Welcome to The Incredible Art Department. This site began in late 1994 as a showcase for my elementary art students in a school in Indianapolis, Indiana. IAD was the second educational website in Indiana and the first art education website in the world that we know of. My district was not ready for this exposure so they told me to remove the site. Rather than completely folding it, I decided to open it up to the world instead. The response was phenomenal. I received 8,555 visitors the first year. Now the site receives millions of visitors each year.
As the number of visitors grew, the site kept getting booted off my internet providers' servers. In one case, the site took down their entire server when Netscape featured IAD on their index page. As the visitors to this site grew, I could not find any companies willing to host the site for free. IAD went through six moves until IAD had its own domain.
Later I found that I could not keep up with the hundreds of submissions and link requests. Because of the number of submissions I sent out a request for help and for a time, several art teachers and even a high school student helped out. Teri Mason was kind enough to help me for about a year. Later, Judy Decker, a retired teacher, offered to help and she assisted me for about eight years. When she began to help, she brought with her files she had on her school art room page. She later expanded her files into a section she called Incredible Resources. This section added many resources to the site and was a great addition.
On November 2, 2009, Judy Decker left IAD and took with her the Incredible Resources section. You can find her pages by entering the URL's of her pages in the Internet Archive. Some of the new pages filled in the gap and slowly her section is being replaced by newer and better things.
In January and June of 2012, Google penalized my host, Princeton Online with what they called Panda. Panda penalizes the search results of sites under a secret criteria only known to their head engineer. It also penalized many other sites and put some small online businesses out of business. Because IAD was on Princeton Online, we were also penalized and the only way to get around it was to go to our own domain, incredibleart.org. On September 28, 2012, we officially moved to the new domain. Our Princeton Online links are now forwarding to the new domain.
I will always be grateful to Peter Gibson and Princeton Online for offering free hosting to us over the years. Because of the bandwidth this site gets, paying for the hosting is expensive. This site is advertising supported in order to keep it free to visitors. Because I devote time and money on this site, there must be ads for compensation.
I am also the moderator of the art education and art jobs listgroups hosted on this website and continue to update the site. I have enjoyed the friends I have met here and welcome your continued e-mail. Below, you will find the final counters of each year from 1997 forward. On this page I am reporting the annual visitor count and in later years, the page view numbers. If you want to see more of the history of the web, visit our awards page for sites that are no longer online. I hope you enjoy the website!
For those who are interested in the history of the graphical interface of the WWW, the very first design of IAD looked like the 1994-96 page with three exceptions; centering text and graphics wasn't allowed yet as well as tables (There is a table around the counter of the number of people visiting). The word, "Warning" was set to blink off and on but that drove many people crazy, so I removed the blink. For a short time, I created an animated gif that had the headline moving in and out like an accordian. Imagine that page with everything flush left and without tables, and you can see what the beginning of the web looked like.
The Incredible Art Department in the News!
During the first few years of its existence, IAD made news in newspapers across the country.
More History of IAD (If you just can't get enough!)
IAD has been on a total of nine servers through the years. There were also a few mirror sites. Following is a list of the old addresses of this site through the years. The linked locations have been archived by the Wayback machine of the Internet Archive. The archive doesn't go back far enough when the site was born. The URL's are listed in chronological order:
The earliest mention of IAD that we can find still on the web is a note on the NCSA archives page for December 13, 1995. At that time, the number of websites that were starting were still able to be listed on a web page. Of course that would be impossible now as tens of thousands are added each day.
At one time, IAD had several mirror sites. We thank them for their help!