The Story of the Beautiful: Virtual Tours of Whistler’s “Peacock Room”

Peacock Room Detroit

A collaborative website—The Story of the Beautiful: Freer, Whistler, and Their Points of Contact—between the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Wayne State University presents a virtual tour of James McNeil Whistler (1834–1903)’s Peacock Room. Users are given the option to visit the room as it existed in London in 1876 or as it appeared after Charles Lang Freer moved the room to Detroit and reassembled it there in 1908. In addition to panning through the 3D interior space of the room, users can click on individual objects for more information as well as supplementary content including maps, timelines, and archival material from the Charles Lang Freer Papers. The team behind the website describes their project:

The site thus functions both as a digital archive and as an immersive virtual environment in which users can explore the room, learn about the objects it has contained, and see how the places and faces associated with the room contributed to its history. Anchored by the two virtual tours, the site offers users a deeply contextualized way to navigate the collections: some 400 digital objects, among them the room itself, the objects it has contained, as well as archival materials such as photographs, bills of sale, and correspondence.

In addition to exploring the Peacock Room virtually, users can browse the obects in the collection and digitized content from the archives separately. For more information, visit the website.

Via ArtDaily.

100th Anniversary of the Armory Show and New Web Resources

Galler 50, Art Institute of Chicago, Armory Show

In 1913, a landmark exhibition—the International Exhibition of Modern Art—also known as the Armory Show toured the country, first in New York at the 69th Regiment Armory (February 17–March 15), in Chicago at the Art Institute of Chicago (March 24–April 16), and Boston, at the Copley Society (April 23–May 14). For the first time ever, European modern and avant-garde artists such Brancusi, Duchamp, Matisse, and Picass were exhibited to the US public. And while New York and Boston each had presentations of the exhibition, Chicago was the only venue to exhibit the works in a fine art museum. And in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Armory Show, there are new web resources that explore the development, installation, and reception of the

The Art Institute of Chicago has a web module about their presentation of the Armory Show, including background information about the individuals responsible for bring the Armory Show to the US, in situ gallery installation photographs mapped onto present day gallery spaces at the museum, PDFs of the original exhibition catalog, and other contextual information.

Armory Timeline, Archives of American Art

The Archives of American Art at he Smithsonian Institute has a timeline of the Armory Show, “The Story in Primary Sources,” that presents digitized documents pertaining to the watershed exhibition in chronological order. The project description describes how the various primary source materials provide context for the exhibition:

Together the letters, sales records, printed ephemera, and personal diaries paint a picture of the Armory Show that is as dynamic as the stunning diversity of works on display.

Both websites also include detailed bibliographic information for further research. For more information, explore the Art Institute’s website or the Archives of American Art’s website.

French Impressionism at the Art Institute of Chicago

Caillebot Screenshot from French Impressionism App

The VRC recently added the French Impressionism at the Art Institute of Chicago to the growing app library of art image resources we have available on the VRC’s iPad 2. The app is based on the book The Age of French Impressionism (2010) by curators Douglas Druick and Gloria Groom, and contains high-resolution images of more than 100 iconic works from the Art Institute’s collections as well as text entries about each artwork as well as biographies of the 22 artists represented in the app, including Seurat, Van Gogh, Monet, Caillebotte, Renoir, and Toulouse-Lautrec. The app also includes videos and virtual tours of select Art Institute galleries.

Stop by the VRC to check out this app and many others! Click here for a list of other great image iPad apps that have been reviewed by the VRC.

 

 

The MoMA PS1 Archives

Exterior View of P.S. 1 by Jonathan Dent, 1976

The Museum of Modern Art has opened the MoMA PS1 Archives to the public. The collection contains more than 300 linear feet, representing the entire history of the art space, from its opening in 1971 to the present (PS1 merged with MoMA in 1999). The majority of the material pertains to exhibition and press records, but the project description notes:

The records provide extensive documentary evidence of an institution that was in the vanguard of nonprofit spaces and at the heart of the 1970s and 1980s New York art world—and that continues to be a vital center for the exploration and exhibition of contemporary art today. Documentation of particular historical significance in the Archives includes records of the institution’s founding and growth in the early 1970s; exhibition and curatorial records for nearly 900 exhibitions and events over 35 years; materials documenting the National and International Studio Program and the publications program; and records of founder and former director Alanna Heiss.

In addition to the finding aids for the nine series of records, there are several web resources including a chronology, a publication history, an artists index, and a complete exhibition history. Several of these resources are cross-referenced for greater utility to researchers.

