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April 26, 2017

Bard Graduate Center Gallery: expanding the art historical canon

Waterweavers: The River in Contemporary Colombian Visual and Material Culture, Installation view; 2014. Image and original data contributed by Bard Graduate Center Gallery

Waterweavers: The River in Contemporary Colombian Visual and Material Culture, Installation view; 2014. Image and original data contributed by Bard Graduate Center Gallery

To mark the release of 2,600 images from Bard Graduate Center Gallery in the Artstor Digital Library, Bard’s curatorial team discusses the institute’s history and the importance of its Gallery exhibitions for expanding conventional notions of the art historical canon.

Bard Graduate Center Gallery is recognized nationally and internationally for groundbreaking exhibitions that highlight new scholarship in the fields of decorative arts, design history, and material culture. These feature rarely seen objects, drawings – including architectural renderings – and other exceptional works of art. Our research-driven interpretation materials provide visitors with in-depth labels and contextual photographs, and we translate curatorial thinking into display strategies that incorporate new media and film. As a non-collecting institution, our exhibitions are loan-based, drawing on a range of public and private collections around the world, and are celebrated for introducing the public to work that has never before been on view, or that is seldom exhibited in New York for reasons of rarity, accessibility, or condition. Located on West 86th Street on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the Gallery occupies three stories of a landmarked townhouse, creating an intimate environment for engaging with stimulating ideas and objects, from the simplest artifacts of everyday life to the most extraordinary and exquisite artistic creations.

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April 25, 2017

Around the web: George Washington, Farrah Fawcett, and your own art doppelgänger

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

Some stories we’ve been reading this month:

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April 20, 2017

Now available: 2,600 images from Bard Graduate Center

Thomas Hope: Regency Designer, Installation view; 2008. Image and original data contributed by Bard Graduate Center Gallery

Thomas Hope: Regency Designer, Installation view; 2008. Image and original data contributed by Bard Graduate Center Gallery

Artstor and Bard Graduate Center have released approximately 2,600 exhibition installation photographs in the Artstor Digital Library.

Bard Graduate Center is an academic unit of Bard College that offers advanced degrees in decorative arts, design history, and material culture. Founded in 1993 in New York City, it is comprised of its MA and PhD programs, Gallery, and acclaimed Research Institute. Located in a six story townhouse half a block from Central Park, the Gallery is an intimate environment for viewing loan exhibitions curated by the Center’s faculty, staff, students, or specialized curatorial consultants, frequently in collaboration with renowned institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Victoria and Albert Museum, and the New-York Historical Society.

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April 13, 2017

William Blake: the original fan artist

William Blake; Pity; ca. 1795. Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

William Blake; Pity; ca. 1795. Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

William Blake is perhaps the most famous artist born out of the British Romantic period, mostly known for his writing, paintings, and printmaking. But much like Vincent Van Gogh and Henry Darger after him, Blake was largely unrecognized during his lifetime and was mostly seen by the art community as an amateur. And while his published poetry and his illustrations of those poems are wholly original works, Blake spent the majority of his career drawing and painting scenes from fictional stories written by other authors—such as Shakespeare, Milton, Chaucer, and Dante.

In fact, it might be said that Blake spent a lot of his time working on what we now call “fan art.”

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April 5, 2017

The many firsts of SFMOMA

To celebrate the recent addition of nearly 500 images from SFMOMA’s permanent collection to the Artstor Digital Library, Nancy Minty, Artstor’s collections editor, examines more than 80 years of a pioneering institution.

Since 2009, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has partnered with Artstor to bring highlights of its collection to our community. The full collection of SFMOMA includes approximately 30,000 works of painting, sculpture, photography, architecture and design, and media arts. It represents artists from the early 20th century onwards, spanning Henri Matisse and Meret Oppenheim in the first decades, through Louise Bourgeois, Dorothea Lange, and Richard Diebenkorn at the century’s midpoint, and on to Sol Lewitt, Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Serra in its later years. Most recently, iconoclasts like Doris Salcedo, Marilyn Minter, and Ai Weiwei have led the collection into the new century

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April 1, 2017

New service: Artstor Analog

Artstor Analog

Amidst the boom in our increasingly digital lives, people are returning to analog objects. For the first time ever, sales of vinyl records have outstripped digital sales, with more than 3 million LP sales reported in 2016, and in what Publishers Weekly calls “digital fatigue,” ebook sales have plateaued. Although fatigue might not be the correct term here; according to a recent study, children–who presumably haven’t been using digital products for very long–prefer paper books to screens.

