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November 20, 2006

Collaborative Agreement Reached Between the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (University of Virginia), the Society of Architectural Historians, and ARTstor

ARTstor, in partnership with the Society of Architectural Historians, is pleased to announce its sponsorship of a forthcoming Guide to Best Practice for the use of Quick Time Virtual Reality (QTVR) in documenting archaeological, architectural and other cultural heritage sites. The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH) at the University of Virginia is coordinating the production of this much-needed guide.

Quick Time Virtual Reality (QTVR) is playing an increasingly important role documenting the history of architecture. QTVR panoramas provide the beholder with a powerful new sense of spatiality and the interconnectedness of the different parts of a building, monument or site; they hold the promise of transforming the teaching and the study of architectural history and archaeology. QTVR can potentially free teachers from their traditional dependence upon still images. It can help them to put art into its context and to take their students on surrogate tours of complex works of architecture. And yet QTVR panoramas are not easy to make in a way that ensures high quality imagery, a long “shelf life” for the QTVR as technology advances, proper attention to legal and ethical issues related to copyright and cultural patrimony, and comprehensibility and usability from the user’s point of view. In the absence of recognized standards for the creation of QTVR panoramas, what is needed is a “best practice” guide, focusing especially but not exclusively on QTVR. Such a guide will make it easier for scholars and photographers to produce 360-degree digital panoramas of sufficient quality to meet the needs of students and scholars in the field of architectural history for years to come.

The forthcoming guide will address such key topics as:

  • The history and use of panoramic photography;
  • Pre-production issues such as defining goals, selecting the site and site nodes, taking into account environmental considerations and scheduling, selecting equipment, access issues and budget;
  • Copyright and permissions;
  • Production issues such as types of digital panorama photography and structures, file formats, image capturing systems, workflow, lighting, site documentation, and short-term backup and storage;
  • Related media such as audio and video;
  • Post-production work, including stitching and rendering, data and documentation standards;
  • Viewing, publication and use, including resource delivery and user issues;
  • Storage and preservation.

Appendices will include a directory of relevant organizations, workflow diagrams, sample floor plans, checklists, guides to permissions, customs, copyright and laws in example countries, sample legal forms, workflow for image capture, pre-processing, stitching and rendering, batch scripts, metadata tables, recommended viewer platforms, browsers and viewers, case studies, glossary, bibliography and references.

The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH) is a research unit of the University of Virginia. Its goal is to explore and develop information technology as a tool for scholarly humanities research. To that end, it provides IATH Fellows with consulting, technical support, applications development, and networked publishing facilities. IATH also cultivates partnerships and participates in humanities computing initiatives with libraries, publishers, information technology companies, scholarly organizations, and other groups residing at the intersection of computers and cultural heritage.

The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) is an international not-for-profit membership organization that promotes the study and preservation of the built environment worldwide. The Society’s 3,500 members include architectural historians, architects, preservationists, students, professionals in allied fields and the interested public. Founded in 1940, membership in SAH is open to everyone, regardless of profession or expertise, who is interested in the study, interpretation, and protection of historically significant buildings, sites, cities and landscapes. The forthcoming Guide to Best Practices in QTVR will be widely disseminated in 2007.

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October 26, 2006

New Addition to the ARTstor Digital Library: The Detroit Institute of Arts

We are pleased to announce the inclusion of more than 1,700 images from the Detroit Institute of the Arts in ARTstor. These join the approximately 100,000 images from the former AMICO Library now available through ARTstor. The Detroit Institute of the Arts is home to some 60,000 works of art, collectively constituting a survey of human creativity from prehistory through the 21st century. The DIA’s collection is particularly strong in European painting, Italian Renaissance sculpture, French decorative art, African art, American painting, and Islamic textiles.

Among the DIA’s highlights that are now available in ARTstor are Fra Angelico’s Annunciatory Angel and Virgin Annunciate of 1450/1455, as well as the same artist’s slightly earlier Madonna and Child; Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s The Wedding Dance; Jacob van Ruisdael’s The Jewish Cemetery; and the first van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum, the Self Portrait of 1887.

To browse these images, please click on “Image Gallery” on the ARTstor “Welcome Page” and then select “Detroit Institute of the Arts.”

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October 24, 2006

New content added to the ARTstor Digital Library: Contemporary Art from the Larry Qualls Archive

Through an exciting partnership, ARTstor is digitizing and will distribute more than 100,000 images from Larry Qualls’ unique archive of contemporary art images. We are pleased to announce the initial release of more than 3,000 images from the Larry Qualls Archive.

