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Each week, Education World's Great Sites for Teaching About ... page highlights Web sites to help educators work timely themes into their lessons. This week's sites are among the best on the Web for teaching about museums.

  1. The American Century: Art and Culture
    The Whitney Museum of American Art offers this online exhibition of art and artifacts from the 20th century. Although the site offers a number of pop art pieces that are not appropriate for children, the Tour List and Create Tour sections allow you to customize your tour and bypass any works of art that you decide are not appropriate. Because this site uses current Web technologies to showcase the exhibit, you will want to use a browser version 4.0 or higher and check your plug-ins before proceeding with a tour. Some of the required plug-ins include Flash, Shockwave, RealPlayer, and Live Picture Zoom Viewer.

  2. Muse Rodin
    This is the online presence of the Muse Rodin in Paris, presenting information on the life and work of Auguste Rodin. This site is presented in both French and English and is excellent for foreign language students as well as art aficionados. Work shown here in digital form includes sculptures, sketches, paintings, engravings, and photographs. The focus on the museum garden is especially unique. Further resources and links round out this superb site.

  3. The Temple of Alife
    This original art site fuses science and art to provide an online experience with morphing. The artists who created this page based their work on digital scientific models of actual biological processes. The technique is unique; the site encourages imagination and creativity. Students can create their own morphs, manipulating a variety of artificial organisms to determine the scientific principles behind genetics while creating new and different visual images. Half a dozen different activities here will promote all kinds of learning and discussion!

  4. Uffizi Gallery
    Founded by the De Medici family in the 16th century, the Uffizi Gallery is one of the very oldest museums in the world. On this companion Web site, visitors can explore the museum by room, artist, and artwork. Thumbnail photos link to larger digital images of art and architecture housed in this highly revered institution. Artists represented here include Botticelli, Caravaggio, Drer, Giotto, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Rembrandt.

  5. Tramline Impressionist Tour
    This virtual exhibit of the Impressionist movement offers not only digital images but a good deal of background information on the movement and the artists behind the art. Using frames to aid in navigation, the site offers flexibility in selecting the resources and topics you wish to focus on with your students. The embedded hypertext links within each section make digging deeper for further information easy and quick.

  6. Muse du Louvre
    This Web site about the famous Paris museum is an excellent study of French culture presented in English. Visitors can stroll through the virtual gallery to see its greatest art treasures. Visitors can also study the Louvre's architecture, learn its history, and even study floor plans of the storied museum. This site provides lots of possibilities for science, social studies, and art!

  7. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
    This is the Web presence of one of the great American art collections. The site offers much information about the museum's exhibits and collections. Click on Collections and The MFA Collection to take a virtual one-hour tour of the museum's highlights.

  8. WebMuseum, Paris
    This collection of art pieces offers a look at many masterpieces of the ages. Current exhibits include a comprehensive collection of paintings by Paul Czanne; "Les Trs Riches Heures du Duc de Berry," an illustrated manuscript from medieval times; and a collection of famous paintings that you won't find anywhere else!

  9. National Gallery of Art
    No listing of the best online art museum Web sites would be complete without the site of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Visitors can take tours of specific collections and epochs, in-depth study tours of specific artists, architecture tours of this unique museum, and tours of past exhibits on Vincent Van Gogh, Alexander Calder, and others.

  10. Museum of Web Art
    Presenting its mission as a celebration of the "art, technology, and culture of the World Wide Web," this site is ideal for high school students and beyond who are looking for a cutting edge study of Web culture with particular emphasis on the arts. The Kids Wing offers child-appropriate interactive virtual art, but supervise your students so they do not stray off into other regions of the site.

Walter McKenzie
Education World®
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