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September 21, 2017

Now available: new images from the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia

Transformation mask. Gitanyow, Kitwancool?, British Columbia. c. 1870 CE. © UBC Museum of Anthropology. Photographed by Kyla Bailey.

Transformation mask. Gitanyow, Kitwancool?, British Columbia. c. 1870 CE. © UBC Museum of Anthropology. Photographed by Kyla Bailey.

The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia and Artstor have released approximately 75,000 images of art and cultural objects from the museum’s  permanent collection. Highlights of the collection illustrate the diverse and creative  heritage of the Indigenous peoples of Canada, as exemplified by a Transformation Mask of the Gitanyow people c. 1870, a Haida Dance Tunic, and standing Bear from the North West Coast of British Columbia. 

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September 8, 2017

Artstor and copyright: a guide

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Did you know that Artstor does not own the rights to the images in our collections? When you search Artstor you may be viewing images from multiple sources with differing permitted uses. Some collections might even be from your own institution’s archives and available only to you!

To help you better understand how you can use the images you find, we’ve created a guide to copyright and image use in the Digital Library. Read on to learn about the different sources of images you’ve been working with, and consult our LibGuide to learn the finer details of working with these images.

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September 5, 2017

Summer round-up

Wurts Bros. (New York, N.Y.). 207th Street and Perry Avenue; Street Brendan's Parochial School, view classroom. ca. 1924. Museum of the City of New York

Wurts Bros. (New York, N.Y.). 207th Street and Perry Avenue; Street Brendan’s Parochial School, view classroom. ca. 1924. Museum of the City of New York

Many of us are starting the fall semester this week—and a lucky few have already started—so we thought it would be helpful to review the many changes that took place over the summer.

In May, those of you with registered Artstor accounts received emails alerting you that instructor notes were permanently retired and citations and saved details were temporarily retired.

We released the new site in July. By now you may have noticed its cleaner, more modern design, and the many new features we added or streamlined. The initial release in July included the following changes:

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August 30, 2017

Now available: 36,000 images from the Center for Creative Photography

Ansel Adams. Yosemite Valley, Rain and Mist, Yosemite National Park, California. 1940. Image and original data provided by Center for Creative Photography. ©The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust.

Ansel Adams. Yosemite Valley, Rain and Mist, Yosemite National Park, California. 1940. Image and original data provided by Center for Creative Photography. ©The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust.

The Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona has made available nearly 36,000 photographs in the Artstor Digital Library.

The Center is recognized as one of the world’s finest academic art museums and study centers for the history of photography. It opened in 1975, following a meeting between the University President John Schaefer and Ansel Adams. According to Schaefer, “No other universities were really collecting photography, or looking at it as an art form or social document.” Beginning with the archives of five living master photographers—Ansel Adams, Wynn Bullock, Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, and Frederick Sommer—the collection has grown to include 239 archival collections. Among these are some of the most recognizable names in 20th century North American photography: W. Eugene Smith, Lola Alvarez Bravo, Edward Weston, and Garry Winogrand.

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August 22, 2017

The bourgeois pup: artists and dogs in the 19th-century home

Mary Cassatt. Little Girl in a Blue Armchair. 1878. The National Gallery of Art

Mary Cassatt. Little Girl in a Blue Armchair. 1878. The National Gallery of Art

From the wild wolves of our ancestors to today’s lap dogs, canines have played an important role in the lives of humans. They helped hunters find food, they served as entertainment, and they provided emotional support. And they were artist’s models. Art history is filled with works featuring the image of a dog. The Native Americans had vessels shaped into dog form, medieval manuscripts featured dogs, and numerous Renaissance paintings feature a rogue dog or two.

Echoing many other aspects of France in the 19th century, including fashion and interior design, dogs became customizable as well, and at times were imported from other countries. And at the same time as dogs entered the home, so did artists: bourgeois and modern life became the subject of art as the number of domesticated dogs and breeds grew.

