People have been living in vertical housing structures for 2,500 years, and the New York Times recently created an interactive documentary called ‘A Short History of the Highrise‘ in conjunction with the National Film Board of Canada to explore the history of high-rises and the related social, political, and material issues.
The film plays chronologically to discuss three phases of vertical communal living in a global context: Mud, Concrete, and Glass. At any time, you can mouse “down” in order to explore more in-depth about whatever topic is currently on the screen and when you’re done, you can go right back into the film where you left off. The documentary is image-rich, with oil paintings and historic photographs included throughout. Clicking on an image also includes robust cataloging information.
Although the documentary is “short,” it’s narrations reference major developments in 20th century architecture, especially public housing and urban sprawl.
Check out the Short History of the Highrise by the New York Times.
Princeton University holds a stellar collection of modern sculpture by artists such as Alexander Calder, Frank Gehry, Sol LeWitt, Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso, and Louis Comfort Tiffany to name only a few. These works are installed on Princeton’s campus, and the Princeton University Art Museum recently launched a new mobile website called Campus Art to facilitate users who wish to explore their outdoor works in situ.
The website explains the goal of the web project:
Campus Art at Princeton enhances the educational and visceral experience of art and sculpture on campus for students, the local community, and visitors alike. Visitors can hear the voices of Museum curators and experts involved behind the scenes, including fabricators, installers, conservators, and photographers. For some of the works, architects and historians contextualize the art in relation to surrounding architecture and University history. Users can browse a light box of images or take walking tours using an interactive map divided into five campus neighborhoods. As new works are installed and new perspectives added, the site will continue to evolve.
The website allows users to browse through thumbnails of installation photography, by artist name, or by “neighborhood” (the five different geographic areas of Princeton’s campus). The record for each artwork in the collection includes robust data about the work, some historical context, a map of its location, and an audio file of a curator narrating something significant about the work.
For more information, explore Princeton’s Campus Art project.
160 objects from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation‘s collections are now available in the Google Art Project, and include paintings, furniture, silver, Chinese export porcelain, as well as ceramics, prints, maps, textiles, and numismatics.
For more information, check out the Colonial Williamsburg collection in Google Art!
Picturing the New World: The Hand-Colored De Bry Engravings of 1590 is a resource from UNC Libraries that presents the digitized engravings Theodore De Bry (1528–98) illustrated for A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia. These hand-colored engravings were based on the watercolors of John White, who became part of the first British colony in North America, which was established off the coast of what is now North Carolina in 1585. Although the colonists were only there for about a year, White painted the environment and people of North America.
In 1588, A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia was published, containing stories and descriptions about the new land. De Bry worked directly from John White’s watercolors to create 27 engravings for the illustrated edition to create what would be the first published images of Native Americans. However, the digital collection notes:
While the De Bry engravings shown on this site represent the earliest published images of Native Americans, viewers should be careful not to interpret these as accurate depictions of the inhabitants of North Carolina in the late sixteenth century. The images shown here are twice removed from John White’s original watercolors. In the engravings created by Theodore De Bry, there are many subtle but significant changes from White’s originals: the facial structure of most of the people has been altered, resulting in portraits that look more like Europeans; the musculature on most of the people is much more defined in the De Bry engravings; and the poses of many of the subjects seem to reflect classical statuary. The colorist for this volume has contributed to the distortion of the original images by adding a pale skin tone and blonde hair to some of the people and decorating much of the vegetation in colors that are unlike anything that occurs naturally in this part of the world.
For more information and to explore the digital collection, visit Picturing the New World: The Hand-Colored De Bry Engravings of 1590.
SHERA (the Society of Historians of East European, Eurasian, and Russian Art and Architecture) recently launched a new website which boasts a news blog and a directory of more than 100 relevant art and architecture resources.
The University of Chicago Library publishes a variety of research guides created by subject specialists online, and one of them may be useful to scholars of Medieval and Byzantine art and culture. The LibGuide for Medieval and Byzantine Studies provides a list of print and digital resources from an interdisciplinary perspective, including art history, the history of science and technology, and literature.
For more information, explore the LibGuide for Medieval & Byzantine Studies. Feel free to get in touch with the VRC if you want help finding or making images related to your research!
The Oriental Institute Museum will begin the Lunchtime Traveler lecture series tomorrow, Thursday, September 5, with a gallery talk on the Khorsabad Court. The talk is led by Karen Wilson, PhD, Research Associate at the Oriental Institute and begins at 12:15 in the Edgar and Deborah Jannotta Mesopotamian Gallery and lasts 45 minutes.
The series will recur on the first Thursday of every month. October’s offering on October 3 at 12:15 pm features Martha T. Roth, Dean of Humanities Division and the Chauncey S. Boucher Distinguished Service Professor of Assyriology at the University of Chicago, who will speak about the Hammurabi Stela.
For more information, visit the Oriental Institute’s Events and Programs.
Image: Oriental Institute, Exhibit Area 10, 1931. Archival Photographic Files, University of Chicago Library, Special Collections Research Center, apf2-05453.
Mummies are being imaged with CT scanners and 3D scanning technology to capture the interior as well as the exterior surfaces, colors, and textures of the mummy as well as the cartonnage and sarcophagus. Eventually these images will result in an interactive exhibition. The Guardian describes the project as such:
The Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities (Medelhavsmuseet) in Stockholm, FARO and Autodesk have teamed up in a mummy visualisation project. The collection will be digitised using the latest 3D reality capture techniques and made available to museum visitors through an interactive exhibition experience.
Via The Guardian.
Sixty Inches From Center is a not-for-profit organization that documents and engages visual arts in Chicago, and they feature a lot of the documentary material they capture and create on their website, the Chicago Arts Archive.
In addition to providing a lot of news and blog content about upcoming arts events in Chicago, they also include “video, audio, photography, editorial essays, and interviews to document artists and arts events that exist outside of the city’s mainstream cultural institutions.”
For more information, check out the Chicago Arts Archive by Sixty Inches From Center.
In the early 1970s, the Environmental Protection Agency hired more than 70 freelance photographers to take pictures of life in the United States as it intersected with the environment for the Project DOCUMERICA (1971–77). The National Archives has digitized more than 15,000 images from the project, and they are available online via NARA’s online catalog or though a Flickr collection that is much easier to browse.
You can browse by image topic, location, or photographer—and that’s where things start to get really interesting. Photographers hired for the project include Danny Lyon (AB ’63) and photojournalist John H. White (born 1945) who worked for the Chicago Defender and was recently laid off from the Chicago Sun Times along with the rest of their staff photographers.
Because the project was funded by the federal government, there are no copyright restrictions on the images, and users can download 300 dpi original size files from the Flickr collection. For more information and to explore the collection, visit Flickr and the National Archives.
Via Peta Pixel
Image: Danny Lyon. Albuquerque Speedway Park, One of Three Stock Car Race Tracks in Albuquerque, May 1972. 412-DA-2825. Still Picture Records Section, Special Media Archives Services Division (NWCS-S), National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD, 20740-6001.