The Internet Archive is a collection of digitized or born-digital materials with cultural significance. It is comprised of many unique collections including NASA images, Project Gutenberg, Classic Comics, live music by the Grateful Dead, and of course the ever-popular Wayback Machine. The Internet Archive is free and open to the public, and since most of their materials are in the public domain, they are available for downloading or streaming in a variety of file formats—for example, full text books can be viewed as PDFs or as EPUB files for your e-reader. The Internet Archive is free and open to the public, and collaborates with universities and museums around the world to ingest new collections and materials.
The recently launched Internet Archive Companion app makes the collections of the Internet Archive easily accessible on your iPad or iPhone. The developer’s website notes:
It’s a free app enabling you to browse the enormous collections of videos/movies, music/sound, books and images in an intimate, consumable way! Flip though the pages of scanned books, or flip through the text copies of books, including many from Project Gutenberg (to name just one of the many sources of The Internet Archive.)
For more information, visit the Internet Archive Companion app or stop by the VRC to test it out.
To accompany their recently opened exhibition The Life of Art: Context, Collecting, and Display, the Getty released a mobile app of the same name. The exhibition, which opened in February, looks at only four objects in the museum’s collection, but it does so in extreme detail to encourage users to consider the entire “life” of the object, long before it entered the museum’s collection.
Their app of the same name allows iPad users to explore the same four objects in the installation, providing a 360-degree view of the objects as well as information about the technique used in the objects creation, the history and cultural context of the style, and any damage that came from the object’s use over time.
For more information, visit the Life of Art app or stop by the VRC to check out this app and many other art apps on our iPad 2.
The Getty launched an app to go along with its exhibition Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance, which ran from November 2012–February 2013. The app explores 7 objects from the exhibition in depth, including slide shows, animations, X-Ray and UV photographs, and pan and zoom functionality.
For more information, visit the Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance iPad app, or stop by the VRC to check ours out!
The VRC recently added the French Impressionism at the Art Institute of Chicago to the growing app library of art image resources we have available on the VRC’s iPad 2. The app is based on the book The Age of French Impressionism (2010) by curators Douglas Druick and Gloria Groom, and contains high-resolution images of more than 100 iconic works from the Art Institute’s collections as well as text entries about each artwork as well as biographies of the 22 artists represented in the app, including Seurat, Van Gogh, Monet, Caillebotte, Renoir, and Toulouse-Lautrec. The app also includes videos and virtual tours of select Art Institute galleries.
Stop by the VRC to check out this app and many others! Click here for a list of other great image iPad apps that have been reviewed by the VRC.
To accompany the new show from the Smithsonian’s Traveling Exhibition Service, “Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey,” an interactive iPad app has been created to allow users to remix Bearden’s Odyssey collages. The app also allows users to incorporate music in their collage. From the app description:
In 1977, Romare Bearden created a series of collages inspired by the ancient poet Homer and his epic story “The Odyssey.” Bearden believed that “all of us from the time we begin to think are on an odyssey.” The Romare Bearden collage app, developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in conjunction with the national traveling exhibition “Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey,” was created with Bearden’s quote in mind.
With this lively, colorful, and highly engaging app, you can remix works from Bearden’s original series to create your own unique works of art, and express your personal journey. Choose from a variety of Bearden’s backdrops and layer in shapes and forms from other collages. Or cut your own shapes, add personal photos, change the colors of various elements and resize them. You can also add your words and your descriptions.
Music played a big role in Bearden’s life and his art, so the app also incorporates sound. While you build your collages, you can mash up audio such as ocean waves, jazz riffs, warriors fighting, or even your own voice. An option to record the user’s voice is also included and can be played back in a loop as the artwork is being created.
Save your visual collages and post them to a public gallery–where they can be tagged and revisited by other users–and share with friends on Facebook, Twitter, or email. You can also learn more about the traveling exhibition, Bearden’s life, and the companion exhibition audio tour app.
The app was created by GuideOne for the Smithsonian Institute. For more information, visit the iTunes App Store or stop by the VRC to play!
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".]
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.
The Bibliothéque Nationale de France recently released an iPad app for their digital library Gallica. The app, also called Gallica, contains nearly 2 million freely available items from the BnF, including books, journals, manuscripts, photographs, prints, posters, cards, and music scores among many others.
The app allows you to search or browse through all digitized material available through the BnF, and each document can be viewed in its entirety. You can create a favorites list, view the full bibliographic record, download entire documents or individual pages, email links, or share the object on social media outlets including Facebook and Twitter.
You can download the app here, or stop by the VRC to check it out on our iPad!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art recently released a new iPad app, “Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop” to accompany a current photography exhibition.
Digital cameras and image-editing software have made photo manipulation easier than ever, but photographers have been doctoring images since the medium was invented. The false “realities” in altered photographs can be either surprising and eye-catching or truly deceptive and misleading.
Faking It is a quiz that asks players to spot which photos are fake and figure out why they were altered. Through fifteen sets of questions accompanied by more than two dozen remarkable images, the Faking It app challenges misconceptions about the history of photo manipulation.
Images in the app range from a heroic portrait of Ulysses S. Grant to a playful portrait of Salvador Dalí, and from New York’s glamorous Empire State Building to Oregon’s sublime Cape Horn.
The app complements the exhibition Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop (on view October 11, 2012–January 27, 2013).
Welcome back students and faculty! To start the new school year off right, our iPad 2 is now set up in the VRC. We hope you’ll come check it out in CWAC 257.
We’ve installed a lot of great apps about art and images that have been featured on our blog and Facebook page and other programs that are useful for art historians, including Keynote. There’s also quick links to LUNA, Chalk, and ARTstor.
We also installed a great app called Flipboard, which we’ve set to display RSS feeds from other blogs pertaining to art, culture, and museums. Flipboard takes these feeds and displays them like a magazine [see screenshot above], making it easy to catch up on the latest news and research.
There’s also a wireless keyboard to go with the iPad, so you can easily check your email, look up campus events, or catch up on the news.
And, as always, the VRC’s iPad 2 can be reserved to teach and present in CWAC.
We look forward to seeing you!