[ Home: Virtual Museum: Curator's Office: Welcome from Scott Burkett ]

In 1886, a young painter was returning to Paris from Asnières, with a load of fresh paintings created from the surroundings there. He was walking down rue Lepic in Paris when he stumbled upon his mentor and his mentor's son walking in the other direction. Anxious to show his paintings immediately, he proceeded to line them up against the side of the street, to the great amazement of passersby. His mentor's son could not believe his eyes, and rightly so, as it was considered quite a rude gesture to display paintings outside of the studio.

The mentor's son was Lucien Pissarro, and the mentor, of course, was Camille Pissarro. The young painter who crudeley lined his paintings up on the street for everyone to see was Vincent van Gogh. Van Gogh struggled for most of life to sell his work (records and legend have him selling only 1 or 2 for money during his career). Today, an original van Gogh is worth millions.

I often imagine what Vincent van Gogh could have done had the Internet been around in his time. He could have reached millions of art critics, collectors, and creators with a single mouse click. The advent of the Internet has torn down communication barriers, and opened entire new worlds for its inhabitants.

Our goal is to continuously leverage the capabilities of the Internet in order to provide free art education to our visitors. The WetCanvas! Virtual Museum was launched as an effort to bring together relevant art-history resources for the many art students that use WetCanvas! as a learning tool in their research.

The ultimate goal of the WetCanvas! Virtual Museum is to present an accurate and interesting depiction of art history, from it's earliest beginnings in the ice age to it's more modern appearances. While this is truly a herculean task, I assure you, we'll get there. It may take us forever, but ultimately, we will cover all major periods. Our mission is to uncover the little known works, facts, and sundries that have eluded the populace for years. We think we are off to a great start!

While nothing will ever replace the thrill and excitement of standing 2 feet away from a masterpiece in the Louvre, there are scores of people who may never get the opportunity to share in that experience. I'd like to share with you a letter that we received recently:

My name is Katie Brunniger, and I live in a rural area in Montana. Several years ago, I was in a horrible car accident that left me crippled and confined to a wheel chair. I visit the wetcanvas site daily, and I thouroughly enjoy the many art lessons and other things. In many ways, it has given me a new lease on life. Through art, I can express myself, wheel chair or not. I read recently that you will be opening a "cyber museum", full of art history images and stories. I have always wanted to travel to see the world's museums, but as you can imagine, current circumstances are telling me otherwise. I absolutely cannot wait to see your online museum! I am sure it will be the next best thing to being there!

Katie, from the bottom of my heart, this museum is for you. I encourage each and every one of our readers to take a child by the hand, this weekend, and enjoy a visit to your local museum. If circumstance prevents you from undertaking such a journey, we sincerely hope that our small museum here at WetCanvas! will provide a suitable substitute until such time as you can enjoy standing at "arms-length to greatness".

Best regards,

Please direct all inquiries, corrections, and submissions to [email protected].