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Archive for the 'Innovative Technology' Category

Royal Academy of Arts Winter Exhibition Catalogues (1870–1939) Now Online

Royal Academy of Arts Exhibition Catalogue Search

The Royal Academy of Arts has digitized and made freely available their Winter loan exhibition catalogs from the program’s beginning in 1879 to 1939. These exhibitions typically consisted of works by Old Masters or recently deceased British artists and later expanded to include surveys of European and Persian art.

The exhibition catalogs have been made available on the Royal Academy of Art’s collections search page where they can be browsed or searched for terms including artists, titles, and lenders. The catalogs included in this project present essays by several prominent art historians of the early 19th century as well as reproductions of the 3,000 artworks included in the exhibitions. Thumbnail images of artworks have been included with links to the related pages from the institutional repositories where the objects are held, many of which are now held in collections such as the Tate, the National Gallery or Ireland, the Yale Center for British Art, and the Wallace Collection. The Royal Academy has also digitized related installation photographs to provide historical context for the exhibitions.

For more information, visit the Royal Academy of Arts Collections page here or browse the collection here.

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Art Resources from the Mid-20th Century

Forbidden art in the Third Reich: paintings by German artists whose work was banned from museums and forbidden to exhibit (1945?)

The Guggenheim and Whitney Libraries have collaborated to digitize selections from the personal libraries of Hilla Rebay and Juliana, the inaugural directors of the museums, respectively. The digital library—Art Resources from the Mid-20th Century: Digitized Highlights from the Libraries of Hilla Rebay and Juliana Force—is available publicly via the Internet Archive. They describe how the collections were developed by Rebay and Force, female museum directors whose institutions were both founded in the 1930s:

Each woman acquired a considerable library during her tenure, collecting materials ranging from the uncommon (gallery announcements from New York and beyond, as well as rare and unusual periodicals and books) to the required reading of the day (exhibition catalogs and major monographs on contemporary artists). These important resources influenced the two women, who in turn influenced the vision and development of their respective institutions, which remain integral to the city’s cultural life today.

The museum libraries digitized selected volumes from each collection to display the materials together online, which helps highlight the similarities and differences between each collection. The Internet Archive, which hosts the collection, offers robust functionality including cataloging data, and the ability to view the fully digitized materials online in a book reader software or to download as a PDF of e-book reader file, including EPUB and Kindle.

To visit the project collection page for Art Resources from the Mid-20th Century: Digitized Highlights from the Libraries of Hilla Rebay and Juliana Force, click here. For more information, please also explore project summaries from the Guggenheim and the Whitney.

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MoMA’s “Inventing Abstraction” Website and Exhibition

MoMA recently opened a new exhibition, Inventing Abstraction, 1910–1925, and this ground-breaking survey is accompanied by an equally ground-breaking website. The exhibition takes a multidisciplinary look at the development of abstraction and as such:

The exhibition brings together many of the most influential works in abstraction’s early history and covers a wide range of artistic production, including paintings, drawings, books, sculptures, films, photographs, sound poems, atonal music, and non-narrative dance, to draw a cross-media portrait of these watershed years.

In the October, ARTnews reported that the Leah Dickerman, curator of the exhibition, was collaborating with Paul Ingram of Columbia University’s business school because he specializes in social network analysis. Dickerman wanted to visually display connections and friendships among the artists and creators involved in the genesis of abstraction, and she and her team, along with their business school partners, began mapping connections in an Excel spreadsheet. The project then turned into a dynamic network of artists and other creative types connected by vectors. They liken the project to a Facebook or LinkedIn network for the abstract vanguard.

inventingabstractiondiagram

In the ARTnews article, Paul Ingram “explains that the quality of ‘between-ness’ in the network—being on multiple paths between others—is associated with creativity. According to this measure, he says, Kandinsky is the most central figure in MoMA’s history of abstraction.” The interactive chart highlights key players in red, and for each artist represented on the chart, more information about their role, interests, and works is provided.

And as an aside, the ARTnews article mentions several other charts or family trees that had been created to document relationships (either sincerely or snarkily) in modern art movements—be sure to check out the very famous Barr’s Chart! These genealogical charts differ greatly from the social vectors described in the new MoMA chart, but provided the initial inspiration for the website’s diagram. Another “genealogical” example comes from the Irving Penn Archives, housed at the Art Institute of Chicago: Penn drew an a family tree, titled “An Immodest Claim to Artistic Roots,” in which he lists several of the artists included in MoMA’s Inventing Abstraction exhibition including Fernand Léger, El Lissitzky, and Man Ray. You can view his tree here.

The VRC will be adding images from the exhibition to our LUNA collection soon!

Via ARTnews

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The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls

The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls

The Google Cultural Institute and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem collaborated to bring five complete Dead Sea Scrolls online. The new digital library (released Tuesday, December 18), allows users to study and discover the the most ancient biblical manuscripts on earth:

The website gives searchable, fast-loading, high-resolution images of the scrolls, as well as short explanatory videos and background information on the texts and their history. The scroll text is also discoverable via web search. If you search for a phrase from the scrolls, a link to that text within the scroll may surface in your search results. For example, try searching on Google for [And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb Dead Sea Scroll].