For nearly three decades, Larry Qualls has been systematically documenting contemporary art exhibitions at galleries and other exhibition spaces throughout New York City and elsewhere. His slides have been and remain an indispensable source – indeed virtually the only reliable source – of contemporary art images for art historians teaching modern and contemporary art. The archive represents an encyclopedic overview of New York City contemporary art exhibitions in the last quarter of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st, documenting prominent, emerging, and aspiring artists – the entire rich fabric of the contemporary art world. ARTstor is also helping to sponsor Larry Qualls’ ongoing effort to continue documenting New York gallery shows. “Not only will my work be preserved for generations to come,” says Larry Qualls,” but the digitization will make the images available widely and in better and more stable form than could ever have been possible with film technology.”

ARTstor users, as well as our advisers in the visual resources community, have urged that the archive be scanned and made available systematically, beginning with the more recent gallery shows. Accordingly, the first release of more than 3,000 Larry Qualls images – now available to ARTstor users – includes works of art shown during the Fall 2001 and Winter 2002 gallery seasons. Subsequent releases in ARTstor will progressively and systematically document earlier gallery seasons. Later seasons will also be released as they are cataloged by Larry Qualls.

Because of copyright considerations, only images of works by artists represented by artists’ rights groups with which ARTstor has existing agreements – the Artists Rights Society (ARS) and the Société des auteurs dans les arts graphiques et plastiques (ADAGP) – or with individual artists with whom ARTstor has reached agreements, may be made available internationally. ARTstor expects that vast majority of the Larry Qualls archive will be made available in the United States.

This initial release includes images of works by approximately 750 modern and contemporary artists, ranging from canonic modern and contemporary artists to representatives of younger generations of working artists, both established and emerging. Among the artists included in this first release of ARTstor images are:

  • Richard Artschwager
  • Cecily Brown
  • Gregory Crewdson
  • John Currin
  • Mark Di Suvero
  • Helen Frankenthaler
  • Philip Guston
  • Tim Hawkinson
  • David Hockney
  • Agnes Martin
  • Claes Oldenburg
  • Tony Oursler
  • Richard Prince
  • Gerhard Richter
  • Susan Rothenberg
  • Ed Ruscha
  • Julian Schnabel
  • Carolee Schneemann
  • Richard Serra
  • William Wegman
  • Rachel Whiteread
  • Andrea Zittel

To browse these images, please click on “Image Gallery” on the ARTstor “Welcome Page” and then select “Contemporary Art from the Larry Qualls Archive.” Or simply search the keyword “Qualls.”

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October 1, 2006

Collaborative Agreement Reached Between ARTstor, Art Resource, and the Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archive

ARTstor, Art Resource, and the Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives, are pleased to announce that they will collaborate to make available through ARTstor 10,000 high quality images of world art and architecture. This collaboration will focus upon 1) key artists of the major European schools and 2) the collections of the major European museums outside Italy, including the leading art museums of Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Spain. These images, on average 120 megabytes in size, have been scanned from large format (4×5″ or 8×10″) color transparencies made by Erich Lessing in the course of a distinguished career spanning several decades of photographic campaigns around the world.

“Our ongoing partnership with Art Resource and our new relationship with the Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives represent important milestones in ARTstor’s ongoing effort to provide teachers, scholars and students with high-quality digital images of key works and monuments of world art,” says James Shulman, Executive Director of ARTstor.

Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives comprises over 37,000 large-format color transparencies covering fine arts, archaeology, religion, landscapes, historical places and portraits of historical personalities. Photographs come from over 1000 museums and 2000 other locations all over the world. The Archive contains works by 3,000 artists and portraits of over 1,900 historical personalities.

Established in 1968, Art Resource is a 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.

The fruits of this collaboration are now becoming available to ARTstor users. They include nearly 300 high quality images of key works of art and architecture frequently consulted kby ARTstor users. These works range from the “Woman of Willendorf” to Giotto’s Arena Chapel frescoes, and from the “Mona Lisa” to paintings by Edgar Degas in the Musée d’Orsay.

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September 29, 2006

JSTOR | ARTstor Search Prototype

JSTOR and ARTstor would like to announce the availability of a prototype which aims to facilitate searching across the archived content in JSTOR and the image content in ARTstor. The JSTOR/ARTstor Search Prototype is available in the JSTOR Sandbox, an area of the JSTOR website used to showcase possible new features and to gather feedback to help direct future development of JSTOR.
The JSTOR/ARTstor Search Prototype allows JSTOR users to conduct a basic search across three types of content: JSTOR article text, JSTOR image caption text, and ARTstor image metadata. After conducting a search, users are presented with search results separated into three tabs:

  • The Articles tab lists JSTOR search results for matches in journal article text.
  • The Images from Articles tab shows results of a JSTOR caption search, and includes thumbnails of each article page containing an image with a keyword match in the image caption.*
  • The ARTstor Images tab lists results of matches for the keyword or phrase in ARTstor image metadata. The search is performed on the creator, title, and subject terms of the metadata.

