Pascal wrote to me:
Mentioned the Garden of Earthly Delights (below) to my Mom yesterday.
She said "What's the point?"
I think she's a bit old-fashioned about everything internetty and "virtual"...
I explained that not everyone can take the plane to travel all the way to a museum to see this in equivalent quality. She still wasn't convinced.
A writer wrote about this around maybe 1997, Dave Sim who made the Cerebus comic. He said he couldn’t see the point of viewing art on a small bad monitor ("postage-stamp-sized", the standard derogatory). I told him it was just a matter of time, and resolution (in two definitions).
I think Dave still doesn’t even have a computer, he never seemed at all interested, so he may not know this (and probably doesn't care), but viewing color art on a good 27-inch monitor beats the hell out of viewing his comics, which for economic forces are smaller, and have no color. (I'm talking about visually here. Artistically, his works beats most everything.)
Anybody who cares about getting art to people, and has seen a big and good monitor, has a quite limited horizon if they can’t see the blessing of the net.
I’ll bet many of these people have reproduction posters of art on their walls. And I’ll bet the color is far from as good as a good scan on a good monitor (in part simple because it's lit).
In fact I didn’t even realize it, even though I’d been an advocate for many years, even written an article about art on screens in 1999. When I first got a 30-inch monitor, my viewpoint on photos and art totally changed, the monitor was suddenly a viewing gallery as well as a work studio. This was a surprise for me, I just got the bigger one for productivity reasons, the aesthetics gain was a bonus.
We are only in the infancy of this, of course. In due course, cheap, flat, flexible, colorful, pin-sharp monitors will be everywhere. They may even get so cheap they are virtually disposable. One may for example have all the walls papered with screen material, and one can distribute one's current favorite art in the sizes and places of the moment, or have the collection rotate. (Or of course one may choose virtual picture windows on some of them.) Or less may do it.
I'll bet some museums will make services available, some free some not, of their current exhibition, so you can have it on your own wall. This could be good business for them, since it would cost them very little, but they could stream to many more people than they physically have space for. And of course it won't be limited, like physical museums, to the current exhibition. Museums can finally start making money on the large collections they have in dead space in the basements.