The joy of the Internet is also its drawback: there is simply too much information, much of it excellent, for the mind to absorb. I hope that in making these suggestions for your web surfing I have singled out some of the best.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has an exquisite exhibition of Renaissance portraits, from the time of Donatello to Bellini. Peruse these throughtfully and you will be well rewarded.

Shirin Neshat is an Iranian artist whose work we have admired in the past. Here we see her directing a film called "Women Without Men", which recounts the history of four women during a period of crisis in Iran's history. Stills from the film may be seen here.

The National Geographic photo contest has produced some fine images this year. You can see fourteen of them here.

Ralph Eugene Meatyard was a strange but brilliant photographer, known by connoisseurs of the medium but less appreciated by the general public. The M. H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco has mounted a display of his puzzling work, which he steadfastly refused to explain to viewers.

Here's an opportunity to see the works of ten young artists from India, brought to us by TED talks. Ravin Agrawal offers one of TED's best ways to broaden your understanding of nonwestern art. This is some spectacular work here.

The Victoria and Albert Museum holds one of the world's finest collections of British photography. Recently it has decided to make some of these images available online, changing the exhibit every eighteen months or so. This is a rare treat for all of us.

These may not be the kinds of flowers that you expect to see at the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris, but they will certainly bring a gleam to your eye. Yayoi Kusama has created some polka-dot large-scale sculptures in an exhibition called "Flowers that Bloom at Midnight".

I have seen self-portraits before, but these by Amo Rafael Minkkinen are surely among the best. For forty years he has been photographing himself as a part of the landscape with quite extraordinary results.

I first saw the glass sculpture of David Ruth when I visited Seattle some years ago and loved it, as I still do. His work is elegant, imaginative, playful and grand. Be sure also to see his Tongatapu installation created for a theme park near Tokyo, Japan.

I think I may never look at a book in quite the same way again. Guy Laramee takes vintage books and turns them into glacial sculptures, which one critic has described as "the degradation of human culture". They are certainly noteworthy.

After seeing Zachary Abel's work, you may never look at your office supplies in the same way again. Combine an MIT Mathematics student with the plain old paperclip and see what can happen.

c.Corinne Whitaker 2012