19th February 1999 at 00:00
Monet in the 20th Century

No one in their right mind would suggest that looking at paintings on a computer screen is a good substitute for an encounter with the real thing. But if you can't get to the Royal Academy's Monet show, or can't stand the crowds and the queuing, you can find out about what you're missing here.

The site originates from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, where the Monet show opened before trans-ferring to London last month. It encourages you to progress through eight "galleries", each containing examples of the work of a particular period. The image quality is good, the texts succinct. There are also teaching resources, an audio introduction to Monet, and an online shop stocked with Monet merchandise.

The History of Toys www.historychannel.comexhibitsindex.html

Where did Barbie, who turns 40 next month, get her name from? Did you know that the man who invented Play-Doh was trying to make a better wallpaper cleaner, and that the first yo-yo craze was in classical Greece?

Such vital information can be found in this mini website, one of many histories of..." available online from the History Channel.

The site is built around a time-line, starting with evidence of checkerboard games in 4000BC Babylon, then racing through the millennia until it arrives at the birth of the US toy industry in the 1840s. The past 150 years are covered in detail, mainly from a North American perspective.

Bill Hicks

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