The MoMA PS1 Archives can be consulted by appointment at the MoMA Archives reading room at MoMA QNS, open Mondays, 11 am–5 pm.

For more information, visit the project website and the finding aids.

Image: “Exterior View of P.S. 1,” photograph by Jonathan Dent, 1976. MoMA PS1 Archives, VIII.I.8. The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York.

 

Art Resources from the Mid-20th Century

Forbidden art in the Third Reich: paintings by German artists whose work was banned from museums and forbidden to exhibit (1945?)

The Guggenheim and Whitney Libraries have collaborated to digitize selections from the personal libraries of Hilla Rebay and Juliana, the inaugural directors of the museums, respectively. The digital library—Art Resources from the Mid-20th Century: Digitized Highlights from the Libraries of Hilla Rebay and Juliana Force—is available publicly via the Internet Archive. They describe how the collections were developed by Rebay and Force, female museum directors whose institutions were both founded in the 1930s:

Each woman acquired a considerable library during her tenure, collecting materials ranging from the uncommon (gallery announcements from New York and beyond, as well as rare and unusual periodicals and books) to the required reading of the day (exhibition catalogs and major monographs on contemporary artists). These important resources influenced the two women, who in turn influenced the vision and development of their respective institutions, which remain integral to the city’s cultural life today.

The museum libraries digitized selected volumes from each collection to display the materials together online, which helps highlight the similarities and differences between each collection. The Internet Archive, which hosts the collection, offers robust functionality including cataloging data, and the ability to view the fully digitized materials online in a book reader software or to download as a PDF of e-book reader file, including EPUB and Kindle.

To visit the project collection page for Art Resources from the Mid-20th Century: Digitized Highlights from the Libraries of Hilla Rebay and Juliana Force, click here. For more information, please also explore project summaries from the Guggenheim and the Whitney.

MoMA’s “Inventing Abstraction” Website and Exhibition

MoMA recently opened a new exhibition, Inventing Abstraction, 1910–1925, and this ground-breaking survey is accompanied by an equally ground-breaking website. The exhibition takes a multidisciplinary look at the development of abstraction and as such:

The exhibition brings together many of the most influential works in abstraction’s early history and covers a wide range of artistic production, including paintings, drawings, books, sculptures, films, photographs, sound poems, atonal music, and non-narrative dance, to draw a cross-media portrait of these watershed years.

In the October, ARTnews reported that the Leah Dickerman, curator of the exhibition, was collaborating with Paul Ingram of Columbia University’s business school because he specializes in social network analysis. Dickerman wanted to visually display connections and friendships among the artists and creators involved in the genesis of abstraction, and she and her team, along with their business school partners, began mapping connections in an Excel spreadsheet. The project then turned into a dynamic network of artists and other creative types connected by vectors. They liken the project to a Facebook or LinkedIn network for the abstract vanguard.

inventingabstractiondiagram

In the ARTnews article, Paul Ingram “explains that the quality of ‘between-ness’ in the network—being on multiple paths between others—is associated with creativity. According to this measure, he says, Kandinsky is the most central figure in MoMA’s history of abstraction.” The interactive chart highlights key players in red, and for each artist represented on the chart, more information about their role, interests, and works is provided.

And as an aside, the ARTnews article mentions several other charts or family trees that had been created to document relationships (either sincerely or snarkily) in modern art movements—be sure to check out the very famous Barr’s Chart! These genealogical charts differ greatly from the social vectors described in the new MoMA chart, but provided the initial inspiration for the website’s diagram. Another “genealogical” example comes from the Irving Penn Archives, housed at the Art Institute of Chicago: Penn drew an a family tree, titled “An Immodest Claim to Artistic Roots,” in which he lists several of the artists included in MoMA’s Inventing Abstraction exhibition including Fernand Léger, El Lissitzky, and Man Ray. You can view his tree here.

The VRC will be adding images from the exhibition to our LUNA collection soon!

Via ARTnews

Black Odyssey Remixes: A Romare Bearden iPad App

Romare Bearden app theme page

To accompany the new show from the Smithsonian’s Traveling Exhibition Service, “Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey,” an interactive iPad app has been created to allow users to remix Bearden’s Odyssey collages. The app also allows users to incorporate music in their collage. From the app description:

In 1977, Romare Bearden created a series of collages inspired by the ancient poet Homer and his epic story “The Odyssey.” Bearden believed that “all of us from the time we begin to think are on an odyssey.” The Romare Bearden collage app, developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in conjunction with the national traveling exhibition “Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey,” was created with Bearden’s quote in mind.

