Artstor 2017: a kaleidoscope of cultures across the ages
Over the past year, we have released a veritable virtual feast of fresh imagery in the Artstor Digital Library. Thanks to the generosity of many partners we have published 23 collections (additional or enhanced), with hundreds of thousands of images across disciplines. We are now approaching the 2.5 million mark!* 2017 proved an annus mirabilis with something for everyone, from 15th-century feather work to contemporary sculpture.
Our year began with a collaboration with the inimitable and encyclopedic Metropolitan Museum of Art, which shared more than 400,000 images of works across 17 curatorial departments for a public collection. (Please refer to the list below for the full list of collection titles and links.) The global scope of the Met was followed by the singular focus of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, a contribution of images from his oeuvre and a lifetime of his photographs, his “visual diary”—more than 35,000 portraits and scenes, centered on the artist, The Factory, and his larger circle. Substantive additions to our collection from the groundbreaking San Francisco Museum of Modern Art have also enriched our holdings in modern and contemporary art with highlights including many works by Clyfford Still and Robert Rauschenberg.
Thematic launches of multiple collections have increased our depth in the following fields: Anthropology, Architecture, Decorative Arts, and Photography, with an end-of-year tribute to New York-based repositories as our final initiative.
In anthropology, world cultures have become more discoverable through the varied and vivid new selections of three leading museums—the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology (Harvard University), and the Musée du Quai Branly (through the collection of the Réunion des Musées Nationaux in Artstor). The diversity and brilliance of these offerings are captured by a single juxtaposition: a ritual transformation mask, c. 1870, from the west coast of Canada, and a feather headdress from Cameroon.
Architecture enthusiasts are rewarded by the unique work of photographer-scholars who have travelled the globe seeking buildings, sites, and monuments, many rarely seen. Alka Patel presents minarets, mosques, and other landmarks in exquisite detail in a collection that documents dynastic commissions in Afghanistan and Iran from medieval through modern times, while Misun Ahn’s contribution explores the contemporary Mimesis Art Museum and other sleek sites in South Korea and Japan. Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla captures the meticulous restoration of colonial chapels in Oaxaca, while Ralph Lieberman documents historic and contemporary landmarks and installations in America.
Some of the country’s finest specialized museums of decorative arts have also contributed singular selections providing an eclectic and intriguing mix: the treasures and the day-to-day of settlers lives from Colonial Williamsburg, a panorama of glass works from the Corning Museum, and the minutiae of Majolica from the Majolica International Society, as well as a full spectrum of Americana (art and decorative arts) from Reynolda House. The Bard Graduate Center has also shared an archive of installation shots that documents their history of innovative exhibitions that mine the global culture of the material world.
In the field of photography we have grown immeasurably thanks to the input of significant archives and collections. The American photographer Minor White is now well represented because of a substantial contribution from his Archive at the Princeton University Art Museum. The full arc of the history of the medium is represented by the comprehensive collection added by the Center for Creative Photography, while the fields of editorial and photojournalistic photography are enhanced by additions to striking work from the archives of Magnum Photos, Panos Pictures, and Condé Nast.
These collections support research in Political and Social History, Identity Studies, Environmental Studies and Sustainability, and related humanities.
Last but not least, for the mavens of New York, we have just released a launch centered on Gotham—a selection of highlights of drawings from the Morgan Library, a new contribution from the celebrated Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and historic photographs and other materials centered on the burgeoning and bustling city from the Museum of the City of New York and the New-York Historical Society.
We commend our outstanding and generous contributors. We also thank our colleagues in the Content and Marketing departments here at Artstor who have worked with diligence and agility to bring these collections to our platform.
We anticipate a full year ahead. You may look forward to an early launch of contemporary collections and a later one on Asian art, in addition to comprehensive releases from American collegiate museums and major North American collections.
*Image totals may vary from country to country, reflecting Artstor’s obligation to address the specifics of international copyright.
P.S. We have made an image group including a fuller range of selections from these collections.
Here is the full list of Artstor collections added or expanded in 2017:
Misun Ahn: Contemporary Architecture, Japan and South Korea
Alka Patel Archive: Afghanistan and Iran, Art and Architecture
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts: Oeuvre
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts: Photographic Legacy Project
Center for Creative Photography
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Condé Nast, Cartoons and fashion photography
Corning Museum of Glass
Ralph Lieberman: Architectural Photography
Majolica International Society
Metropolitan Museum of Art (public collection)
Minor White Archive (Princeton University Art Museum)
The Morgan Library & Museum
Musée du Quai Branly, see Réunion des Musées Nationaux (RMN)
Museum of the City of New York
Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia
New-York Historical Society: Museum & Library
Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology (Harvard University)
Restoration of Cultural Monuments in Oaxaca, Mexico (The University of Texas at Austin)
Reynolda House Museum
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation