam Wells
Art History Online
Last month, the Museum of Art and Photography in Bangalore launched a free open-source online encyclopaedia covering over 1,000 years of Indian art history. We take a look at how online spaces such as this can encourage and enhance an interest in the art world…

In the early days of the internet, many speculated about its potential to revolutionise communication and allow a greater spread of information throughout the world. Whether or not this potential has been realised may still be a matter of debate, but there are still certain corners of the internet which strive to educate and provide greater accessibility to the art world. One recent example of this is MAP Academy, a free, open-source online encyclopaedia launched last month by Bangalore’s Museum of Art and Photography. The Museum describes the site as ‘a new resource exploring the histories of art in South Asia’, containing resources and information on over 1,000 years of Indian art history.

An 11th century sandstone sculpture of a Celestial dancer (Devata). Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Such online archives are not unheard of in the art world; in 2011, Google launched Google Arts and Culture, a service featuring works from over 2,000 museums around the world, collecting high-resolution images, information and analysis of various pieces of art. Similarly, the Tate collective have digitised their entire collection on their website, allowing visitors to view and learn about over 70,000 pieces of art within the British National Collection. The importance of such online collections cannot be overstated when considering accessibility within the art world, with a whole world of culture being opened to those who may not have the time or resources to visit the physical galleries.

Untitled, Bhuri Bai (c. 1980). Courtesy of Hervé Perdriolle.

Where MAP Academy fits into this, as the project’s founder Nathaniel Gaskell explained in an interview with the New York Times, is in providing a less Westernised perspective on the Indian art being displayed. Gaskell notes that “prior to this, people got their information on Indian art either from Western institutions or from the market or from very specialised academics who write books that most people cannot understand”, with MAP Academy filling this gap and giving an Indian perspective on over 2,000 pieces of art, including works from such movements as the Bengal School of modernist painters and the Punjabi Bagh embroidery tradition.

Krishna’s Longing for Radha, from the Gita Govinda of Jayadeva (circa 1820-25)

The advantages of such online resources are clear, particularly in the case of MAP Academy; as the art world begins its belated engagement with the colonial origins of many of the world’s largest collections and repatriation efforts such as the Benin Bronzes get underway, the concept of national artistic ownership has come under greater scrutiny. Similarly, as galleries and museums around the world strive to diversify their collections, resources such as this encourage the broadening of the artistic canon to include more than just Western art, making the study and mainstream perception of art history significantly richer as a result.

Dancer's Headpiece in the Form of a Panjurli Bhuta (boar spirit deity), 18th century, copper alloy, Kerala

Such new projects as these naturally bring up questions about the future of the art world, particularly for galleries and museums; as explored in a previous article, the spatial context of art can play a large role in our experience and understanding of works. However, such virtual spaces should not be viewed as replacements for physical gallery spaces, but rather as resources to enhance them. By facilitating accessible engagement with art, such resources should encourage a greater understanding and appreciation of the art world, and perhaps even bring a new cohort of art-lovers to galleries to experience pieces in person, with more diverse resources such as MAP Academy bringing a traditionally ignored branch of the art world to greater prominence.

MAP Academy can be found here.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
20/05/2022
Discussions
Adam Wells
Art History Online
Last month, the Museum of Art and Photography in Bangalore launched a free open-source online encyclopaedia covering over 1,000 years of Indian art history. We take a look at how online spaces such as this can encourage and enhance an interest in the art world…

In the early days of the internet, many speculated about its potential to revolutionise communication and allow a greater spread of information throughout the world. Whether or not this potential has been realised may still be a matter of debate, but there are still certain corners of the internet which strive to educate and provide greater accessibility to the art world. One recent example of this is MAP Academy, a free, open-source online encyclopaedia launched last month by Bangalore’s Museum of Art and Photography. The Museum describes the site as ‘a new resource exploring the histories of art in South Asia’, containing resources and information on over 1,000 years of Indian art history.

An 11th century sandstone sculpture of a Celestial dancer (Devata). Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Such online archives are not unheard of in the art world; in 2011, Google launched Google Arts and Culture, a service featuring works from over 2,000 museums around the world, collecting high-resolution images, information and analysis of various pieces of art. Similarly, the Tate collective have digitised their entire collection on their website, allowing visitors to view and learn about over 70,000 pieces of art within the British National Collection. The importance of such online collections cannot be overstated when considering accessibility within the art world, with a whole world of culture being opened to those who may not have the time or resources to visit the physical galleries.

Untitled, Bhuri Bai (c. 1980). Courtesy of Hervé Perdriolle.

Where MAP Academy fits into this, as the project’s founder Nathaniel Gaskell explained in an interview with the New York Times, is in providing a less Westernised perspective on the Indian art being displayed. Gaskell notes that “prior to this, people got their information on Indian art either from Western institutions or from the market or from very specialised academics who write books that most people cannot understand”, with MAP Academy filling this gap and giving an Indian perspective on over 2,000 pieces of art, including works from such movements as the Bengal School of modernist painters and the Punjabi Bagh embroidery tradition.

Krishna’s Longing for Radha, from the Gita Govinda of Jayadeva (circa 1820-25)

The advantages of such online resources are clear, particularly in the case of MAP Academy; as the art world begins its belated engagement with the colonial origins of many of the world’s largest collections and repatriation efforts such as the Benin Bronzes get underway, the concept of national artistic ownership has come under greater scrutiny. Similarly, as galleries and museums around the world strive to diversify their collections, resources such as this encourage the broadening of the artistic canon to include more than just Western art, making the study and mainstream perception of art history significantly richer as a result.

Dancer's Headpiece in the Form of a Panjurli Bhuta (boar spirit deity), 18th century, copper alloy, Kerala

Such new projects as these naturally bring up questions about the future of the art world, particularly for galleries and museums; as explored in a previous article, the spatial context of art can play a large role in our experience and understanding of works. However, such virtual spaces should not be viewed as replacements for physical gallery spaces, but rather as resources to enhance them. By facilitating accessible engagement with art, such resources should encourage a greater understanding and appreciation of the art world, and perhaps even bring a new cohort of art-lovers to galleries to experience pieces in person, with more diverse resources such as MAP Academy bringing a traditionally ignored branch of the art world to greater prominence.

MAP Academy can be found here.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
20/05/2022
Discussions
Adam Wells
Art History Online

In the early days of the internet, many speculated about its potential to revolutionise communication and allow a greater spread of information throughout the world. Whether or not this potential has been realised may still be a matter of debate, but there are still certain corners of the internet which strive to educate and provide greater accessibility to the art world. One recent example of this is MAP Academy, a free, open-source online encyclopaedia launched last month by Bangalore’s Museum of Art and Photography. The Museum describes the site as ‘a new resource exploring the histories of art in South Asia’, containing resources and information on over 1,000 years of Indian art history.

An 11th century sandstone sculpture of a Celestial dancer (Devata). Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Such online archives are not unheard of in the art world; in 2011, Google launched Google Arts and Culture, a service featuring works from over 2,000 museums around the world, collecting high-resolution images, information and analysis of various pieces of art. Similarly, the Tate collective have digitised their entire collection on their website, allowing visitors to view and learn about over 70,000 pieces of art within the British National Collection. The importance of such online collections cannot be overstated when considering accessibility within the art world, with a whole world of culture being opened to those who may not have the time or resources to visit the physical galleries.

Untitled, Bhuri Bai (c. 1980). Courtesy of Hervé Perdriolle.

Where MAP Academy fits into this, as the project’s founder Nathaniel Gaskell explained in an interview with the New York Times, is in providing a less Westernised perspective on the Indian art being displayed. Gaskell notes that “prior to this, people got their information on Indian art either from Western institutions or from the market or from very specialised academics who write books that most people cannot understand”, with MAP Academy filling this gap and giving an Indian perspective on over 2,000 pieces of art, including works from such movements as the Bengal School of modernist painters and the Punjabi Bagh embroidery tradition.

Krishna’s Longing for Radha, from the Gita Govinda of Jayadeva (circa 1820-25)

The advantages of such online resources are clear, particularly in the case of MAP Academy; as the art world begins its belated engagement with the colonial origins of many of the world’s largest collections and repatriation efforts such as the Benin Bronzes get underway, the concept of national artistic ownership has come under greater scrutiny. Similarly, as galleries and museums around the world strive to diversify their collections, resources such as this encourage the broadening of the artistic canon to include more than just Western art, making the study and mainstream perception of art history significantly richer as a result.

Dancer's Headpiece in the Form of a Panjurli Bhuta (boar spirit deity), 18th century, copper alloy, Kerala

Such new projects as these naturally bring up questions about the future of the art world, particularly for galleries and museums; as explored in a previous article, the spatial context of art can play a large role in our experience and understanding of works. However, such virtual spaces should not be viewed as replacements for physical gallery spaces, but rather as resources to enhance them. By facilitating accessible engagement with art, such resources should encourage a greater understanding and appreciation of the art world, and perhaps even bring a new cohort of art-lovers to galleries to experience pieces in person, with more diverse resources such as MAP Academy bringing a traditionally ignored branch of the art world to greater prominence.

