We all owe you and Steven (as well as all the other contributors) a huge debt of gratitude for undertaking this highly important project. It is no doubt a labor of love for you all. While I have spoken generally about the importance and far-reaching impact of Smarthistory in my article, John and Alexander have kindly provided two wonderful testimonials (thanks to you both!), and I've no doubt there are hundreds more out there. Brava!
Again, I thank you on behalf of myself and the art history professors (and students) everywhere; keep up the good work.
“John, you've raised a fantastic point here. The issue is not only about the physical barriers of accessing information but financial barriers as well. Art history texts, because of the sumptuous illustrations and sheer size, are often outrageously expensive, and that cost is certainly a deterrent for students who have multiple options to complete a basic requirement. Hopefully with the advent of these online resources, we can take finances out of the equation, so that more young people can be enriched by the power of art.
And, of course, many thanks for the kind words; it's truly appreciated.”
“Thank you for your wonderful comment, Kim! Nothing makes me happier than walking through the galleries and seeing children engage with art -- they see things we don't. You're doing them a wonderful service by exposing them to art, music, and the like. I wish you (and them) all the best!
“Beth, thank you so much for your kind words! I echo all the sentiments in your comment about the dry, disinterested approach of so many art historians -- art IS alive and should be treated as such in both conversation and text.
P.S. I am a huge fan of your smarthistory.org project and love it's approach. Brava!”
“Absolutely! Expectations abound in all aspects of our daily life, but us art history nerds have a unique perspective on this ritual of transforming a classroom experience into an actual experience and we so often grapple with the disjunction between the two. Some experiences disappoint, some exceed, and others are simply different, but I wanted to try to translate that internal negotiation we all experience into something legible. Thank you for reading and commenting!”
bethrharris on Oct 4, 2010 at 08:11:36
“How could I resist not commenting on a comment that had the words "art history nerds" in it! This post was such fun to read - one way to engage art history students is to transform the cold and lifeless work of art that they see in their textbook to something alive and experiential - and this article helps to do that. I wish more art historians wrote this kind of essay!
And offering the work of art in a more experiential context is a core principle of smarthistory.org - an open art history textbook that won the webby award for education in 2009.”
“It absolutely true that the documentation of its creation and subsequent history are integral parts of the work. It metaphorically bears the foot prints of all who have visited, of every ray of sunshine and every tide of the lake. I'm thrilled to have been a part of that history, even if it was just for a few fleeting hours.”
Jim Erwin on Oct 4, 2010 at 19:16:25
“I'm thrilled to be part of the history of you documenting your history, of the history.”
“Thank you so much for your comment! It's wonderful to hear enthusiasm for the film and I appreciate your kind words on the review. I completely agree that Tamra Davis did an excellent job of showing us her friend without glorifying him. I feel we saw a fairly accurate portrait of Basquiat -- the good and the bad -- but as seen through the eyes of a friend who, as any genuine friend, is not blind to your flaws but loves you in spite of them.”