VRC COVID-19 Update

Dear Art History,

Echoing the sentiments of Alyssa’s earlier email, we sincerely hope everyone stays safe and healthy during this exceptionally stressful time. 

As of today, the Visual Resources Center will be closed until April 15. VRC Digitization Lab services, such as image digitization requests and equipment reservations, are temporarily suspended. While VRC staff are currently prioritizing the pedagogical and technological support of remote teaching in Art History, we remain absolutely committed to fulfilling our core services, many of which can further support instructors and their students with remote teaching. To that end, the VRC is currently working on the following:

  • Coordinating with College IT, ITS, and ATS on shifting to remote teaching and serving on the Working Group on Online Instruction in Arts & Humanities
  • Maintaining the in-house guide to teaching remotely, “VRC Notes on Shifting to Remote Teaching in Art History
  • Providing one-on-one and small group Zoom training for the Art History community
  • Providing pedagogical consultations to instructors for adapting their syllabus, course learning goals, and assignments to a remote environment. We are extremely grateful to Cosette Bruhns, PhD Candidate in Romance Languages and Literatures, who generously turned her VRC digital collections position into a digital pedagogy position and is sharing her wealth of digital teaching expertise with this community

We continue to offer our users the following existing resources and services in a remote capacity, but without interruption:

  • Fulfilling Image Purchase Requests from vendors and sourcing relevant images from digital collections (we can remotely add these new images to Luna)
  • Assisting with Canvas maintenance: VRC staff are automatically added to all ARTH Canvas courses, so we can quickly and effectively integrate images into Canvas and help instructors manage the tools and settings they’ll need to use within the remote context
  • Providing reference and instruction services to students in your courses in a remote capacity. Consider asking us to give remote instruction on using LUNA and conducting image-based research to your students in support of their Spring quarter assignments. 
  • Supporting students, especially MAPH and BA students completing their theses, by procuring images and conducting individual reference support over email or via Zoom
  • Supporting forthcoming publication projects

Please write to visualresources@uchicago.edu or call (773)702-0261 to reach VRC staff with questions or to request VRC services. 

Please write to remotearthistory@uchicago.edu to contact VRC and Art History Departmental staff regarding remote teaching or to request technology “dress rehearsals” or remote pedagogy consultations.

The VRC’s social media accounts will stay active during this time, so please follow us on Instagram @UChicagoVRC. We’ll be sharing updates about remote teaching as well as sharing insight into our digital collections if you need a moment of levity!

We are grateful to work with staff, faculty, and students who are strong, generous, and creative. Please be in touch if there is anything we can do to help support your remote teaching, technologically, pedagogically, or logistically.

I will be in touch with more information about official Zoom training soon, likely tomorrow.


Best,
Bridget

Creating Media Group Folders in Luna

Folders can be used to organize multiple media groups created in Luna. Folders can contain single media groups, or can house multiple sub-folders.

  1. To begin creating the main folder, select the gray “Create Folder” button in the top middle section.

2. Name your folder, making sure that none of the “Parent Folders” are selected. Hit submit.

3. The folder now lives under “My Media Groups”. By hovering the cursor over the name and selecting one of the icons to the right, you can create a new sub-folder, edit the main folder, delete the folder, or create a media group.

4. To create a media group within the main folder, select the icon with three squares.

This brings up a window to name the media group and select the folder it lives in. Click save. This group functions like any other Luna media group, storing a selected set of images.

5. To create a sub-folder, select the icon of the folder with a + sign.

6. This opens a window to name the sub-folder and select the Parent Folder it lives under. Be sure that a Parent Folder is highlighted. Click submit.

7. Expanding the parent folder will reveal any sub-folders and media groups it houses (i.e. parent folder “Paper #1” houses sub-folder “Subtopic Folder #1” and the media group “Main Image”). Subfolders can be used like main folders: hovering over the name will reveal the icons that allow you to create a media group or another folder within it.

As you are working with multiple folders, be sure that images are added to the correct media group through the “Active Media Group” tab at the bottom. You can toggle between which media group you want to save the image to via the blue drop down menu. 

How to Create a Luna Module in Canvas

View and share your images directly within Canvas! Creating a Luna Module in Canvas is a great way to provide your students with easy access to sets of images for review and close-looking. You could also use it to share a bank of images for test prep or assignments.

  1. Under the “Modules” tab on the left task bar, start by either creating a new module for your Luna collection, or working with a pre existing module

2. Add an item to your selected module by clicking the + button, select add “External URL” from the drop-down menu and name your group of images.

3. To get the URL for your LUNA images, open the group and select “Share” from the top menu and copy the provided URL.

4. Paste this URL in the Canvas menu and complete by clicking the red “Add Item” button.

Optional: checking “Load in a new tab” will open Luna in a new browser tab instead of within Canvas.

5. Be sure to publish both the new item and the overall module it lives under. Once published, clicking on the item title will open the interactive Luna module within Canvas. The module acts similarly to Luna’s full website, but allows direct access to a curated set of images. Like the website, image records can be explored individually within the module, and images can be downloaded via the “Export” button. 


