Art Institute’s Art Tab highlights from January 2020

Imagine every time you open a new Chrome tab, you get a new work of art.

The Art Institute of Chicago’s Google extension, Art Tab, places a random image from their giant collection into every new Chrome browser tab. Very much like Google Arts & Culture. Except, the Art Institute’s image doesn’t fill the entire browser window like Google’s extension.

I forked the code in the Art Institute’s plugin to fill the entire browser window; and I love it. (If anyone wants my forked full-screen version, let me know)

Here are some of my favorite artworks this month from the Art Tab

Portrait of Myself

This drawing is so dark and mysterious.

Especially how his head is just peering up from the bottom of my browser. The heavy black tones are achieved by drypoint and aquatint on ivory laid paper.

Hawk, from The Picture Book of Realistic Paintings of Hokusai (H

Whoa. Click through to the uncropped artwork. CHECK OUT THOSE CLAWS. This shouldn’t be too surprising. It is a hawk after all.

Yes, Hawk. I do have too many browser add-ons in my toolbar.

Lake of Thun, plate 15 from Liber Studiorum

What do you think is happening in this scene?

Are they going into that body of water? Determined in spite of the storm? Or are they trying to get out of the water? Fearful for their lives.

Fingered Gauntlet for the Right Hand

THIS is a pretty cool thing to see as the wallpaper for a browser tab.


The Art Institute of Chicago has a pillow case in their collection.

Is it just me or do you want to see this pillow case ironed?


The Art Institute of Chicago has some FUNKY stuff in their collection.

A wooden rooster. Artist unknown, dated 1850-1900.

Sketches for a Cavalry Battle and a Mounted Officer

These 1813 sketches of a cavalry battle have a feeling of an animation storyboard.

Géricault was ahead of his time!

Caricature of a Man Wearing a Broad-Brimmed Hat

Hello, random doodle of a sideways man in my browser.

Where did you come from?

Ruby Red-Ground Famille-Rose ‘Floral’ Bowl

This is a nice pretty bowl to appear randomly in your browser.

Hello, bowl.

Obvious Love (Arawaruru koi), from the series “Anthology of Po

The cropping for these images is often so much fun.

What is this? A seashell? A black fish?

Rosita Mauri

Details in looseness

Another advantage of this full-screen art is the close-ups you get. This artwork is amazing, because it appears to be a bunch of loose diagonal lines. But There’s a face in there. A nicely defined face.

The tip of the Spontoon is shown

Le sourire: Journal sérieux, Aug. 21, 1899

A cute sketch page from Paul Gauguin

Chaucer’s Tower Near Benham

For a moment I thought I was looking at the castle on the south side of Chicago

The Actor Sakata Hangoro III as the Groom Abumizuri no Iwazo in

The cropping of this photo is intriguing.

What is this man looking at?

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