Art blogs

As most of us know, the blog (from ‘web log’) is an original Internet format, a type of website that takes advantage of essential web elements like hyperlinks to connect content, and multimedia integration (including still and moving image and sound) to present it, and gets periodical updates (i.e. a continuing resource), with the content usually appearing in reverse chronological order. First appeared in the late 1990s, they have enjoyed a quick rise in popularity from the early 2000s as an easy and convenient way of online publishing, supported by new free software and hosting services (Blogger in 1999, Movable Type in 2001, WordPress in 2003, etc.)


Blogs are original online digital media, related to email lists, internet forums, online networking platforms and social media (Facebook, etc), but also heirs to a range of traditional literary and journalistic genres (diary, epistolary correspondence, short article, opinion piece, review) and established print formats (newspaper, magazine, fanzine). They allow readers a degree of interaction, typically allowing comments to be posted. Different blogs’ updates can be automatically aggregated via dedicated ‘feed’ readers (e.g. Bloglines), via email systems and, more commonly in recent years, via web browsers and mobile ‘apps’.


As with any other media, quality of content (from links or short news alerts to long original essays) is key to success, and blogs have largely moved on from being instruments at the service of the egocentric, incontinent and/or unoriginal (perversely putting a premium on the second-hand as a supposed shortcut to the e-Zeitgeist), to new and more creative uses in, for instance, educational contexts (as a simple but versatile writing/publishing platform), the visual arts (as a digital portfolio or sketchbook/notebook), as a professional tool (artists, curators, critics), or by institutions. According to Nielsen’s Blogpulse, there are currently 178,065,113 blogs, and with 92,289 new ones created in the last 24 hours (Dec. 5), this almost venerable Internet format seems to be well established within the complex and ever evolving landscape of digital resources.


Although some blogs use ISSNs as identifiers, blogs are not usually included in library catalogues or other bibliographic databases, and the main sources of information are directories, generalist (e.g. Technorati) or specialist, listings or search engines. Here you will find a selection of blogs of interest, covering a range subjects from art librarianship to exhibition reviews, with an emphasis on original content. For a fuller analysis of blogs and their use in the context of academic librarianship, see the excellent article by Vivienne Eades on fashion blogs published in the Art Libraries Journal, vol.36 no.2, 2011, p. 10-16.




Courtauld Institute of Art Library Useful Links

Top 25 Arts & Culture Blogs in the UK

Arts Media Contacts Top Art Blogs of 2010

Top 20 (or so) Art Blogs

ARLIS/NA Recommended Blogs for Art Reviews


Libraries and librarians

A number of art libraries and archives have institutional blogs, some used as a way of alerting users to service news, others providing subject specific, in depth content. When regularly updated by knowledgeable staff, blogging is a good way for librarians –particularly subject or course librarians – to communicate with their users and to promote collections and services in a personalised (as opposed to corporate) way.


Glasgow School of Art Library

UCL Library News for Artists

Courtauld Institute of Art Library

Stuart Hall Library (Iniva)

University of the Arts London Library News

British Library

Library of Congress

New York Art Resources Consortium

Archives of American Art

UCLA Arts Library Art and Art History


Professional blogs are popular with librarians, and CILIP aggregates on its Communities website a selection of UK based ones. Many specialisms are also catered for, from cataloguing (the aggregator Planet Cataloging is an excellent way to keep updated in this area) to marketing.


CILIP Members Blog Landscape

Planet Cataloging

The ‘M’ Word – Marketing Libraries


Lorcan Dempsey’s Weblog

Jessamyn West


Art publishers and bookshops

From large commercial publishers to independent bookshops and artists’ publications, here print is promoted digitally:


X Marks the Bökship



Art Metropole

Other Criteria

Art Mag



Museums and galleries

A way for institutions to introduce more individual approach to their public communications, blogging puts curators and other staff directly in contact with the public:











Exhibition reviews, critics, curators

Blogs by established magazines and newspapers as well as independent critics and curators, discussing current exhibitions and professional practices:


Jonathan Jones (The Guardian)

Lunettes Rouges (Le Monde)


Art Review

Review – Art Exhibitons in London (Alastair Dunning)

ML Art Source

Art Sleuth

We Make Money Not Art (Régine Debatty)

Self Selector (Lorena Muñoz-Alonso)

Modern Art Notes (Tyler Green)

Art Fag City

Artworld Salon

Bienal Mercosul


Artist’s blogs

From Ai Weiwei’s famous blog (closed by the Chinese government and now published as a book) to projects by Foundation in Art and Design students, over the last few years many artists (sometimes under pseudonym) have started using it as a way to document their work and interests (an online portfolio or sketchbook) and a tool for reflexive thought (in the form of writings, statements, manifestos…) Some artist’s blogs can even be regarded as a form of art in themselves…


a n Artists Talking

The Dump





[Grandal Montero, G. (2012) Resources online: Art blogs. ARLIS News-sheet, no. 215, Jan.-Feb., pp. 3-4.]


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