A couple of days ago, my son asked me where I go to get the latest news about the art world. I suspect that he expected me to name some cutting-edge, art-oriented web site, but I didn't. I responded that I go the New York Times, "the newspaper of record," which has better coverage of the art world than any other source I know of.
The Times is the only paper with a daily section on the arts. When most papers talk about the arts, they usually mean the performing arts -- theatre, movies, ballet, opera, or TV. The Times, on the other hand, covers every aspect of the arts. In addition, they publish multimedia features about the art world. There are audio excerpts, videos, and slide shows. In many cases, the Times' illustrations for a new museum exhibition are better than the pictures on the museum's own web site. (This will be one of our recurring themes.)
The best part, of course, is that most of the Times' content is available online, at no cost.
In the online version of the Times, just click on "Arts" on the main page, then scroll down and click where it says "Art & Design." Almost every genre is covered and you will have lots to choose from. Not only does the Times cover the opening of the new shows at the museums, they also cover the opening and enhancements of the museums themselves.
But wait, there's more. At the top of the page, there's a search box where you can search the Times' art archives. For instance, a search for "Picasso" yielded 4,206 items. Be aware though, that some articles, after a certain time, will be locked into the "Times Select Archive." You will be able to see an abstract, but you'll have to pay to read the rest of the article. If you find an art item that interests you in today's paper, you might want to use your browser's "Save this page" feature to make a copy on your computer to read at a later date.
But the Times does have one quirky habit. They don't always have links to the museums and other sites mentioned in their articles. (I suspect that this is because the Times sees its articles as permanent and outside links may vanish or change with time.) So if there's an article about a new exhibit at the Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague, you'll have to copy "Mauritshuis" and paste it into your favorite search engine in order to get to the museum itself.
The Times is probably the most important newspaper in the world. The nice thing is that they've extended their leadership to the Internet with a terrific, easy-to-navigate web site that contains the most important parts of their print version. Quite a feat when you consider the amount of content they have to present, and the fact that most of it changes on a daily basis.
I think that someone at the Times figured that it was time to switch their main effort to the web site. Other newspapers are still hanging on to their print format.