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Consisting of literally thousands of films, videos, sound files, and digitized papers, UbuWeb is a treasure trove of multi-media art. The material is presented freely for noncommercial, educational use. It is easily searchable, often has a short description, and is continually updated.

So, if you’re looking for examples of early Vito Acconci videos, recent work by Matthew Barney, the music of John Cage, or PDFs of the journal “Internationale Situationniste,” UbuWeb is a great resource to find these often esoteric works.

The site has also recently announced that all films are now available to view on mobile device.

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Chicago Architecture Biennial


This weekend marks the opening of the 3 month long Chicago Architecture Biennial. With a mission of creating an international forum on architecture and urbanism, the Biennial “seeks to convene the world’s leading practitioners, theorists, and commentators in the field of architecture and urbanism to explore, debate, and demonstrate the significance of architecture to contemporary society.” The calendar is overflowing with events, including free tours of the Frank Lloyd Wright’s S.C. Johnson Wax headquarters and the UChicago campus, as well as the opening of the Stony Island Arts Bank, all happening this weekend.


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Chicago’s Museum Week

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From October 1 – October 7, 11 of Chicago’s museums, as well as the Lincoln Park Zoo, are offering free admission, discounted memberships, and other special offers. There are also special events, including free tours, extended hours, and even a 5K run at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum as part of their Harvest Festival.

The official website has more details.

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Be an Art Cataloger in Artstor Arcades

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Two years ago, Artstor acquired an enormous collection of photographs taken by D. James Dee. The archive comprises slides, transparencies, and photographs of hundreds of thousands of artworks and art exhibits photographed by Dee in New York City from early 1970s to 2013. To assist with the cataloging of these images, Artstor Labs has developed a crowd-sourcing “game” called Artstor Arcades, hoping to identify and catalog the images for inclusion in the Artstor database.

According to the site, Arcades “offers a simple gaming platform that allows users to enter terms for a selection of key fields to help identify individual works, including Title, Artist, Date, and Gallery. Users are given points for each field of data entered and can progressively level up through prestigious titles, ranging from “flâneur” to “master.” You receive more points if an artist name, title, or other term matches a previous response. This matching is the key to crowdsourcing data—the more users, the more matches, the better the data.”

So, sign up, and start cataloging!

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The Mary Griggs Burke Collection Online

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Recently, Chelsea Foxwell, Assistant Professor of Art History and the College, brought a new on-line resource for Japanese art to our attention.

The Mary Griggs Burke Collection, a major new database for Japanese art, along with some Chinese and Korean art, has recently launched. During her lifetime, Mary Griggs Burke had one of the best collections of Japanese art outside of Japan, and her collection has since been donated to several museums.

This website presents the highlights of her collection, with more than 1,000 high-quality photographs and cataloging data displayed online. You can browse the website by collecting area, artist, format, and period or do keyword searches of the collection. Users are able to zoom and pan enlarged images, and you can save a medium quality image by right clicking in the view and selecting “Save Image As.”

This site, along with many others that provide images of art and architecture, can be found on the VRC’s Other Art Resources Online page.

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Europeana on Pinterest

Europeana, the site that hosts millions of digital images from European museums, libraries, and archives, now has a Pinterest page.

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As can be seen from the image above, the images have been organized into categories and themes.  This makes it much easier to find specific items, like Meissen porcelain or maps, or to search across media for a theme or style, like Art Nouveau or Angels. In addition to creating personal boards to “collect” images that might be useful for research or in a presentation, using Pinterest also allows users to discover other images, since users can be taken back to Europeana’s site, which provides basic metadata with links to other works by specific artists or in a specific style, a link to the owning museum, and a suggestion of “other items you may be interested in.”

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French Sculpture Census

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In December 2014, the French Sculpture Census went live, providing images and information about roughly 7,000 works for French sculpture in American collections. The project is the result of a collaboration between scholars and curators from approximately 280 museums nationwide. The site can be used by both French- and English-speaking audiences and the census can be searched by artist, location, or sculpture. There’s also a very useful list of resources that includes bibliographies, a list of current exhibitions, and a glossary of terms. The creators hope to have approximately 15,000 records by the time the census is finished.

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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!

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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 ( or 773-744-7487).

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Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

Collection by Robert Rauschenberg

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation is an organization dedicated to preserving the art, archive, and legacy of the American artist Robert Rauschenberg. Considered one of the most important artists of the latter 20th century, Rauschenberg created new forms of art-making, often combining elements of painting, sculpture, photography, and printmaking into his work.
The foundation’s website provides a wealth of information about the artist, including extensive biographical entries, digitized archival material, and hundreds of high-quality images of his work. Additionally, the foundation provides grants, residencies, and artwork for museums and galleries.

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