The Penn Museum in Philadelphia, the University of Pennslyvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, recently launched two new digital endeavors for researchers.
The newly revamped Collections Database includes more than 690,000 objects and more than 95,000 images. The database records are robust, with links to related objects and bibliographic citations of where the image has been published.
The Penn Museum also allows users to download data files of its object records under a Creative Commons license. You can download datasets on all objects or by cultural group, including African, American, Asian, Egyptian, European, Historic, Mediterranean, Near Eastern, and Oceanian. The datasets include physical information, its provenance, and materialiaty but not images of the objects and the objects’ publication and exhibition histories.
The Research Map and Timeline provides interactive documentation and information about the museum’s research expeditions and projects since the 1880s. Users can browse projects geographically or chronologically, and the website provides a record of the dates, researchers, and time period studied as well as a brief description of the work done and key discoveries.
As more information surfaces about the treasure trove of 1,500 looted works found hidden in Munich, the VRC will be following the story closely in hopes that quality images and information about the artworks become available.
So far the New York Times has posted a slideshow of 8 images, and other news websites are showing the same set.For more information, visit the NYT’s articles on the discovery:
German Officials Provide Details on Looted Art (11/5) and Documents Reveal How Looted Nazi Art Was Restored to Dealer (11/6)
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.
VADS (from The University for the Creative Arts in England) is an incredible collection of more than 120,000 images of art and design from cultural institutions across the UK, including universities, libraries, museums, and archives.
Collections included are the Zandra Rhodes Digital Study Collection (which we previously blogged about!), the Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland, Oxford Portraits from the University of Oxford, Paper Patterns from the London College of Fashion, and Posters of Conflict from the Imperial War Museum.
Recently, 177 images from the Glasgow School of Art’s student publication called The Magazine (1893–86) have been digitized and made available via VADS.
For more information, check out The Magazine collection or read the press release about it.
Image: Agnes Raeburn, The Magazine, April 1894, cover. Copyright Glasgow School of Art.
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.
The Biodiversity Heritage Library is a consortium of libraries that are digitizing materials pertaining to biodiversity within their collections. While the majority of the digital collection contains text and scientific literature, the books and historic journals and albums the BHL is digitizing often contain high quality natural history images.
The BHL is pulling the images from their digital library and hosting them online in Flickr, with minimal metadata in the Flickr record and a link back to the official record in the BHL digital library for a full catalog record. There are more than 1,600 sets of images in the BHL’s Flickr collection, making it a fantastically rich resource for natural history images in the public domain.
For more information, check out the BHL Flickr page!
Image from Flore médicale /. Paris: Imprimerie de C.L.F. Panckoucke, 1828-1832.
Adobe Kuler is an iPhone app that allows you to create a themed color palette based on photos taken with an iPhone camera or from imported photos from the web (the app provides you with a Google Images search option, which is convenient). As soon as you show the Kuler app an image, it starts capturing colors from the image and creates a customizable color theme. You can also create themes manually using the color wheel and standard color rules—analogous, monochromatic, triad, complementary). The themes are editable, and you can sync them with your Adobe account and the Creative Cloud and can be used for design purposes—it works especially well with Adobe Illustrator.
For more information about the Kuler app, visit the web version‘s color wheel or the app. We have the app installed on the VRC’s iPad, so feel free to come check it out!
The image examples are left: my desk in the VRC and right: Sandy Skoglund’s Revenge of the Goldfish (1981).
In mid-October, the Getty Research Institute’s Special Collections announced that it has added 5,400 artwork images from special collections to the Open Content Program, which brings the total number of images that are freely available without copyright restrictions to more than 10,000.
The newly added content includes “artist’ sketchbooks, drawings and watercolors, rare prints from the 16th through the 18th century, 19th-century architectural drawings of cultural landmarks, and early photographs of the Middle East and Asia.” For example, there are more than thirty early photographs from Mayan archaeological sites.
For more information, check out our previous blog post on the Getty’s Open Content Program, or explore the 10,000 public domain images here!
Via The Getty Iris
Image: [Nunnery complex (Uxmal, Mexico): detail of facade frieze], 1882, GRI Digital Collections, 94-F125.
PowerPoint is great for putting together image presentations, but it isn’t the greatest design software. Having to apply the same set of commands to individual slides can get old fast, but that’s where the F4 key comes into play: it allows you to repeat the last command or keystroke you just did.
For example, if you wanted to italicize titles, or change the text to white, or change the justification of text boxes (or images!) you should highlight the first instance, open the font dialog box (Format > Font) and make all of the changes to the text at once. When you want to make the same changes in the next instance, highlight the text, press F4, and the same set of edits will be immediately applied.
Another useful PowerPoint tip: To quickly change the background to black and the text to white on your entire presentation, click on the Themes tab and choose the “Black” option, third in the list.
Feel free to contact us if you’re having difficulty formatting your PowerPoint or KeyNote presentations, or check out our page on Displaying Images to see some other resources about creating presentations.
Via Tech For Luddites
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!