Vamonde is a recently launched urban story telling app that uses curated content and GPS to connect users to significant places.
Rebecca Zorach, a professor of art history at Northwestern University created a module in Vamonde called “Lost Murals of Chicago” in which she takes app users to 8 murals in Chicago and provides information about the artists, how the murals were created, and other signifiant facts about the mural site. Vamonde provides a map with GPS walking directions from a user’s location to the mural site.
Check out the Vamonde app to go on your own walking tour of “Lost Murals of Chicago” or other tours on the app. Right now the app only features content from Chicago, and other tours such as “The Inside Track: Art on CTA” and “Humboldt Park: Jens Jensen’s Experimental Grounds” might be of interest. Vamonde is currently only available at the iTunes App Store and requires users to sign up for a free account.
For more images and information about the community mural movement in Chicago, visit the Public Art Workshop Mural Archive hosted by the VRC in Luna.
Cambridge University recently announced that they have digitized objects from the Library’s Chinese collections and made them freely available on-line. Digitized items include a collection of oracle bones that display some of the earliest examples for writing anywhere in the world, as well as the manuscript “Manual of Calligraphy and Painting.” This manuscript is incredibly rare and the binding so fragile that many of the prints have never been seen until now. The library has also digitized early printed books and a 14th-century banknote!
The digital images are accompanied by short description of the work and includes metadata in English and Chinese. They can be downloaded under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonComercial license. Reproduction rights can also be requested through the site.
The Visual Resources Center is very pleased to announce that thousands of images from the Smart Museum of Art’s collection are now available in LUNA. From the 14,000 objects in the Smart’s collection, there are now over 5,000 unique images of artwork from the collection encompassing multiple countries, cultures, and time periods. More images are being added on a regular basis. The collection can be found here
The collection in LUNA reflects the strengths of the Smart Museum of Art’s collection, which include modern, Asian, European, and contemporary art. Through this project, the VRC has made available PDFs of 17 sketchbooks belonging to H.C. Westermann and two Japanese albums of prints.
The collection is password protected and can be accessed using a CNet ID and password, making it available to all on-campus users. There is also a link provided to obtain a high-resolution image for publication or research. As the Spring Quarter begins, this is an invaluable resource for instructors, and students, who are interested in utilizing the museum collections in their own work.
Images clockwise from upper left:
Princeton University, in collaboration with the University of Michigan and the University of Alexandria, have announced the launch of a website documenting icons from the Monastery of Saint Catherine at Mount Sinai.
The icons were documented and photographed on expeditions led by Kurt Weitzmann from Princeton University and George Forsyth from the University of Michigan from 1956 to 1965. Princeton University now holds the color photographs taken of the icons and have digitized them, making them available for viewing. Currently, the website displays about 1,200 transparencies, with another 2,000 in the works.
The images are the copyrighted property of the Regents of the University of Michigan and the Trustees of Princeton University, but can be freely used for classroom projection, display on computer monitors, and use in class assignments. The images cannot be published without permission, but requesting permission can be easily done through the website.
This year marks the 500th anniversary of the death of Hieronymus Bosch, the Netherlandish painter best known for his painting “The Garden of Earthly Delights.” And thanks to the work of a group of art historians, film-makers, and photographers, one no longer needs to travel to the Prado Museum in Spain to get a good look at this amazing painting!
Described as an “online interactive adventure,” the site allows viewers to either freely move around the painting, zooming on details or take a guided tour. Additionally, there are some 40 recorded audio essays throughout the painting. Click on an icon, and you can zoom into a detail and listen to an explanation of what’s depicted and how it relates to the work overall.
In addition to the interactive painting, there is also a new app allowing viewers to see the garden in “virtual reality.” Bosch VR, produced by BDH Design agency, allows viewer to move through the garden by viewing the painting on an iPad or on an iPhone or Android phone using Google Cardboard.
Google Cardboard viewers are available for use from the VRC during normal operating hours.
Luna is currently making some changes to its database, including the Luna Commons Collections. As of today, we no longer have access to the following collections through the University of Chicago’s Luna login. If you would like to access these collections, you’ll need to visit the individual collections websites listed below. Access to these collections will eventually be restored to the University of Chicago’s Luna login.
Users still have access to 13 existing Commons Collections—including the popular David Rumsey Historical Map Collection—through our instance of Luna. The VRC will keep you updated on access to Luna commons collections and other improvements coming to the database, including their planned interface redesign.
If you have any questions about changes in Luna or access to your content, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University is currently holding an exhibit of sketchbooks by the Bay Area artist Richard Diebenkorn. The 29 sketchbooks in the exhibit were given to the Cantor Arts Center by Phyllis Diebenkorn, the artist’s wife, and none of them have been seen by the public until now.
In addition to exhibiting the sketchbooks, Stanford has also digitized all 29 and have made them available to the public. The interactive site is easy to use, allowing viewers to choose a sketchbook and flip through it page by page.
Comprising a website, a traveling exhibition, and book, Qantara is a very rich and interesting resource for studying the cultural heritage of the Mediterranean from Late Antiquity to the 18th century. The website contains over 1500 entries from Western Europe, Byzantium, and Islamic regions that include objects, sites, and monuments. The material can be searched using various intersections such as materials, subjects, or historical period. Each entry has descriptive metadata (size, media, discovery and repository information), a short descriptive essay, and a bibliography.
There are repositories and cultural heritage institutions from nine countries involved in Qantara, and the information has been reviewed by over 200 experts including curators, historians, and researchers.
Recently, Heidelberg University in Germany launched a new digital handscroll website. The Hachiman Digital Handscroll site contains seven digitized Japanese handscrolls of Karmic Origins of the Great Hachiman Bodhisattva. The scrolls range in date from 1389 to the Nineteenth Century.
In addition to having a simple, easy-to-use navigation framework, the project includes some interesting features. When viewers move their cursors over the scroll, different areas appear in different colors. These layers, as they’re called, provide annotation and additional information on the element highlighted. The text from the scrolls is available in both English and Japanese and readers can easily toggle between the two. Finally, there is also a “light table” feature allowing viewers to compare a particular scene or script passage from all seven scrolls at one.
This site makes an excellent companion to the Digital Scrolling Paintings Project produced here at the University of Chicago!
We would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season and a happy new year!!
The Visual Resources Center will close on Friday, December 18 and remain closed until Friday, January 2, 2015. See you in 2016!!