Users at sites that participate in both JSTOR and ARTstor will be able to view thumbnails of ARTstor images, and may link directly from JSTOR to content in ARTstor. Users at institutions which are not currently ARTstor participating sites may view ARTstor image metadata in the search results but will not see.

The main goal of featuring prototypes in the JSTOR Sandbox is to assess their value to JSTOR users. We encourage you to try the prototypes and send us your feedback via the “Comment on this feature” link on any Sandbox page.

*To date, JSTOR has acquired captions for approximately 65% of the titles held in the archive, and is continuing to capture them retroactively. As a result, caption searching will be less successful for archive content digitized before 2002 (including all Arts & Sciences I journals), when JSTOR first began to acquire caption text. Captions have been acquired for images in all Language & Literature, Architecture & Architectural History, and Art & Art History journals, as well as the journal Science.

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August 14, 2006

The Museum of Modern Art and ARTstor to Collaborate on Digitization Project

The Museum of Modern Art and ARTstor announced a project to digitize nearly 23,000 photographs from the MoMA Archives’ comprehensive collection of exhibition installation photographs and distribute them through ARTstor. This material richly documents every major exhibition held at the Museum, beginning with the inaugural exhibition of 1929. Enhanced and comprehensive online access to this important collection will strongly encourage and advance scholarship on the history and institutions of modern art.

In reaching this agreement, Milan Hughston, Chief of Library and Museum Archives and Max Marmor, ARTstor’s Director of Collection Development, expressed their shared enthusiasm in collaborating to use digital technologies to make these high quality images of contemporary art and architecture more broadly available for noncommercial educational and scholarly purposes.

The Museum’s 75th Anniversary in 2004 gave us a chance to highlight this collection in a special publication, Art in Our Time, edited by Museum Archivist Michelle Elligott and Harriet Bee. Those images were only a small sampling of a vast body of important material, and we are grateful to ARTstor for recognizing the value of digitizing the entire collection for distribution,” comments Hughston.

“Our new collaboration with staff of the MoMA Library and Archives,” adds Marmor, “represents an important milestone in ARTstor’s ongoing effort to provide teachers, scholars and students with digital image collections documenting the development of modern and contemporary art. We are delighted to help make this important photographic archive available now online for non-commercial use in education and research.” The MoMA installation photographs are highly prized by art historians and other scholars. In addition to Art in Our Time, they provided the basis for Mary Anne Staniszewski’s pioneering The Power of Display: a History of Exhibition Installations at the Museum of Modern Art (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1998).

The MoMA Archives was established in 1989 to preserve and to make accessible historical documents about the Museum and modern and contemporary art. The Photographic Archive documents and maintains the complete visual history of the Museum. “The installation photographs of exhibitions at MoMA are a unique and valuable resource. Like the other collections in the Archives, these materials tell the story of modern and contemporary art. Because of MoMA’s singular role in the introduction and dissemination of modern art, these photos document this evolution and are critical to the study of modern art as well as the history of modern museums, and the field of installation design,” according to Michelle Elligott, Museum Archivist.

Press Contacts
The Museum of Modern Art
Kim Mitchell: (212) 333-6594 or

Lisa Schermerhorn: (212) 500-2415 or

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July 21, 2006

ARTstor announces New Initiative with Museum Education Departments

ARTstor is pleased to announce a new initiative that is designed to help museum education departments work with K-12 teachers in their communities as a means of integrating the study of works of art into arts education, mathematics, social studies, language arts, and science curricula.

Museum education departments at participating museums will be able to create presentations using images of art works and other materials depicted in the ARTstor Library. The presentations can be stored on the OIV tool, an offline presentation tool created by ARTstor, and then given to K-12 teachers working with those museum education departments for use in the classroom.

Museum education departments and teachers accessing images of art works through OIV can zoom in on images, display images together to compare and contrast individual images, view the data associated with the images, and create classroom presentations with the images.

K-12 teachers using the OIV images do not have to be at institutions participating in ARTstor. Instead, teachers will be able to obtain OIV presentations from museum education departments. To obtain the OIV presentations, teachers will need to follow a few simple steps. More details about those steps can be found below.

