The Museum of Modern Art has opened the MoMA PS1 Archives to the public. The collection contains more than 300 linear feet, representing the entire history of the art space, from its opening in 1971 to the present (PS1 merged with MoMA in 1999). The majority of the material pertains to exhibition and press records, but the project description notes:
The records provide extensive documentary evidence of an institution that was in the vanguard of nonprofit spaces and at the heart of the 1970s and 1980s New York art world—and that continues to be a vital center for the exploration and exhibition of contemporary art today. Documentation of particular historical significance in the Archives includes records of the institution’s founding and growth in the early 1970s; exhibition and curatorial records for nearly 900 exhibitions and events over 35 years; materials documenting the National and International Studio Program and the publications program; and records of founder and former director Alanna Heiss.
In addition to the finding aids for the nine series of records, there are several web resources including a chronology, a publication history, an artists index, and a complete exhibition history. Several of these resources are cross-referenced for greater utility to researchers.
The MoMA PS1 Archives can be consulted by appointment at the MoMA Archives reading room at MoMA QNS, open Mondays, 11 am–5 pm.
For more information, visit the project website and the finding aids.
Image: “Exterior View of P.S. 1,” photograph by Jonathan Dent, 1976. MoMA PS1 Archives, VIII.I.8. The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York.
Local blog Chicagoist recently posted about a Flickr set that UIC posted of the Chicago Aerial Photo Services Collection. You can check out the Flickr set, or explore the entire digital collection hosted by UIC. They describe the project:
The Chicago Aerial Photo Services (CAPS) collection has a number of aerial photographs from 1929 through the late 1940s. Primarily the photographs are of the Chicago area though there are some images from other areas of the state. They provide detailed images of both urban areas as well as countryside that would become suburbs in the future.
UIC’s digital collections also hosts several other collections pertaining to Chicago architecture, including the C. William Brubaker Collection of mid-to-late 20th century color photographs. For more information, visit the Chicago Aerial Photo Services (CAPS) collection or the C. William Brubaker Collection.
The Museum of Modern Art recently launched a website for the Complete Prints & Books of Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010), who was best known for her sculpture but focused on printmaking throughout her career, often using it as a tool for her creative process. In 1990, Bourgeois donated the full archive of her printed work to MoMA, about 3,500 sheets. The new website so far contains about 400 images, but will eventually grow to contain all all 3,500 prints and will serve as the definitive scholarly work on Bourgeois, highlighting the relationships between the artist’s prints, drawings, and sculptures.
The feature-rich website, which is largely organized by theme and technique, allows users to zoom in on works, save works to a folder, and compare works in a new feature that allows users to view two related works side-by-side. The website also includes robust data about the works, including commentary, publication information, and background information on Bourgeois’ projects.
The website also allows users to download the catalogue The Prints of Louise Bourgeois in its entirety, which was published by MoMA in 1994. For more information and to explore the collection, visit Louise Bourgeois: The Complete Prints & Books
The Henry Moore Foundation recently launched an online catalog of Moore’s artwork, beginning with works owned by the Foundation. The catalog is searchable by genre, including drawings, graphics, sculptures, tapestries, and textiles as well as by thematic categories such as mother and child and reclining figures.
Users can download an enlarged image at 72 dpi, which will project well in CWAC classrooms.
For more information, visit the online catalog of Henry Moore Artworks.
The Medici Archive Project has recently launched its BIA Digital Platform which allows users to search and view digitized material from the Medici Archive, which is housed in the Archivio di Stato di Firenze. In addition to viewing archival documents, users can enter transcriptions, provide feedback, exchange comments, and participate in digital humanities projects. From the project’s website:
The Medici Granducal Archival Collection (Mediceo del Principato)–among the most exhaustive and complete court archives of early modern Europe–is one of the most frequently consulted collections at the Archivio di Stato di Firenze. Over the past fifteen years, the Medici Archive Project has been using computing technologies to facilitate scholarly research on this collection. With BIA’s launch, the Medici Archive Project will double its online text content and it will inaugurate a new digital imaging function by putting online 120,000 digitized documents—a number that will continue to grow. Additionally, BIA will enable community sourcing with new applications for online manuscript transcription and its online forums for scholarly discussion. Scholars anywhere in the world will now transcribe, edit, and comment on archival material in the database, collaborating in real time and making use of the forums to share expertise and knowledge.
