Oxford Art Online

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The Dictionary of Art

Oxford Art Online (formerly known as Grove Art Online, previous to that The Dictionary of Art and often referred to as The Grove Dictionary of Art), is a large encyclopedia of art, now part of the online reference publications of Oxford University Press, and previously a 34-volume printed encyclopedia first published by Grove in 1996 and reprinted with minor corrections in 1998. A new edition was published in 2003 by Oxford University Press. Written by 6,700 experts from around the world, its 32,600-pages cover over 45,000 topics about art, artists, art critics, art collectors, or anything else connected to the world of art. According to The New York Times Book Review it is the "most ambitious art-publishing venture of the late 20th century".[1] Almost half the content covers non-Western subjects, and contributors hail from 120 countries. Topics range from Julia Margaret Cameron to Shoji Hamada, Korea to Timbuktu, the Enlightenment to Marxism, and Yoruba masks to Abstract Expressionism. Entries include bibliographies and a vast number of images. The dictionary is still available in a standard hardcover edition, though the 216-pound leather-bound version appears to be out of print.

Various smaller specialized redactions have been published, such as The Grove Dictionary of Materials and Techniques in Art (OUP 2008, ISBN 978-0-19-531391-8), From David to Ingres: Early 19th-Century French Artists (Grove Dictionary of Art) and so on.

The Grove Dictionary of Art is published by Oxford University Press, who acquired it from Macmillan Publishers in 2003. It was notable for retailing at close to nine thousand dollars, or about two-hundred and sixty dollars per volume, making it one of the most expensive reference works and inaccessible to anyone but specialists or institutions such as libraries. However the price has been considerably lower since in 2006 when, to mark its tenth anniversary, the dictionary was available for one thousand US dollars in America.

The online version, which is updated three times a year, is available by subscription, and includes some extra content. At least in the UK, many public libraries offer it free to their online users using their library membership number and a PIN to login. The Grove Dictionary of Art was first offered online through the Grove Art Online web site in 1998. The site was expanded and renamed as Oxford Art Online, including other works: The Oxford Companion to Western Art, Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms.

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References
  1. ^ Kimmelman, Michael (24 August 1997). "Michelangelo Meets Buffalo Meat". The New York Times.
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