The Great Isiah Scroll

English translations of the manuscripts are also available. The Google Cultural Institute is also responsible for the Art Project as well as other digital humanities projects, including Versailles 3D and La France en relief. For the Dead Sea Scrolls project, they used imaging technology originally developed for NASA. The scrolls weren’t discovered until 1947, and they had been in the Qumran caves for two thousand years. ArtDaily reports:

The parchment and papyrus scrolls contain Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic script, and include several of the earliest-known texts from the Bible, including the oldest surviving copy of the Ten Commandments. The oldest of the documents dates to the third century BC and the most recent to about 70 AD, when Roman troops destroyed the Second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The artefacts are housed at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, where the larger pieces are shown at the dimly lit Shrine of the Book on a rotational basis in order to minimise damage from exposure. When not on show, they are kept in a dark, climate-controlled storeroom in conditions similar to those in the Qumran caves, where the humidity, temperature and darkness preserved the scrolls for two millennia.

For more information, visit the Digital Dead Sea Scrolls.

Via artdaily.org

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Harvard Archaeologists Use 3D-Printing to Repair Ancient Artiacts

Two archaeologists at Harvard University’s Semitic Museum have begun using 3D-scanning and 3D printing to repair a ceramic artifact that was partially destroyed 3,000 years ago during an attack by the Assyrian army. They envision that this kind of work will be useful for conservation, research, and teaching purposes. The archaeologists describe their project:

Using a process called photomodeling, the Harvard team photographed sculpture fragments in the museum’s collection from hundreds of angles to create 3-D renderings of each piece, then meshed them together to form a semi-complete 3-D model of the original artifact. They compared the digital model to scans of full statues found in the same location, noting the gaps and creating the missing pieces and support structures out of 3-D printed parts and CNC carved foam. The technique worked successfully: The reconstituted sculpture will be displayed at the museum when this gallery is reinstated in 2014-15, but will likely be online well before that.

Via Wired

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Muybridge’s Motion Photographs as GIFs

BuzzFeed recently reinterpreted several of Eadweard Muybridge’s time lapse motion study photographs as animated GIFs. Muybridge photographed examples of animal locomotion in the late 1870s and 1880s using multiple cameras to capture an “instantaneous” sequence. For example, the image below of an ostrich running was created using 24 camera that each took a photograph.

 

The GIFs BuzzFeed posted take those individual images and animate them:

Click here to see the rest!

Image Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Via Deep Focus

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Materia, an International Materials Database

We often post about new image collections and other scholarly resources pertaining to art history, but the building blocks are just as important. Based in the Netherlands, Materia is an art and architecture materials library that maintains an extensive collection of modern products in a database called Material Explorer that can be freely searched if you register for an account. They provide detailed information about product specs and contact information for the manufacturer, and users can download a PDF about the product, add it to a list of favorites, or suggest a new material to be included in the database.

Via Pixels

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The Book of Kells for iPad

The Book of Kells was released as an iPad app last Friday, November 16. The app contains all 680 surviving pages of the manuscript as well as other special features and content. It is intended to replace previous electronic reproductions of the manuscript which had been released on DVD-ROM and CD-ROM.

The app features the entire manuscript in high resolution, with 21 pages viewable at up to 6 times their actual size and categories of decorative themes that users can browse through including letters, animals, and other symbols.

You can also stop by the VRC anytime to check out the “eBook of Kells” app! Best of all, the app can be projected from the iPad for use in classrooms and presentations.

For more information, view the Book of Kells website or the iTunes app store.

[Images: The Book of Kells, folio 7v and 8r, and an image group of initial letters for the letter "A".]

 

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Local/Global: Mapping Nineteenth-Century London’s Art Market

The online art journal Nineteenth Century Art Worldwide recently featured a new digital humanities research project that focuses on London’s art market from 1850–1914. The researchers aim to document the rise and spread of commercial galleries across the city by aggregating data from a variety of sources including galleries, exhibition societies, artists’ addresses, and retail spaces. The data was then added to a map of Victorian London—users can turn data on or off depending on their research, including moving chronologically through time.

Pamela Fletcher and Anne Helmreich describe the project and offer their own conclusions based on their research in Nineteenth Century Art Worldwide, and the London Gallery Market website with their maps and data is freely available.

Via Nineteenth Century Art Worldwide and London Gallery Market

Image: Pamela Fletcher and David Israel, London Gallery Project, 2007, revised 2012.

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Visualizing Ambient Music with the Scape iPad App

Need a relaxing, ambient break from your studies? Check out Brian Eno’s latest invention, the Scape app for iPad:

[The Scape app] lets users pull together a variety of shapes, backgrounds, and color schemes – each with its own corresponding musical cues —to create their own visual and sonic landscape. There are no proxies to any sort of traditional music creation tools; everything is based on the abstract imagery and the sounds each visual creates.

The app is $5.99 in the iTunes store. Click here for a video demonstration.

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