As travel bloggers, we’re regularly asked to “review our site” and “check out our app”. Lest you think this is how we make money and can afford to travel, keep dreaming: none of those requests ever come with cash or mounds of bitcoins.
We always take a peek at a website, usually we’ll install and give an app a spin (as long as they work on our iPhones or iPads). Rarely are we impressed enough to actually blog about it. We’re remiss in mentioning a few of the more nifty sites, apps, and gadgets, so while we gather some blog-worthy experiences in England we’ll pepper our blog with write-ups on a few of our favorites.
The first isn’t technically a travel website, but an art reference site called Artsy.net. Their mission, as stated on their about page, is “to make all the world’s art accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.” Now, we’re fortunate enough to be able to travel and see some of the world’s great art in person (blogs here, here, here, here, here, etc.) but not only is Artsy.net a great virtual art gallery for anyone yearning to see and learn about art they can’t see in person, it’s a great resource site for learning about the art a traveler is about to see or has just seen.
To be fair, we knew about Artsy.net before we heard from them. They’ve shown up in Google results when researching particular pieces, artists, and museums, which is why they’re worthy of any art-loving traveler’s bookmark. While every museum and gallery’s website is different (to navigate, different information and content, and so on), Artsy.net provides a consistent interface and presentation of information. In addition to basic information about the museum’s collection and location, Artsy provides information about current, upcoming, and past exhibitions. For the traveler, it’s a great place to read up on a museum in early trip planning to know whether it’s a must-see during your visit.
If you have a passion for a particular artist, like Chuck’s love of Salvador Dali and Lori’s love of Manet, Artsy.net applies that consistent interface and presentation of information to artists as well. You can explore the artist’s works, see where the piece is displayed, and if the work is for sale what gallery it can be found in (and sometimes how much it will set you back: a few of the Dali’s they list are as low as $2,500). There’s also a brief bio of the artist, recent blogs and articles about the artist, and a calendar of shows at galleries and museums presenting the artist’s works.
A cool aspect of Artsy.net is that they also feature new and emerging artists. If you’re a collector, or just interested in art, you can simply browse their site to learn about artists you’ve never heard of and see wonderfully detailed images of their works. If you find an artist you’re interested in, renowned or not, you can “follow” that artist to keep updated on their exhibitions, shows, new works, etc. Likewise, you can follow museums and galleries for similar updates.
Lastly, assuming you’re an art lover like us, we encourage you to bookmark Artsy.net and sign up for an account. Set up your profile, begin liking artists and works, and let Artsy help you discover other artists.