Microsoft Art Gallery
Microsoft Art Gallery (Microsoft Corp.) may be the grand-daddy of the glossy art CD-ROMs. Published in 1993, its content is drawn from the collection of The National Gallery in London. As is to be expected, installation is a breeze, the interface is clean and easy, if not particularly attractive, and content is impressive. You can explore the Gallery in four different ways: by Artist, Historical Atlas, Picture Types, and General Reference. You can also take one of the Guided Tours, which focus on highlights of the collection, by examining four topics: Composition and Perspective, Making Paintings, Paintings as Objects, and Beneath the Varnish (a favorite with our reviewers). The glossary is extensive and the text is replete with hypertext links and on-the-spot definitions. Most important, the quality of the reproductions is very fine. Our main quibble is the lack of attribution for the text and the absence of a bibliography. These are conventional features of print reference works and should be available on CD-ROM titles as well.
– March 1995