Art Resource, Scala Group, and ARTstor announced today that they had reached an agreement to collaborate on the digitization and distribution through ARTstor of approximately 12,000 high quality digital images of Italian art and architecture. Scala Archives’ photographic holdings uniquely document the artistic heritage of Italy and Europe from antiquity to the 20th Century, with particular strengths in the art and architecture of the Italian Renaissance. The scholarly literature on these subjects has long been fundamentally dependent upon the Scala Archives, whose color photographs richly illustrate virtually every important monograph on Italian architects, artists, and monuments, as well as textbooks and historical surveys of the art of Italy. Among the monuments, sites, and museums that are expected to be included in this collaboration are the Uffizi Gallery, the Galleria Borghese, the Vatican Museums, the Roman Forum, the Palazzo Pitti, the Brera Museum, the Churches of Ravenna, the Catacombs, Pompeii and very many others.

In reaching this agreement, Dr. Theodore Feder, President of Art Resource, Alvise Passigli, Vice President and CEO of the Scala Group, and James Shulman, ARTstor’s Executive Director, expressed their enthusiasm in collaborating to use digital technologies to make these high quality images of the art and architecture of Italy more broadly available for noncommercial educational and scholarly purposes. “We are delighted to be able to augment ARTstor’s offerings to its many subscribers in a field so essential to the study of art history and archaeology,” comments Dr. Feder. “Our new partnership with Scala Archives and Art Resource represents an important milestone in ARTstor’s ongoing effort to provide teachers, scholars and students with high-quality digital images of key works and monuments of world art,” affirms Shulman. “We are excited at the prospect of working with Scala in an ongoing way to further develop their extraordinarily rich archives and ARTstor’s library of images.”

Scala Archives was founded in Florence, Italy, in 1953 when color photography was coming to be the medium of preference for recording works of art. The firm soon established working relationships with most of Italy’s museums as well as a number of other institutions outside of Italy. It has at one time or another served as the official archive for many of these collections, including the Vatican Museums. The archive now numbers some 80,000 large format (5 x 7″ and 8 x 10″) transparencies covering all periods of Western art from antiquity to the present. Scala transparencies are offered for use in books, magazines, prints, CD-ROM, television, film, and publicity.

Established in 1968, Art Resource is the principal source of fine art images for commercial and scholarly publications and other contexts in the United States. Art Resource functions as the official rights and permissions representative for a wide range of museums and visual arts archives around the world.