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Launch Point

Art Museums

October 05, 1998

Valentin, an agent for Renaissance artist Caravaggio, developed the first art gallery when he realized that people were more inclined to buy paintings in an upscale setting than in a messy art studio. Today, art galleries and museums are more than just places with pictures on the walls. They showcase and preserve the creativity, inspiration and ingenuity of countless individuals from around the world. To access the many treasures available in online art museums, use the direct links on the Times Launchpoint Web site:


Here are the best sites for getting your schoolwork sone of for just having fun:

Level 1

The Contemporary Arts Center for Kids: Discover how artists create their works through encounters with artists like mother-daughter team Betye and Alison Saar. Learn "a special way of seeing" art, make your own online mosaic or submit artwork to a virtual gallery.

Museum Dictionary: A Young Person's Guide to the Kyoto National Museum: Let the professor tell you stories about ancient Asian arts like the illustrated scrolls called "emaki" and the special dolls called "hina" that are part of a festival that has been celebrated since the 17th century.

Kids Framing Kids: More Than Just a Pretty Picture: "Her eyes remind me of a sneaky brown bear, stealing fish," says 10-year-old photographer Tiffany Burhoe of her photo, "The Sneaky Little Girl." Tour six online photo galleries from the Getty Museum and find out how young photographers achieved their special effects.


Level 2

The Seattle Art Museum Online Education Center: How does art tell stories? Find out through these online exhibits that explore the symbolism in masks from the Pacific Northwest and sculpture from India and Southeast Asia.

Take a Tour of the de Young Museum With Olive: What could famous paintings possibly have in common with magazines, movies and TV? Find out as you walk alongside a no longer reluctant museum-goer in this comic book tour of San Francisco's de Young Museum.

Mary Cassatt: Nineteenth century painter Mary Cassatt was the only American invited to exhibit her work with French Impressionists Degas, Monet and Renoir. Learn more about the life of this accomplished woman from this Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit.


Level 3

Los Angeles County Museum of Art: Take an online tour of the permanent collections that have artwork ranging from ancient Islamic and Far Eastern cultures to modern European and American artists. Find out about upcoming exhibitions and view an online exhibit of Harlem Renaissance art.

The WebMuseum, Paris: Famous Paintings Exhibition: Discover artists and their stories as you read about periods of art--from 13th century gothic painting to 20th century art movements like Cubism, abstract Expressionism and pop art.

Orange County Arts Net: Learn about the art of assemblage--the use of real objects to create sculptural art--from its beginnings with Picasso, DuChamp and the Surrealists to current works by six Orange County artists. Explore the local visual and performing arts scene and find out about museum discounts and free events.


Launch Point is produced by the UC Irvine department of education, which reviews each site for appropriateness and quality. Even so, parents should supervise their children's use of the Internet. This week's column was designed by Anna Manring.


What modern artist found inspiration for his art in comic books?

CLUE: See the Contemporary Arts Center for Kids

Find What You Need to Know: Have a project on California history? Need help doing a math problem? Launch Point now covers more than 50 topics for getting your schoolwork done. Go to for the full list of subjects and direct links to the best Internet sites.

Answer to last week's Quest: People learn about a culture through socialization (interaction with other people) and observation.

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