Magazine article Teach

[The World's Greatest Museum: The Ultimate Collection of the World's Finest Art]

Magazine article Teach

[The World's Greatest Museum: The Ultimate Collection of the World's Finest Art]

Article excerpt

Step into a museum of 150 of the world's greatest art works. Find out why the Mona Lisa is smiling, what really is so special about the Venus de Milo and why was Andy Warhol so '60s? The paintings, sculptures and artifacts assembled on this CD come from the great museums of the world. Together the pieces form a virtual museum where art works can be explored according to each person's individual whims and caprices.

The works can be approached from a variety of directions; by artist, by country, by date, by artwork, or by theme. The thematic approach groups works by beliefs, animals, people, expressions, places, things, events and impressions. It is an interesting way to assemble what are otherwise very disparate pieces.

To examine an artwork, move to the "Discovery" mode. Here users are given a set of tools for examining the work. There are seven icons: a book, a pair of dice, a magnifying glass, an hour glass, a globe, a flashlight and a "my museum" button. Click on the flashlight and a short video starts to roll. (Tip: disable the computer's screen saver in order to view the videos without interruption.) An art piece is illuminated against a black screen, and as the camera moves across the work, a voice describes the piece -- its expression, its aesthetics and the story, or narrative of the work. Move on to the book icon to find a full description of the work. A short article provides the historical context to the work; there is often a brief biography of the artist, a list of a few related works and finally a brief appreciation of the work's aesthetic qualities. The descriptions employ fine art vocabulary and a glossary can be accessed to explain highlighted technical terms such as "chiaroscuro" or "vanities."

There were a few technical glitches on the CD-ROM. I couldn't access the animation files to a Jasper Johns work and was thrown out of the program when I did try. …

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