With this in mind, Artstor is proud to introduce a new service: Artstor Analog. Now your library or institution can get the same 2 million high-quality images in the Digital Library that you trust and depend on as photo slides. As a bonus, the Artstor Digital Library’s 2,000 QTVR files will be made available as fully rotatable dioramas. Among its many benefits, Artstor Analog offers the perfect solution for locations that have spotty or unreliable access to wifi.

Artstor Analog is delivered in approximately 15,000 carousel trays of 140 slides each. Because of shipping restrictions, this offer is only available in the continental United States and Canada. Please note that Artstor Analog is currently not compatible with the Offline Image Viewer.

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March 28, 2017

Now available: additional images from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Edward Weston, Cabbage Leaf, 1931-1951. Image and data from SFMOMA; © 1981 Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Edward Weston, Cabbage Leaf, 1931-1951. Image and data from SFMOMA; © 1981 Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Artstor and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) are making nearly 500 additional images of works from the Museum’s permanent collection available in the Artstor Digital Library. This collaboration brings the total number of images from the Museum within the Digital Library to approximately 1,800. Featuring photographic works by Sibyl Anikeef and Sonya Noskowiak, among others, this launch offers increased coverage of notable female photographers. Photographs by Edward Weston, drawings by Diego Rivera, Gunter Gunschel, and Wayne Thiebaud–as well as paintings by Clyfford Still, Frank Stella, and Josef Albers–round out the contribution.

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March 24, 2017

The women who shaped America, in photographs

Unknown; Young women holding a sign which reads, 'Self Supporting Women.' Several other women grouped near the banner are holding balls; 1914. This image has been made available by the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University

Unknown; Young women holding a sign which reads, ‘Self Supporting Women.’ Several other women grouped near the banner are holding balls; 1914. This image has been made available by the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University

March is Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating women who shaped the political and social landscape of America with a tour of an expansive photographic archive documenting their experiences.

The Schlesinger History of Women in America collection contains 36,000 images from the archives of the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library at Harvard University. The Schlesinger Library’s collections encompass women’s rights and feminism, health and sexuality, work and family life, education and the professions, and culinary history and etiquette. It documents women’s experiences in America between the 1840s and 1990s and is sourced from donations made to the library, including the papers of many prominent female activists, politicians, and leaders. In making the stories of women’s lives available to all, the library combats assumptions that women’s roles have been tangential in the course of American history.

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March 20, 2017

Around the web: caveman pointillism, museum jumping jacks, and a vacant-lot colossus

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

Some stories we’ve been reading this month:

  • Georges Seurat placed dots on a canvas to depict park-goers lounging along the Seine in 1884. The technique was known as pointillism, and it seemed new at the time. We now come to find out it was really 38,000 years old.
  • African American activist and sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois directed the creation of more than 60 hand-drawn charts, graphs, and maps that visualized data on the state of black life in America in 1900. They look amazing.

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March 17, 2017

“Warhol’s legacy belongs to the world”–an interview with the Andy Warhol Foundation’s Michael Hermann

Artstor has recently made available images of commercial art, canonical works, and thousands of personal Polaroids from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Artstor’s Damian Shand speaks to Michael Hermann, the Foundation’s director of licensing, about the collection.

Damian Shand: 35,000 images from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts have just been made available in the Artstor Digital Library. What were the origins of the collection and how difficult was it to bring all the material together for digitization?

Michael Hermann: When Warhol passed away in 1987, he left his extensive inventory of artwork to the Foundation. In order to get such a large, complicated collection cataloged, archived, photographed and digitized, the Foundation embarked on what turned out to be an ongoing 30-year project. The endeavor has been time-consuming and expensive, but as stewards of Warhol’s legacy, we feel it was necessary. Traditional means were used to document the collection while adapting to technological advancements where necessary. In the case of the 28,000 photographs now available on the Artstor Digital Library, we used a crowd-sourcing model. The original 28,000 Warhol photographs were donated to over 180 college and university museums and galleries who in turn documented the artworks and sent the high-resolution digital images back to us.

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