Happy (Turquoise) New Year!

Is the beginning of the quarter making you feel stressed? You might consider a new wall color for the new year. Pantone revealed in a recent press release that turquoise (Pantone 15-5519) is the color of the year for 2010. The reason? According to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, turquoise “is believed to be a protective talisman, a color of deep compassion and healing, and a color of faith and truth, inspired by water and sky. Through years of color word-association studies, we also find that Turquoise represents an escape to many – taking them to a tropical paradise that is pleasant and inviting, even if only a fantasy.”

Jenny Holzer Interviewed in the NYT Magazine

An interview with contemporary artist Jenny Holzer in today’s New York Times Magazine, accompanied by photographs of her home, reveals: her supposed Twitter page is not her own, her favorite chore is laundry (“because I succeed at it”), she keeps horses as an inherited hobby even though she doesn’t ride (“they are fuzzy and optimistic”), and she overpacks when traveling.

On that note, happy and safe travels to you during this holiday season.

Above photograph by Flickr user Lord Jim. Work: “Inflamatory Essays” by Jenny Holzer, installed in Los Angeles, Spring 2008, as part of “Women in the City.”

Database of Virtual Art

The Database of Virtual Art seeks to document and ultimately preserve the evolving field of digital installation art. The database is intended for both researchers and artists, and digital media artists are encouraged to post content themselves. The web-based resource is free and allows browsing by artist name as well as keyword. Works, literature, people, events and institutions may also be searched.

Pictured: The Living Web by Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau, 2002.

Historic African Photographs Available Online

The Humphrey Winterton Collection of East African Photographs includes 7,610 photographs, 230 glass lantern slides, and various other materials depicting life in Africa from 1860-1960. For the first time, thousands of these images are now available for free online, thanks to Northwestern University Library.

The collection chronicles Europe’s colonization of East Africa, including the work of explorers, colonial officials, settlers, missionaries, military officers, travelers and early commercial photographers. The collection’s website also includes information for educators, including image galleries of political leaders, animals, monuments, and more.

Capturing Stills from Video

The VLC Media Player is an open source multimedia player for various audio and video formats, as well as streaming video and DVDs. Free to download, it works well with both Macs and PCs. The media player includes a Snapshot feature (under the Video menu) which allows you to capture stills from video. Just pause at the suitable frame and take the snapshot. These snapshots may then be used in PowerPoint, Keynote, or OIV presentations.

For more information about the VideoLAN project (including the VLC Media Player), click here.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is almost here. Find inspiration in some works of art depicting love and devotion!

One way to search for these works in ARTstor: subject headings. Here is a short list of the possibilities. Some of our favorite artists and titles from each search are included as well.

Heart in art: Fluttering Hearts, Cover of Cahiers d’Art XI No. 1-2 by Marcel Duchamp; Felt Heart by A.R. Penck

Love: Vow to Love by Jean-Honoré Fragonard; Pygmalion and Galatea by Jean-Léon Gérôme

Flowers: Flower with Glasses by Mark Grotjahn; Maresias by Beatriz Milhazes

Cupid (Roman deity): Apollo, Cupid and Dancing Putti by Jacopo Palma Giovane; Lady Standing at the Virginal by Jan Vermeer

Kissing: Intimacy by Eugène Carrière; The Kiss by Roy Lichtenstein

Not a fan of Valentine’s Day? You could try these subject headings instead:

LovesicknessYoung Lover and His Servant by a follower of Giorgione; Love Suicides at Sonezaki by Chikamatsu Monzaemon

Despair: Despair by Edvard Munch; Study for ‘Oath of Horatii’ by Jacques-Louis David

Crying: Mask Representing a Female Ancestor by an unknown artist; Weeping Woman by Pablo Picasso

But wait! Just because you don’t like Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you’re unhappy…

Smiling in art: Face by Okamoto Taro; Kiki with Moss by Takashi Murakami

You can also search for these artists or titles as keywords. Enjoy!


The Visual Resources Association (VRA) recently honored Amanda Rybin, our new Image Cataloger, with a Tansey Travel Award. This award will support Amanda’s attendance at the VRA’s 27th Annual Conference in Toronto in March. Congrats, Amanda!

The ABCs of Subject Headings

Staff members of the VRC use subject headings from different thesauri to describe the collection’s images. Subject headings can be combined to create complex and precise searches, gathering together all available resources on a particular topic. Some of the thesauri we use? The Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT), the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN), and, of course, the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), just to name a few. We are often surprised by the variety of subject headings available and how frequently we expand our own vocabulary.

Just for fun, we’ve compiled the ABCs of subject headings – a list of our favorites, one for every letter of the alphabet. We have also listed some of our favorite runners-up. Try doing a subject search in ARTstor or LUNA for one of these topics, or click on the links below to see search results from our collection. You might discover something new and surprising, or at the very least, entertaining.

Our Favorites:

Abandoned buildings
Break dancing
Diseases in Art
Electronic surveillance
Ghouls and ogres
Identity (Philosophical concept) in art
Labyrinths in art
Musical instruments – handbells
Newspaper vendors
Older people
Predation (Biology)
Ruins in art
Truck stops
Underwater cinematography
Women cleaning personnel


Arm Wrestling
Canned meat
Future in art
Human sacrifice
Infrared photography
Moving walkways

Wondering how to . . .

. . . make a PowerPoint presentation?

. . . create a high-quality digital image?

. . . find works of art in the VRC Collection?

. . . export a detail from Luna Insight?

. . . share a group of images in ARTstor?

The VRC can help you with all things related to digital imaging. Contact us to set up an appointment.