Yesterday, the Artists database was activated on ClassyArts.com. It is, of course, in its early stages, but I think the potential value should be clear. Oftentimes, we come across works of art attributed or signed by artists who are not ‘listed’ in the main reference works. This database will help remediate that problem.
Instead of looking to the traditional sources for artist information — museum holdings and exhibition catalogs — this database is derived from original sources in which people list their occupations. Mostly census listings and city directories.
Of course we pick up some of the ‘listed’ artists too — but no harm done. It may even provide previously unknown information about some of those artists too.
So far, the database has a little over 19,000 records. They are almost all from the U.S. so far, but I have plans to expand to global sources in time.
I also have a huge collection of digital reproductions of fine art works. Here is one (click on the image to view the full sized version):
I’m not sure how those will fit into the site. There are too many to upload to the server, but maybe I can list them and make them available on-demand as I do with photographs.
Right now, you can search the artists database and get the name and city/state/country of residence. Paid members can get the full record, which includes the name of the source, the year (for the source citation), sometimes the birth and/or death date, the full residential address, the business address or studio, and any additional notes. Biographical descriptions will also be added for some artists, in time.