Ashmolean: Eastern Art Online
OMG, tons of eye candy!
As with most of the really good stuff, I found this site quite by accident while googling for creative inspiration.
If you read the rest of page below, you’ll see that the web site provides access to pieces that may not always be on display due to space & conservation considerations. It’s some amazing stuff and the web site is really well done.
If you go to the home page choose “Search Collection” from the sidebar on the right you can enter, for example, Japan. Your results are paged in groups of 25 by default, then at the top there’s a timeline you can use to filter the results. The section I clicked on gave me ceramics from 1815-1899. From there you can drag the date slider and/or choose other options (sculpture, textiles, etc.)
That’s not even the best part—when you click on a specific item, you’re taken to a page with all the details and a gallery of photos allowing you to view the item from all sides & up close. I chose the Buddha-looking guy, which is stunning when you see up close. Oh, and he’s called Figure of Hotei, which I had to look up. According to my WordWeb dictionary, Hotei is one of 7 gods of happiness (more at Wikipedia). Who knew? I sure didn’t. Learn something new every day.
The site is a little bit slow. Maybe because it’s in the UK and because of all the images & Flash, but it’s well worth it if you love art.
I am soooo going to get lost in all these images.
From “The Project” page:
The Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art provides online access to the Ashmolean Museum’s Eastern Art department collections.
As part of the University of Oxford, the collections hold particular value for teaching and research, but they also appeal to visitors who may not be as familiar with the material. This project aims to open up the collections and enable everyone to find what they are interested in; whether for research, artistic inspiration or general curiosity.
Eastern Art Online is designed to provide layers of information about the objects and the stories they tell. High quality images and up-to-date information for the objects are a priority and there is an extensive, ongoing programme dedicated to this.
As much as possible the Centre avoids duplication of information that already exists online, choosing instead to link to and reference other resources in related areas, while specialising in the unique areas of our collections.
The Ashmolean reopened its doors in November 2009 following an extensive redevelopment. As a result the Museum has more galleries and better conditions for storing and displaying the collections. The galleries highlight the connections between objects that show how the civilisations that shaped our modern world developed as part of an interrelated world culture, rather than in isolation.