The Medici Archive was established in 1569, and the material, which consists primarily of letters, takes up nearly 1 mile of shelf space. In order to search the BIA digital platform, you must register for a free account. After registering for a free account, you also can save documents and search terms pertaining to your research.
For more information, visit the Medici Archive Project or explore the collection’s highlights pertaining to topics such as Women Artists and Women Patrons of the Arts or Cabinet of Curiosities.
Vivian Maier (1926–2009) moved to Chicago in 1956 and though she worked as a nanny to support herself, she spent her spare time taking photographs and making films. Her work was largely unknown during her lifetime, as the more than 10,000 negatives she made were kept hid:
Maier’s massive body of work would come to light when in 2007 her work was discovered at a local thrift auction house on Chicago’s Northwest Side. From there, it would eventually impact the world over and change the life of the man who championed her work and brought it to the public eye, John Maloof.
While Maloof and his team were cataloging her work, they maintained an image-heavy website dedicated to her life and work, and the Chicago Cultural Center mounted an exhibition “Finding Vivian Maier: Chicago Street Photographer” (7 January–3 April 2011), which garnered a lot of public interest in Chicago’s “nanny photographer”.
Authors Richard Cahan and Michael Williams released a new book of Vivian Maier’s photographs last month called Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows. In addition to providing context for the artist’s life, the book publishes 275 of her photographs. To celebrate, After-Words New and Used Books in downtown Chicago is hosting a book signing party on Thursday, November 29 at 6:30.
Yesterday the New York Times announced, “The Leo Baeck Institute, a New York research library and archive devoted to documenting the history of German-speaking Jewry, has completed the digitization of its entire archive, which will provide free online access to primary-source materials encompassing five centuries of Jewish life in Central Europe.”
The online collection for the Leo Baeck Institute is called DigiBaeck, and is:
a growing treasury of artifacts that document the rich heritage of German-speaking Jewry in the modern era. DigiBaeck provides instant access to materials ranging from rare 16th century renaissance books to memoirs that document the experience of German-Jewish émigrés across the world in the 20th century.
In addition to manuscript material and archival photographs, more than 2,600 art objects have been digitized and are accessible on the website. While there is a lot of material digitally available now, on October 16, the expanded archive will be released online, representing the archive online in its entirety.
Via the New York Times
For years Rembrandt’s paintings have been the subject of many exhibitions and publications and a specific focus of technical research, which has produced an extensive and wide-ranging body of information and documentation. This material is preserved in various museums, research institutes, archives and laboratories around the world. The documentation is generally difficult to access, still unavailable in digital form, and not yet organized as a coherent and interrelated body of material.
The Rembrandt Database is a sustainable repository of existing information and documentation that is made available in a technologically advanced way. This service does not aim to replace the study of original objects or consultation among colleagues, but rather to speed up and facilitate research.
For more information and to explore the database, view the website.
The Gallery of Lost Art is an online exhibition that tells the stories of artworks that have disappeared. Destroyed, stolen, discarded, rejected, erased, ephemeral—some of the most significant artworks of the last 100 years have been lost and can no longer be seen.
This virtual year-long exhibition explores the sometimes extraordinary and sometimes banal circumstances behind the loss of major works of art. Archival images, films, interviews, blogs and essays are laid out for visitors to examine, relating to the loss of works by over 40 artists across the twentieth century, including such figures as Marcel Duchamp, Joan Miro, Willem de Kooning, Rachel Whiteread and Tracey Emin.
Jennifer Mundy, curator of The Gallery of Lost Art, says: “Art history tends to be the history of what has survived. But loss has shaped our sense of art’s history in ways that we are often not aware of. Museums normally tell stories through the objects they have in their collections. But this exhibition focuses on significant works that cannot be seen.”
The virtual exhibition launched on July 2, 2012, and will be available online for only one year before it too is “lost.” A new artwork will be added each week for 6 months.
An important photography archive at the New York Public Library has recently been re-discovered, partially digitized, and cataloged. The archive includes over 41,000 prints from Farm Security Administration photographers, which were collected and sent to the NYPL by FSA founder Roy Stryker. It includes some prints previously unknown, and many that are not included in the Library of Congress Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Photograph Collection.
The New York Public Library has not only digitized more than 1,000 images that do not appear in the Library of Congress online catalog, it has also made them available today on a special NYPL site. It also has another site containing the records — but no images — for all 41,000 FSA photos in their collection.
Via the Lens blog at the New York Times.