With this lively, colorful, and highly engaging app, you can remix works from Bearden’s original series to create your own unique works of art, and express your personal journey. Choose from a variety of Bearden’s backdrops and layer in shapes and forms from other collages. Or cut your own shapes, add personal photos, change the colors of various elements and resize them. You can also add your words and your descriptions.

Music played a big role in Bearden’s life and his art, so the app also incorporates sound. While you build your collages, you can mash up audio such as ocean waves, jazz riffs, warriors fighting, or even your own voice. An option to record the user’s voice is also included and can be played back in a loop as the artwork is being created.

Save your visual collages and post them to a public gallery–where they can be tagged and revisited by other users–and share with friends on Facebook, Twitter, or email. You can also learn more about the traveling exhibition, Bearden’s life, and the companion exhibition audio tour app.

The app was created by GuideOne for the Smithsonian Institute. For more information, visit the iTunes App Store or stop by the VRC to play!

Via ArtNews

 

The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls

The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls

The Google Cultural Institute and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem collaborated to bring five complete Dead Sea Scrolls online. The new digital library (released Tuesday, December 18), allows users to study and discover the the most ancient biblical manuscripts on earth:

The website gives searchable, fast-loading, high-resolution images of the scrolls, as well as short explanatory videos and background information on the texts and their history. The scroll text is also discoverable via web search. If you search for a phrase from the scrolls, a link to that text within the scroll may surface in your search results. For example, try searching on Google for [And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb Dead Sea Scroll].

The Great Isiah Scroll

English translations of the manuscripts are also available. The Google Cultural Institute is also responsible for the Art Project as well as other digital humanities projects, including Versailles 3D and La France en relief. For the Dead Sea Scrolls project, they used imaging technology originally developed for NASA. The scrolls weren’t discovered until 1947, and they had been in the Qumran caves for two thousand years. ArtDaily reports:

The parchment and papyrus scrolls contain Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic script, and include several of the earliest-known texts from the Bible, including the oldest surviving copy of the Ten Commandments. The oldest of the documents dates to the third century BC and the most recent to about 70 AD, when Roman troops destroyed the Second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The artefacts are housed at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, where the larger pieces are shown at the dimly lit Shrine of the Book on a rotational basis in order to minimise damage from exposure. When not on show, they are kept in a dark, climate-controlled storeroom in conditions similar to those in the Qumran caves, where the humidity, temperature and darkness preserved the scrolls for two millennia.

For more information, visit the Digital Dead Sea Scrolls.

Via artdaily.org

MoMA and the Met Duel over “Canyon”

 

The Rauschenberg painting has been on MoMA’s wish list for over 15 years. As part of a $41 million IRS settlement because of controversy over the painting’s value, which features a stuffed bald eagle protected under two laws, it has found its home under the conditions that Ileana Sonnabend’s name be added to the donors wall, and The Museum devote an entire show to not only the painting, but also Ms. Sonnabend. The family lawyer said, “ What was important was that it would be more of a star at MoMA. It was [on loan] at the Met, and was not featured as a star.”

Read the full NY Times article.

Rijksmuseum’s Collection Available Online Through RijksStudio

Today, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdamn is launching RijksStudio, a digital collection of 125,000 works in the collection. We posted about the first installment about a year ago, and now they’ve fully unveiled their impressive new image platform.

All works in the RijksStudio are available for users to download for personal use as a high-quality jpeg image file. (Using images for professional and commercial uses is possible, but requires filling out a form to obtain permission from the museum). Depending on the type of use, print, and format, images can be downloaded either free or charge or for a fee.

 

In addition to browsing and searching the collection, you can create image groups or explore the image groups of other users. In depth content such as context about art movements, artists’ biographies, and other historical events is available when browsing through facets or when viewing an individual work. Images can be shared on various public media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Pintrest. You can also easily order reproductions of the images.

The image records for objects in the collection contain an absolute wealth of information, including basic object data, exhibition histories, provenance, related artworks, copyright status, and a section called “Documentation,” which serves as a bibliography of the object with links to published references of the work including scholarly articles, monographs, and exhibition catalogs. When online content is available, the object data includes links—for example, links to JSTOR articles.

You can create an account using your email address or log in through your Facebook account. For more information or to start exploring, click here.

Via ArtDaily