I was searching online for a good picture of Andrew Wyeth‘s famous painting called Christina’s World, to show a friend and discovered rather sadly that there were none. So, I found the best one available and did what I could to clean it up. The official site which holds the painting on view is at MoMA in New York City. That presentation is of good color and exposure quality but is so small that it can’t be enlarged without totally degrading into pixels. An artist can’t get a good feel for what Wyeth was doing.
Much of the world’s great art is in The Top 100 Museum’s vaults and only comes out for an occasional viewing, and then only in the locked-down situation of a museum. With the modern internet the museums could easily put high quality prints on line which would improve all humanity’s viewing experience. What would they be losing but a few bucks for their occasional sale of hyped-up color postcards? They would probably gain a much greater paying patronage and certainly the thanks of the artistic world.
The present system limits viewing of great art to rich people, who can afford the travel expense to visit the relatively rare places where the great art is available. This is an aspect of the Occupy Movement that hasn’t been addressed and most of the 99% are largely shut out from the quality art of the world. Great art is owned by the 1% and those who possess some of the best of it do so with the sole purpose of exclusive ownership. They have it and you don’t. Even the publicly available art is controlled by these exclusive people and the proof of that is that they don’t really share their art, and hold it exclusively for those who pay to walk through their hallowed institutional halls of culture. If they were actually interested in sharing their art works with the public they would make them available in high quality digital pictures of their art possessions online. Below is my reconstruction from an online snapshot. Apparently the original is poorly lit because most of the patron snapshots online are much darker on the right side than is the official little picture linked above.
Even this larger view doesn’t begin to convey the quality of the original as is seen below in a closeup from another source.
There is no reason the museums of the world couldn’t show their entire collections of paintings with the detail shown in this closeup of Christina’s shoe.
Occupy Museums! And demand that their works on the walls and in their vaults be placed on public display online at very good viewing quality. Artists create things to be viewed by the public and not stored in some basement or on some rich klepto’s wall. After a bunch more click-throughs of poor quality images I found this good one. Even as good as that one is, do the click throughs and compare it to the shoe shown here. The point is that online pictures could be much better!
Picket the museums of the world to put quality digital images online.