A lot of people wouldn’t put “fun” and “the arts” into the same sentence, unless there were a “not” somewhere in there. Obligatory visits to art museums, required literature classes, and mandatory attendance at concerts can certainly make the arts seem a lot more like work than fun.
But the Artsology website is all about making it fun to learn about the arts. Play games, or learn about “topics, events and major figures in the arts, including visual art, music, literature and dance.” For instance, learn about Hieronymous Bosch, whose paintings have long fascinated me. Or get an introduction on how to read music (an important skill, in my opinion, but one lacking in many otherwise educated people.)
As often happens when I start looking around on the web, I more or less stumbled on Artsology. I was looking for art-related sites, but not expecting to find a site I’d want to bookmark to visit again and again. It started with yesterday’s Astronomy Picture of the Day, an adaptation of Van Gogh’s painting “Starry Night” in which are hidden various well-known images from the study of astronomy (such as the Comet Hale-Bopp and the Crab Nebula). I can only identify a few of them, but I find the idea of this scavenger hunt appealing.
That made me think about other well-known paintings that have been adapted for various purposes. How many variations on Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” have I seen? Or Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” or his “The Last Supper”? I used to have a postcard-size print of an adaptation of “The Great Wave off Kanagawa,” varying from a faithful representation at the bottom to a pixellated look at the top (promoting some computer product or other, I’m sure, though I can’t remember what).
I was actually looking for a site discussing this type of alteration of famous paintings when I came across Artsology. (It has a page showing a few famous images used in advertising. I recognized the first, second, and fourth, though it had never before occurred to me that the cover picture for the movie Home Alone was taken from a famous painting.) So I haven’t learned much about what I went looking for (not that I knew what I was looking for, just that the subject interested me), but I found something just as good. Maybe better.