It's been established that art history and art appreciation, including "history" of current/living artists, is out of scope for this stack. Instead, we're focused primarily on the making of art, the doing.

In recent history (past 6 months or less) we've had a few closures for this reason:

Who is the person in this artwork?
Casson's 'Little Island' and Bocklin's 'Island of the Dead'
Why is this painting with Link from Ocarina of Time funny or ironic?

There have been more throughout the stack's history. While this isn't a large number, it's a fairly high percentage of our total close questions.

A perk of adding it as a custom close reason for our stack is that it would help signal to users with the ability to vote to close a reason for closing that's immediately clear. The "off-topic" reason has been used fairly often by users, but to me it's not clear that it's because it's art appreciation/history, nor does it act as a signpost for other users.

Any thoughts?

  • Just a note that in the "off topic" section of "vote to close" now only has art-history and belongs on another SE site options. Shouldn't there be one about "not a tutorial site..." for questions like this?
    – rebusB
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 23:11
  • @rebusB If necessary we could add it, but it's not so prevalent as the others, IMO. It could be useful. You're welcome to create a new question about it.
    – user24
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 2:57

1 Answer 1


I'm very much in favor of this. I think having a custom explanation in the yellow "off topic" banner on a question is more noticeable and helpful than an explanatory comment (which may or may not get included when the question is closed).

Questions about art history, artwork/artist identification, and art appreciation are not on-topic for this site; we focus on questions about making art.

Without this, we can still comment and link to our on-topic help page, but I do like custom close reasons :)

  • 2
    Seconded, I quickly get very bored of typing out the same comment every time this happens.
    – walrus
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 10:35

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