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August 22, 2017

Around the web: death masks, seeing faces, and a spectacular gallery mishap

Victor Hugo, Vianden Seen through a Spider Web

Victor Hugo, Vianden Seen through a Spider Web, 1871. Image and original data provided by Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, N.Y.; artres.com

Visual arts

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July 26, 2017

Watson and the Shark: “a most usefull Lesson to Youth”

John Singleton Copley, Watson and the Shark, 1778. Image: Courtesy of National Gallery of Art, Washington

John Singleton Copley, Watson and the Shark, 1778. Image: Courtesy of National Gallery of Art, Washington

On a warm day in 1749, 14-year-old Brook Watson dove into Havana Harbor for a swim. As he floated surrounded by merchant ships, a shark sank its teeth into his leg, pulling him beneath the waves in a vicious, sustained attack that severed his right foot. Bleeding and helpless, he struggled to stay above water as a group of sailors maneuvered a small skiff into position and pulled him from the toothy Behemoth’s mouth. His leg would have to be amputated at the knee, but he survived his ordeal. Nearly thirty years after the incident, John Singleton Copley historicized Watson’s attack in the monumental painting Watson and the Shark.

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July 20, 2017

Persuasive Cartography: collector’s choice

South America: the Land of Opportunity. A Continent of Scenic Wonders. A Paradise for the Tourist. General Information for Travelers, Detail. Lamport & Holt Line. 1912. Persuasive Maps: PJ Mode Collection

South America: the Land of Opportunity. A Continent of Scenic Wonders. A Paradise for the Tourist. General Information for Travelers, Detail. Lamport & Holt Line. 1912. Persuasive Maps: PJ Mode Collection

Persuasive Cartography: The PJ Mode Collection is a physical and digital open access collection of maps donated to Cornell University Library’s Rare and Manuscript Collections. This collection brings together maps from many eras from all over the world to explore their power as visual messengers. 

Following up on our interview in which he shares the origin of the collection, collector and donor PJ Mode shares a selection of his favorite pieces.

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July 19, 2017

Artstor sessions at the 2017 AP Annual Conference

AP Annual Conference
July 26-30, 2017
Washington, DC

Dana Howard, Artstor’s Senior Education & Outreach Manager for Secondary Schools, will be leading two sessions alongside fellow experts:

Enhancing Common Skill Sets among Studio and Art History Students
Saturday, July 29th, 10:15–11:30 AM

Dr. Virginia Spivey, Adjunct Professor of Art History, Theory & Criticism at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and Artstor’s Dana Howard will show how art history and studio art instructors can benefit from a process of critique that brings the two practices into focus. In this session, participants will practice using critique as a method of art historical instruction and learn to design frameworks that show art history as an evolving body of knowledge rooted in European tradition and now understood in a global context.

Making Time to Teach: Curate and Organize Content for AP Art History
Saturday, July 29th, 2:30–3:45 PM

Rebecca A. Stone-Danahy, Upper School Visual Arts Educator at Ashley Hall, joins Artstor’s Dana Howard to discuss and demonstrate the process of curating research, images, websites, and resources for instructional use. Participants will learn how to use a variety of organizational tools in Google, Evernote, and Artstor to gather and store teaching content with tips on how to use with any LMS platform.

Learn more at the AP Conference website.

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July 7, 2017

The enduring significance of Harriet Powers’ quilts

Harriet Powers. Pictorial quilt. 1895-98. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Harriet Powers. Pictorial quilt. 1895-98. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

When the second wave feminist movement in the 1970s brought domestic art into the discussion of art history, textiles became a central topic. This led to the rediscovery of Harriet Powers, whose two surviving quilts currently hang in the Smithsonian and in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Powers, born a slave in Georgia in 1837, created the quilts after she was emancipated. She made use of appliqué techniques and storytelling often found in the textiles of Western Africa. While these textiles had typically been created by men, once the tradition was picked up in the United States women became the primary creators.

Powers became significant in academic circles more than half a century after her death as an exemplar of the influence and power of women’s domestic art and art inspired by traditions outside the Western canon, showing not only this type of art’s historical purpose and importance but its aesthetic influence and significance.

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