Storymap: A New Free Mapping Tool from Knightlab

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StoryMapJS is a free tool created by Northwestern University’s Knightlab, which aimes to make technology that promotes quality storytelling on the Internet. Storymap allows you to highlight locations of a series of events, like this example of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Works of Art. It also uses features like Gigapixel to tag points on an existing images like this example of The Garden of Earthly Delights or SnapMap to instantly create a map through your Instagram feed.  Try this open source user friendly tool for plotting your next project!

The Robert Sengstacke Photography Archive Now Available in LUNA

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The VRC is excited to announce its new publicly available LUNA collection, Images of Black Chicago: The Robert Sengstacke Photography Archive.  Born in Chicago on May 29, 1943, Robert “Bobby” Sengstacke is one of the city’s most prolific documentary photographers who is best known for capturing the African American experience.  Having grown up in the newspaper business (he is the grand-nephew of Robert Sengstacke Abbott, founder of the Chicago Defender), Sengstacke was able to learn from established African American photographers at a young age and had unique access to important events and people.  With the help of Art History Professor Rebecca Zorach, the VRC has scanned over 3,000 negatives featuring the artistic community and street life of Chicago’s South Side in the late 1960’s. To obtain high resolution images and permission contact Robert A. Sengstacke (robert.sengstacke@gmail.com or 773-744-7487).

Medieval Manuscripts Alive

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The Getty’s online magazine The Getty Iris has launched the series Medieval Manuscripts Alive, which features expert speakers reading the languages of the Middle Ages from centuries-old books. It aims to bring the manuscripts’ accompanying illuminations to life through sound.  Each reading is accompanied by a translation into English and a brief description of the relationship between the text and image. In collaboration with the British Library’s Language & Literature audio collection, the Getty’s manuscripts collection will soon be heard in 15 languages, including Coptic, Ge’ez, Arabic and more.

New VRC Digital Camera Lending Program

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Looking for a digital camera to use on campus? The VRC will now be lending its Canon Rebel T1i to Art History students and faculty! The camera can be checked out for single day on-campus use and a brief orientation will be given to first-timers. To make a reservation, please contact visualresources@uchicago.edu.

Photoshop Actions

Are you spending too much time with repetitive tasks in Photoshop? Photoshop actions enable you to record a process and save that information as an action which you can then use for other tasks down the road. Not only that, you can edit actions after the fact and customize them to suit your needs.

While you can make an unlimited amount of actions, including color correction, below is an example of how to resize images ideal for Powerpoint. Take some time to plan the steps of the actions before recording.

1. Select “New Action” from the bottom right of the Actions window. Title the action and click “Record.”

 

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2. To resize the image, go to the Image menu and select Image Size. Change the resolution to 150dpi.

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3. Now SAVE AS a JPEG to a specific location on your computer.

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4. Finally, click the “Stop” button at the bottom left of the Actions window. You can now use this action on individual images by pressing the “Play” button or Batch Process an entire folder.

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The Robert Frank Collection Online at the National Gallery of Art

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The Robert Frank Collection at the National Gallery of Art is the largest repository of materials related to renowned photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank. Spanning Frank’s career from 1937 to 2005, the collection includes vintage and later prints, contact sheets, work prints, negatives, three bound books of original photographs, technical material, and various papers, books, and recordings.

For a complete account of photographs, contact sheets, and work prints in the collection, see Robert Frank photographs, contact sheets, and work prints in the collection. The spreadsheet lists subjects photographed by Frank, in chronological order, along with the corresponding number of photographs, contact sheets, and work prints in the collection and the accession number of each object.

Digital Stories at the Wellcome Collection

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The Wellcome Collection in London explores connections between medicine, life and art through both physical and digital exhibitions. Mindcraft is a new Digital Story that explores a century of madness, murder and mental healing, from the arrival in Paris of Franz Anton Mesmer with his theories of ‘animal magnetism’ to the therapeutic power of hypnotism used by Freud.  Through an immersive scrolling interface including image galleries, video, and interactives, the Wellcome Collection asks who really is in control of their own mind, and where does the mind’s power to harm or heal end?

Record Sales at Christie’s

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Christie’s Auction House brought in the highest total for an auction in history last night, grossing $852.9 million at the contemporary sale in New York.  New records were also set for 11 artists, among them Cy Twombly, Ed Ruscha, Peter Doig, Martin Klippenberger, and Seth Price. The stars of the night were Andy Warhol’s Triple Elvis [Ferus Type](1960) and Four Marlons (1966), which sold early going for $81.9 million and $69.6 million, respectively.  “By the time the second figure was reached, the crowd—whether reeling from the action or no longer capable of being surprised or just no longer impressed by anything under $80 million—forgot to clap,” says Dan Duray from ArtNews. Although the prior nights’ Sotheby’s sale was a disappointment bringing in only $343.6 million, the two weeks of sales at both auction houses took in a total of some $2 billion, comforting many that the art market is alive and kicking.

Photoshop: Cutting Out the Background

Have you ever wanted to eliminate the distracting background from sculpture photographed on-site?  Cutting out the background can be very easy or a bit challenging, depending on how complex the image is. The magic wand tool can be a very effective tool when your background is simple in nature.

Step-by-step:

1. Select the magic wand tool from the toolbar.

2. Click on the area you want to sample. The magic wand will outline the area with flashing dotted lines.

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3. Initially, the magic wand may only pick up some of the background. Use the sub-tools to add or subtract to the selection and continue clicking on the areas to add until the sculpture is isolated.

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4. Use the Exposure tool to adjust the background to white or black, pulling it to the far right for white or far left for black.

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5. You may need to use the clone tool to clean-up areas that the magic wand tool missed.

 

 

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Liminal Camera at the Logan Center, Chicago Humanities Festival

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Visit the Liminal Camera on October 26th from 12-2 at the Logan Center Courtyard, 915 E. 60th Street. Made out of a shipping container, the Liminal Camera is the world’s largest pinhole camera, traversing the country by land and water. Join artists Lauren Bon, Richard Nielsen, and Tristan Duke to climb inside the camera at the Logan or head up to Depaul Art Museum for a live photo developing demo on October 29th. The Chicago Humanities Festival runs from October 25 – November 9.