We hope this initiative, which has been prompted by feedback from museum educators, will facilitate the work of museum education departments with teachers in their communities, and will help develop the visual thinking skills of K-12 students.

If you have any further questions about how you can get involved please contact our Director of Museum Relations, Nancy Allen.

How will this work?
Museum educators work closely with K-12 teachers to prepare students for class visits to the museum. They also seek ways of integrating study of works of art into arts education, mathematics, social studies, language arts, and science curricula. ARTstor, a resource currently available and increasingly utilized by both communities, has been working on a way to facilitate the exchange of such information between these communities.

Slide sets of museum objects have been the traditional currency of the museum educator and teacher collaboration, but teachers are increasingly asking for digital images and museum educators are ready to relinquish the burden of the labor-intensive effort of duplicating, labeling and distributing the slides.

Over the past two years ARTstor has talked with museum educators about the use of ARTstor to support their work. Many were excited at the prospect of having ready access to works from other collections to supplement objects from their own museum as they prepare teaching units using ARTstor’s OIV. The problem, however, is that museums work with many schools that are not currently ARTstor participants and our terms and conditions did not allow them to save OIV presentations and give them to teachers on offline media.

We are pleased to announce a solution to this challenge. ARTstor now has a museum education department license which will allow participating museums to distribute images on OIV to K-12 teachers, even if the teacher’s school is a not an ARTstor participant.

How will this work? A teacher will need to come to the museum education department and sign an agreement. We have tried to make the process as simple as possible; the agreement is one page with the ARTstor terms and conditions of use attached. One copy of the signed agreement will be given to the teacher and another copy will be kept on file by the museum. After registering the teacher, the museum educator can provide previously prepared OIV presentations to the teacher, work with the teacher to a create custom presentations, and/or offer the teacher the opportunity to craft and save his/her own OIV presentations. The presentation can be stored on the teacher’s laptop or on offline media such as a CD or DVD. Teachers thus registered will be authorized to use the OIV presentations in their classrooms for 120 days and to renew their authorization by checking in and validating their registration at the museum.

We hope this development, which has been prompted by feedback from museum educators, will facilitate their work with teachers and help develop the visual thinking skills of K-12 students.

You may download and review our License Agreement on the ARTstor website.

If you have any further questions about how you can get involved please contact our Director of Museum Relations, Nancy Allen

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July 10, 2006

Franklin Furnace and ARTstor announce collaboration agreement, ARTstor’s first with an “alternative space”

Since its inception in 1976, Franklin Furnace has presented what has come to be known as “variable media” art work — works that take on new dimensions in each iteration. These works challenge the bounds of genre, varying in the meanings they take on contextually as well as in their physical deployment.

Digital images are fast replacing slides and slide projectors in the teaching of art and art history. To respond to these changes, Franklin Furnace will work with ARTstor to digitize and distribute images and documentation of events presented and produced by Franklin Furnace, with the goal of embedding the value of ephemeral practice into art and cultural history.

The records of Franklin Furnace present an unparalleled resource in that they are the only artifacts of live, ephemeral, variable media works. While scholars still debate the locus of art in time-based, variable media, the physical history held in Franklin Furnace’s institutional archives offers a rare and valuable resource that captures the moment, the concept of the artist, and the historical context in which the work was created through the prism of its documentary parts.

Artists working in the late 70s and early 80s broached topics of personal, social and political relevance, and artworks produced at Franklin Furnace reflect their historical context. Artists who got their start in alternative spaces crossed genres to address issues of identity and politics from the perspective of the marginalized “outsider” in the realms of gender, ethnicity/nationality and other subjects at the core of cultural conflict.

Artists presented by Franklin Furnace include: Eric Bogosian, monologist and star of stage and screen; Jenny Holzer and Ann Hamilton, who represented the United States in the Venice Biennale; Guillermo Gomez-Pena and Liza Lou, winners of the MacArthur “genius” award; Mona Hatoum, the first artist to ever win the prestigious Sonning prize; Shirin Neshat, world renowned Iranian artist and filmmaker; and Ana Mendieta, Cuban-born artist whose retrospective was on view in 2004 at the Whitney Museum of American Art. The individual and collective impact of artists such as these upon larger culture is documented in the materials contained within the archives of Franklin Furnace:

  • In 1985, Franklin Furnace presented one of the first performance artworks to address the AIDS crisis; “Pink Triangle, Not Forgotten,” by S. K. Duff. About the identification and extermination of gays in Nazi Germany, this performance helped to kindle the public discourse that ultimately resulted in mainstream acceptance of AIDS victims;
  • Mona Hatoum’s “Variation on Discord and Division” made a silent, eloquent statement on the bloodshed in the Middle East in 1984;
  • Robbie McCauley’s 1985 “My Father and the Wars” explored the embedded nature of racism in American military and social institutions.
  • Teh-Ching Hsieh’s 1983 “One-Year Performance (Living Outside)” installation at Franklin Furnace was comprised of 365 maps of Lower Manhattan showing where he slept, ate, walked and slept each day; photos of the artist during the four seasons; and his clothes worn while living outside for one year, a silent treatise on what it means to be homeless.

