It’s a wrap: Artstor looks back at 2018
Over the past year we have enriched Artstor’s resources with global selections that travel through time and meander from Ming ceramics to Mughal palaces, illuminating history from the tells of Ancient Iraq through to contemporary installations. We have released 30 additional collections in the Artstor Digital Library (enhanced and new), including notable contributions that target the highly sought areas of Asian and contemporary art.
Last winter, we launched six influential modern and contemporary collections, including inaugural contributions from Glenstone and the Menil Collection, additional images from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and The Phillips Collection, and art and installations from the Mattress Factory and The Renaissance Society (University of Chicago). The range, from classic modern through cutting edge, may be inferred from the juxtaposition of René Magritte’s Golconda, 1953, and Katharina’s Fritsch’s Dealer, 2001. This material responds directly to a persistent call for infusions of twentieth-century and contemporary content from our users.
We celebrated nine major North American museums with a launch that highlights the diversity of their holdings and includes the Museo de Arte de Ponce, the Norton Simon Museum, and the Cincinnati Art Museum as new contributors, among additional selections from Art Gallery of Ontario, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Seattle Art Museum. Two monumental contemporary works demonstrate the dynamism of these revered collections: a painting by Peter Doig, Gasthof zur Muldentalsperre, 2000-2002, and a massive photographic diptych by Vera Lutter, San Marco, Venice XX: December 3, 2005, while a diminutive paper-thin porcelain Ming bowl from the fifteenth century attests to tradition and diversity.
The wealth and range of American college museums may be gleaned from the release of eight collections in the late spring: four new contributors in Bowdoin College Museum of Art, the Ringling Theatre Collection (University of Florida), Tufts University Art Gallery, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Art Collection, along with additional material from Ackland Art Museum (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University, and the Williams College Museum of Art. A mere smattering from these offerings provides a window onto their wealth: Hemba People, Mwisi Wa So’o (Chimpanzee-Human Mask), 20th century; Indian, Icon of Jain Goddess, probably Jvalamalini, seventeenth-nineteenth century; Charles Herbert Woodbury, Marine, c. 1910, watercolor and gouache on paper.
The student of Asian art is rewarded with a group of enriched scholar/photographer collections focused mostly on architecture: from the American Institute of Indian Studies an outstanding range of images of Indo-Islamic buildings and monuments, well beyond the expected selection; from Rob Linrothe, historic art and built environments in the Tibetan plateau; and new images and panoramas from Istanbul and Iraq in the World Architecture and World Architecture: Virtual Reality Panoramas collections from Columbia University. The Mughal Tomb (12) of Khwaja Muhammad Naqsband, Rauza Sharif Complex, 1702, Punjab, India, and the interior of the dome of the Atik Ali Pasha Mosque, 1496-1497, Istanbul, Turkey, signal the variety and quality of these collections. Since the desire for deeper Asian resources is high, these distinctive offerings are most appreciated.
Four specialized archival collections capped our year: the William Randolph Hearst Archive (Long Island University), a repository of imagery related to the activities of the unique and prolific collector; the study collections for two unique contemporary artists, the Philippine-American Pacita Abad (1946-2004) and the Chicago Imagist Roger Brown (1941-1997); and Bob Gore: Faith-based Communities, a photographic chronicle of diverse traditions of worship.
With sincere thanks to our generous contributors for a wonderfully eclectic and prolific year, and to our colleagues who bring these collections to life here at Artstor.
–Nancy Minty, Collections Editor