MAP Academy can be found here.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
20/05/2022
Discussions
Adam Wells
Art History Online
Last month, the Museum of Art and Photography in Bangalore launched a free open-source online encyclopaedia covering over 1,000 years of Indian art history. We take a look at how online spaces such as this can encourage and enhance an interest in the art world…

In the early days of the internet, many speculated about its potential to revolutionise communication and allow a greater spread of information throughout the world. Whether or not this potential has been realised may still be a matter of debate, but there are still certain corners of the internet which strive to educate and provide greater accessibility to the art world. One recent example of this is MAP Academy, a free, open-source online encyclopaedia launched last month by Bangalore’s Museum of Art and Photography. The Museum describes the site as ‘a new resource exploring the histories of art in South Asia’, containing resources and information on over 1,000 years of Indian art history.

An 11th century sandstone sculpture of a Celestial dancer (Devata). Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Such online archives are not unheard of in the art world; in 2011, Google launched Google Arts and Culture, a service featuring works from over 2,000 museums around the world, collecting high-resolution images, information and analysis of various pieces of art. Similarly, the Tate collective have digitised their entire collection on their website, allowing visitors to view and learn about over 70,000 pieces of art within the British National Collection. The importance of such online collections cannot be overstated when considering accessibility within the art world, with a whole world of culture being opened to those who may not have the time or resources to visit the physical galleries.

Untitled, Bhuri Bai (c. 1980). Courtesy of Hervé Perdriolle.

Where MAP Academy fits into this, as the project’s founder Nathaniel Gaskell explained in an interview with the New York Times, is in providing a less Westernised perspective on the Indian art being displayed. Gaskell notes that “prior to this, people got their information on Indian art either from Western institutions or from the market or from very specialised academics who write books that most people cannot understand”, with MAP Academy filling this gap and giving an Indian perspective on over 2,000 pieces of art, including works from such movements as the Bengal School of modernist painters and the Punjabi Bagh embroidery tradition.

Krishna’s Longing for Radha, from the Gita Govinda of Jayadeva (circa 1820-25)

The advantages of such online resources are clear, particularly in the case of MAP Academy; as the art world begins its belated engagement with the colonial origins of many of the world’s largest collections and repatriation efforts such as the Benin Bronzes get underway, the concept of national artistic ownership has come under greater scrutiny. Similarly, as galleries and museums around the world strive to diversify their collections, resources such as this encourage the broadening of the artistic canon to include more than just Western art, making the study and mainstream perception of art history significantly richer as a result.

Dancer's Headpiece in the Form of a Panjurli Bhuta (boar spirit deity), 18th century, copper alloy, Kerala

Such new projects as these naturally bring up questions about the future of the art world, particularly for galleries and museums; as explored in a previous article, the spatial context of art can play a large role in our experience and understanding of works. However, such virtual spaces should not be viewed as replacements for physical gallery spaces, but rather as resources to enhance them. By facilitating accessible engagement with art, such resources should encourage a greater understanding and appreciation of the art world, and perhaps even bring a new cohort of art-lovers to galleries to experience pieces in person, with more diverse resources such as MAP Academy bringing a traditionally ignored branch of the art world to greater prominence.

MAP Academy can be found here.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
20/05/2022
Discussions
Adam Wells
Art History Online
Last month, the Museum of Art and Photography in Bangalore launched a free open-source online encyclopaedia covering over 1,000 years of Indian art history. We take a look at how online spaces such as this can encourage and enhance an interest in the art world…

In the early days of the internet, many speculated about its potential to revolutionise communication and allow a greater spread of information throughout the world. Whether or not this potential has been realised may still be a matter of debate, but there are still certain corners of the internet which strive to educate and provide greater accessibility to the art world. One recent example of this is MAP Academy, a free, open-source online encyclopaedia launched last month by Bangalore’s Museum of Art and Photography. The Museum describes the site as ‘a new resource exploring the histories of art in South Asia’, containing resources and information on over 1,000 years of Indian art history.

An 11th century sandstone sculpture of a Celestial dancer (Devata). Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Such online archives are not unheard of in the art world; in 2011, Google launched Google Arts and Culture, a service featuring works from over 2,000 museums around the world, collecting high-resolution images, information and analysis of various pieces of art. Similarly, the Tate collective have digitised their entire collection on their website, allowing visitors to view and learn about over 70,000 pieces of art within the British National Collection. The importance of such online collections cannot be overstated when considering accessibility within the art world, with a whole world of culture being opened to those who may not have the time or resources to visit the physical galleries.

Untitled, Bhuri Bai (c. 1980). Courtesy of Hervé Perdriolle.

Where MAP Academy fits into this, as the project’s founder Nathaniel Gaskell explained in an interview with the New York Times, is in providing a less Westernised perspective on the Indian art being displayed. Gaskell notes that “prior to this, people got their information on Indian art either from Western institutions or from the market or from very specialised academics who write books that most people cannot understand”, with MAP Academy filling this gap and giving an Indian perspective on over 2,000 pieces of art, including works from such movements as the Bengal School of modernist painters and the Punjabi Bagh embroidery tradition.

Krishna’s Longing for Radha, from the Gita Govinda of Jayadeva (circa 1820-25)

The advantages of such online resources are clear, particularly in the case of MAP Academy; as the art world begins its belated engagement with the colonial origins of many of the world’s largest collections and repatriation efforts such as the Benin Bronzes get underway, the concept of national artistic ownership has come under greater scrutiny. Similarly, as galleries and museums around the world strive to diversify their collections, resources such as this encourage the broadening of the artistic canon to include more than just Western art, making the study and mainstream perception of art history significantly richer as a result.

Dancer's Headpiece in the Form of a Panjurli Bhuta (boar spirit deity), 18th century, copper alloy, Kerala

Such new projects as these naturally bring up questions about the future of the art world, particularly for galleries and museums; as explored in a previous article, the spatial context of art can play a large role in our experience and understanding of works. However, such virtual spaces should not be viewed as replacements for physical gallery spaces, but rather as resources to enhance them. By facilitating accessible engagement with art, such resources should encourage a greater understanding and appreciation of the art world, and perhaps even bring a new cohort of art-lovers to galleries to experience pieces in person, with more diverse resources such as MAP Academy bringing a traditionally ignored branch of the art world to greater prominence.

MAP Academy can be found here.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
20/05/2022
Discussions
Adam Wells
Art History Online
Last month, the Museum of Art and Photography in Bangalore launched a free open-source online encyclopaedia covering over 1,000 years of Indian art history. We take a look at how online spaces such as this can encourage and enhance an interest in the art world…

In the early days of the internet, many speculated about its potential to revolutionise communication and allow a greater spread of information throughout the world. Whether or not this potential has been realised may still be a matter of debate, but there are still certain corners of the internet which strive to educate and provide greater accessibility to the art world. One recent example of this is MAP Academy, a free, open-source online encyclopaedia launched last month by Bangalore’s Museum of Art and Photography. The Museum describes the site as ‘a new resource exploring the histories of art in South Asia’, containing resources and information on over 1,000 years of Indian art history.

An 11th century sandstone sculpture of a Celestial dancer (Devata). Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Such online archives are not unheard of in the art world; in 2011, Google launched Google Arts and Culture, a service featuring works from over 2,000 museums around the world, collecting high-resolution images, information and analysis of various pieces of art. Similarly, the Tate collective have digitised their entire collection on their website, allowing visitors to view and learn about over 70,000 pieces of art within the British National Collection. The importance of such online collections cannot be overstated when considering accessibility within the art world, with a whole world of culture being opened to those who may not have the time or resources to visit the physical galleries.

Untitled, Bhuri Bai (c. 1980). Courtesy of Hervé Perdriolle.

Where MAP Academy fits into this, as the project’s founder Nathaniel Gaskell explained in an interview with the New York Times, is in providing a less Westernised perspective on the Indian art being displayed. Gaskell notes that “prior to this, people got their information on Indian art either from Western institutions or from the market or from very specialised academics who write books that most people cannot understand”, with MAP Academy filling this gap and giving an Indian perspective on over 2,000 pieces of art, including works from such movements as the Bengal School of modernist painters and the Punjabi Bagh embroidery tradition.

Krishna’s Longing for Radha, from the Gita Govinda of Jayadeva (circa 1820-25)

The advantages of such online resources are clear, particularly in the case of MAP Academy; as the art world begins its belated engagement with the colonial origins of many of the world’s largest collections and repatriation efforts such as the Benin Bronzes get underway, the concept of national artistic ownership has come under greater scrutiny. Similarly, as galleries and museums around the world strive to diversify their collections, resources such as this encourage the broadening of the artistic canon to include more than just Western art, making the study and mainstream perception of art history significantly richer as a result.

Dancer's Headpiece in the Form of a Panjurli Bhuta (boar spirit deity), 18th century, copper alloy, Kerala

Such new projects as these naturally bring up questions about the future of the art world, particularly for galleries and museums; as explored in a previous article, the spatial context of art can play a large role in our experience and understanding of works. However, such virtual spaces should not be viewed as replacements for physical gallery spaces, but rather as resources to enhance them. By facilitating accessible engagement with art, such resources should encourage a greater understanding and appreciation of the art world, and perhaps even bring a new cohort of art-lovers to galleries to experience pieces in person, with more diverse resources such as MAP Academy bringing a traditionally ignored branch of the art world to greater prominence.

MAP Academy can be found here.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
Thanks For Reading
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