The University of Chicago has recently released a new web resource called Public Art on Campus which seeks to catalog, document, and provide contextual and critical information about the works of art on campus. There is an accompanying video which provides an overview of the works on campus. The website allows users to browse works by location, artist, and title and for selected works users can read an artist bibliography and an essay about the work. These selected works also include archival images and documents relevant to the work.
The VRC supports this project by maintaining the UChicago Public Art Collection and Archive in collaboration with the Smart Museum of Art, UChicago Arts, and Christine Mehring of the Department of Art History. This dedicated, password-protected collection is accessible to all on-campus users and off-campus users who have a CNetID and password. If you’d like to explore more, the Luna collection contains archival photographs, audio, video, conservation information, and other ephemeral documentation pertaining to the public works on campus.
Have you ever wanted to eliminate the distracting background from an object photographed on-site? Cutting out the background can be very easy or a bit challenging, depending on how complex the image is. The magic wand tool can be a very effective tool when your background is simple in nature.
1. Select the magic wand tool from the toolbar.
2. Click on the area you want to sample. The magic wand will outline the area with flashing dotted lines.
3. Initially, the magic wand may only pick up some of the background. Hold the Shift key and continue clicking on the areas to add to the selection until the object is isolated.
4. Use the Exposure tool to adjust the background to white or black, pulling it to the far right for white or far left for black.
5. You may need to use the clone tool or paintbrush to clean-up areas that the magic wand tool missed.
The archives manager at Bishopsgate Institute recently discovered boxes containing more than 3,000 slides depicting London’s landmarks including churches, statues, buildings, and social scenes from the Victorian period to the early 20th century.
In 2007, a project to digitize the images launched, some of which can be seen here. More than 600 images were digitized, and in October 2013 were published in a book called The Gentle Author’s London Album.
For more information, visit the Spitalfield’s page on the album. To view a sampling of images, visit the ITV News article about the project.
Image: Traffic on Tower Bridge, 1905 Credit: Bishopsgate Institute
Panoramio is a photo-sharing community powered by Google that allows users to tag their photos with geographic information so they can be plotted on a map and searched for by location. You can browse by location, and click on individual images from the map, or search for specific sites and locations.
Some of the images are indeed panoramas, and Panoramio includes both flat and spherical panoramas (the latter provide a 360º of a place). For example, check out this haunting spherical panorama of the Holocaust Monument in Berlin.
This website is useful for studying architecture, cities, and the built environment, and it’s also great for some arm-chair traveling. You can also add your own images to the project.
For more information or to start exploring, check out Panoramio!
The world’s largest film camera is currently at Two North Riverside Plaza, and will be there through Thursday, October 31. The camera was built in order to be used in a project by photographer Dennis Manarchy, from Rockford, IL, called Butterflies & Buffalo: Tales of American Culture.
The camera is 35 feet long, and makes photographs that are larger than life size—more than six feet tall and four feet wide! Manarchy’s project is to make portraits to document at least 50 distinct cultural groups in the United States and plans to travel more than 20,000 miles in order to capture such wide diversity. I’m curious about how they’ll make a darkroom big enough to develop a piece of film that’s bigger than they are!
For more information, visit the Butterflies & Buffalo website, watch the preview for the project on Vimeo, follow them on Facebook or Twitter, or swing by the West Loop to see the camera for yourself.
The University of Chicago Photographic Archive has a digital collection that contains images from five series encompassing the University’s history, including individuals and groups, buildings and grounds, events, student activities, sports, the Yerkes observatory, and the Chicago Maroon student newspaper.
This is a great resource for school pride and nostalgia and also a stellar resource for studying the development of campus architecture.
Image credit: Cochrane Woods Art Center I. University of Chicago Photographic Archive, apf02108, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.
The Lee Miller Archives, located in East Sussex, England, is a privately run archive that maintains the legacy and career of the artist, including “60,000 negatives, mainly black and white, most of her manuscripts, captions, notes, letters and ephemeral material, her cameras, and some of her personal effects such as her US Army uniform.” Their website boasts an image collection of more than 3,000 of Lee Miller’s photographs, including final images as well as contact prints:
Following the exciting launch of our long-awaited online picture library over three thousand of Lee Miller’s photographs can now be seen together for the first time. Many of the images, converted from the original negatives or vintage prints into digital format, have not previously been in circulation and are a fascinating addition to the published work. All aspects of Lee’s remarkable career are represented, including her Surrealist images, World War II photo-journalism, 20th century fashion photography and celebrity portraiture!
Lee Miller was an icon of photography—both as a model and a photographer in her own right—beginning in the 1920s when she began modeling for Vogue staff photographers including Edward Steichen and George Hoyningen-Huene. She moved to Paris in 1929 and studied under Surrealist photographer Man Ray (the pair discovered the photographic technique of solarisation during this time), and soon after opened her own studio in New York. During World War II she served as a war photojournalist. After the war, her career remained closely tied to photography and the arts, and she died at the Farley Farm House in 1977, where the Lee Miller Archives is now located.
For more information, visit the Lee Miller Archives.
Millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive are available via Google Images, only a small number of which have been published. Eventually the project will include about 10 million images. You can search specifically in the LIFE search portal, or you can add “source:life” to any Google image search to return only images from the LIFE photo archive.
The archive includes documentary photography by many well-known photographers working in the magazine industry during the hey day of photojournalism, including Margaret Bourke-White, Alfred Eisenstaedt,
The very first cover of LIFE magazine was a photograph taken by Margaret Bourke-White of Fort Peck in Montana. The issue was published on November 23, 1936. Images from the LIFE photo archive are for personal, non-commercial use only.
For more information, visit the LIFE photo archive digital collection hosted by Google Images.
The photography blog PetaPixel recently posted about photography books in the public domain that have been included in Project Gutenberg digital library. Of the 37 books to be fully digitized, perhaps the most exciting is the inclusion of William Henry Fox Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature, published in 1844. The book details his calotype process and includes 24 images of finished calotype prints with text describing the image’s creation and significance.
For more information, visit Project Gutenberg.
Founded in 1949, the George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, NY is the world’s oldest museum of photography and recently announced that it will be the first photography museum to join the Google Art Project:
So far, 50 high-resolution images from their collection—encompassing the birth of photography to the late 20th century—have been added to the Google Art Project website with zooming capabilities and robust cataloging information, and much of the object data was previously unavailable online. More photographs will eventually be added, and the GEH is also partnering with Google Maps Street View to provide 360º views of their galleries and grounds.
For more information, visit the George Eastman House in Google Art Project or read the GEH Press Release.