Artsy for Education
Resources for discovering and learning about art online

Introducing The Art Genome Project

Taxonomy (the science of classification) is often undervalued as a glorified form of filing—with each species in its folder, like a stamp in its prescribed place in an album; but taxonomy is a fundamental and dynamic science, dedicated to exploring the causes of relationships and similarities among organisms. Classifications are theories about the basis of natural order, not dull catalogues compiled only to avoid chaos.

Stephen Jay GouldWonderful Life (1990)

Many believe categories and terminology for art compromises art’s nuances and inherent mysteriousness. However, classification is central to understanding the order of things, particularly their relationships and similarities.

Art.sy’s Art Genome Project aims to create a classification system that retains the nuances and mysteries within art and allows anyone with an Internet connection the opportunity to learn about art and art history. 

From today on, members of the Project will post here the ideas, discussions, arguments, successes and failures we have had in our ongoing attempt to create The Art Genome Project. We hope you enjoy it and we look forward to your comments. Please feel free to comment on any of our posts or to contact me directly at matthew@art.sy.

-Matthew Israel, Director of The Art Genome Project