Photographing in the Field Workshop

Photographing in the Field Workshop
Wednesday, May 10, 12:00-1pm CWAC Rm 257
Hosted by the Visual Resources Center
Will you be going on a research trip this summer and could use some photography tips and tricks? This workshop will discuss basic camera controls and techniques for taking pictures in museums, archives, and architectural sites. We will also discuss some simple Photoshop techniques used to improve photographs taken in difficult situations. Come with questions and your camera! Sandwiches will be provided after the workshop. RSVP to wgaylord@uchicago.edu.

Image by © Babak Tafreshi/National Geographic Creative/Corbis

 

Robert Abbott “Bobby” Sengstacke: 1943-2017

Bobby Sengstacke Watching the Painting of the Wall of Respect, Chicago, 1967.

It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Robert Abbott “Bobby” Sengstacke, 1943-2017, a legendary Chicago photographer of the Civil Rights Movement, Black culture, and the Black Arts Movement. He died at the age of 73 on March 7, 2017 after a long battle with illness. Sengstacke was one of the city’s most prolific documentary photographers who was best known for capturing the African American experience.  Having grown up in the newspaper business (he was 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. The Visual Resources Center has had the privilege of working with Rebecca Zorach over the past 8 years to digitize over 5,900 of Sengstacke’s negatives to create Images of Black Chicago: The Robert Sengstacke Photography Archive.  Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends and all who knew him.

The Chicago Defender’s obituary can be found here: Prominent Photojournalist and Former Chicago Defender Editor, Robert A. Sengstacke Dies at 73

top left: Bud Billiken Parade, c. 1967; top right: William Walker at the Painting of the Wall of Respect, 1967; bottom left: East 63th Street, c. 1966; bottom right: Opportunity Please Knock, 1967

Archivision Update: Module Eleven Now Available in Luna!

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The Visual Resources Center is pleased to announce that more than 6,300 new images are now available to the Archivision collection in the LUNA with the addition of Module Eleven! The newest update represents many new sites, including:

China: contemporary architecture including Dalian City Sport Center, Dalian International Conference Center, and Dalian Shell Museum

  • India: Taj Mahal, Devi Jagadambi Temple complex, and Secretariat in New Delhi
  • Colorado: Clyfford Still Museum and US Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel
  • Europe: Interior documentation of the Sagrada Familia, Villa Farnesina, and Saint Peter’s

The VRC subscribes to Archivision, which now contains more than 84,000 images of architecture, urban design, and public art from all over the world and all style periods. The Archivision collection in LUNA is available to all on-campus users or those with a CNetID and password. Images from Archivision can be incorporated into Media Groups and used in conjunction with images from the Art History Department Image Collection or any other content available in LUNA.

All images are available for educational use only. For publication rights or more information, please email contact@archivision.com.

Keystoning Correction in Photoshop

Keystoning occurs when the subject is not parallel with the camera lense. For example, if the camera lense is closer to the bottom of the building, it will appear much larger than the top of the building in the photograph.

before-1

1. Double the size of the canvas. Image > Canvas Size
2. Select the entire image area.
3. Edit > Transform > Skew
To rectify right angles and retain proportions do not pull top corner fully out, but only halfway out, and then pull other corner halfway in, creating a fulcrum upon the midpoint of the line.

keystoning

It may help to view the image with a grid. View > Show > Grid
4. Now crop out the superfluous two corners.

after IMG_2690p

Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: The New Edition

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art recently announced that it has released a new edition of the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History.

The timeline, which pairs essays and works of art with chronologies, tells the story of art, and global cultural, through the Museum’s collections. The new edition has been rethought with new navigation and interface, updated images, and restructured editorial content. It is also optimized to be responsive to both desktop and mobile devices.

 

 

The Illustrated Life of Ippen and the Visibility of Karma in Medieval Japan

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The Archives of Asian Art has just published an article by Assistant Professor Chelsea Foxwell!  Titled “The Illustrated Life of Ippen and the Visibility of Karma in Medieval Japan,” Foxwell examines the scenes of the Illustrated Life of Ippen, 1299 by En’i and suggests that rather than “a biographical narrative, it can also be seen as an ink landscape journey in handscroll form.”  This journey is beautifully described throughout the article and is accompanied by over 25 color details. Scroll 7 of the Illustrated Life of Ippen is publicly available on the Digital Scrolling Paintings Project website, which features annotations and a live scrolling feature. Visit both sites linked above to learn more!

Image: En’i, Ippen hijiri-e (Ippen shōnin eden), 1299, scroll 7, scene 3. Nenbutsu dancing at the Kūya hall, Ichitani, near Kyoto. Ink and color on silk (handscroll), h: 38.2 cm. Tokyo National Museum.

Living Collections Catalogue

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 11.14.58 AMThe Walker Art Center recently announced the launch of a project – the Living Collections Catalogue. Published in volumes around a broad theme, each catalogue is a media-rich collection of essays focusing on that theme, as well as essays on particular works of art in the Walker collection.

The Walker states that it “aims to create a sustainable publishing platform that will be of service to academics and art enthusiasts. The designs adopt a visual aesthetic for navigation and page layouts blending the best qualities of the book, magazine, and online forms. With the release of new volumes, we anticipate adding new features and making improvements as our understanding of this hybrid environment—the intersection of a collections database with printed catalogue and digital reading environments continues to evolve.”

There are currently two catalogues on the site: On Performativity and Art Expanded, 1958-1978. A third catalog, on Merce Cunningham, is due in 2017.