Franklin Furnace has a history of actively making its collections and archives available for research. From pioneering storefront art space in TriBeCa to “going virtual” on the Internet, Franklin Furnace has explored new venues to reach the public. On May 11, 2006, the organization received notification that its proposal to the National Endowment for the Humanities–to digitize and publish on its website, records of performances, installations, exhibits and other events produced by the organization during its first ten years—had been funded. This project will create electronic access to what are now the only remaining artifacts of these singular works of social, political and cultural expression.

Commenting on the value of Franklin Furnace’s event archives to scholars, Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Professor of Performance Studies, New York University writes, “The Franklin Furnace archive is of interest to a wide range of humanities fields because of the opportunity it affords to explore the role of art and the artist in American society in the post-World War II period. …this work was particularly responsive to the historic era in which it was made. As a result, scholars in such fields as American Studies, art history, visual cultural studies, theater history, performance studies, cinema studies, cultural studies, critical studies and museum studies will find rich research possibilities here.”

Says Martha Wilson, Founding Director of Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc., “The Board of Directors made the wrenching decision to sell the loft at 112 Franklin Street and ‘go virtual’ during our 20th anniversary season in 1996-97. At that time, in the wake of the Culture Wars, our primary concern was to choose a venue and art medium in the Internet that would provide the same freedom of expression artists had enjoyed in the loft in the 70s. Ten years later, the decision to make our website our public face has resulted in Franklin Furnace’s successful transition from physical art space to online research resource. I am truly thrilled to be embarking on Franklin Furnace’s 30th year with ARTstor’s collaboration agreement and a major grant from the NEH. The confluence of these events will help fulfill our mission to make the world safe for avant-garde art.”

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June 26, 2006

Collaboration between the Artists Rights Society (ARS), the Société des auteurs dans les arts graphiques et plastiques (ADAGP) and ARTstor

The French artists’ rights society (the Société des auteurs dans les arts graphiques et plastiques (“ADAGP”)), The Artists Rights Society of the United States (ARS), and ARTstor are pleased to announce that they have recently reached a collaborative agreement. Under the agreement, ARTstor will make available through the ARTstor Digital Library the digital images of art works by thousands of ADAGP artists and estates for teaching, research and study. The agreement builds upon and extends the agreement reached in August 2005 between ARS and ARTstor under which ARTstor is making available images of works by ARS artists.

Under this agreement, ARTstor expects to make available shortly to ARTstor participating institutions worldwide images of modern and contemporary art works by ADAGP artists. ADAGP, the preeminent European rights society, represents such artists as (to name a few): Joan Miro, Pierre Bonnard, Constantin Brancusi, Georges Braque, Marc Chagall, Andre Derain, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Alberto Giacometti, Wassily Kandinsky, Le Corbusier, Fernand Leger, Rene Magritte, and Edouard Vuillard.

ADAGP is the French collective society for the rights of authors in the visual arts (such as painters, sculptors, photographers, architects, and others)

ARS is the preeminent organization for visual artists in the United States. Founded in 1987, ARS represents the intellectual property rights interests of over 40,000 visual artists and estates of visual artists.

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June 14, 2006

ARTstor Welcomes Carole Ann Fabian as its new Director of Strategic Outreach and User Services

Artstor is pleased to welcome Carole Ann Fabian as its new Director of Strategic Outreach and User Services. Ms. Fabian joins Artstor from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, where she has served for the past nine years in a variety of roles at the Science & Engineering Library, Architecture & Planning Library, Arts & Sciences Libraries, and Educational Technology Center, most recently as the Director of the Center. In that role, she assisted faculty, instructors, and staff in the creative and effective application of technologies for teaching, learning and scholarship; facilitated the integration of library resources and campus-wide instructional technology products; fostered technology-enhanced curricular research and development activities through the administration and coordination of an institutional educational technology grants program; and collaborated with campus IT units to provide access to the latest equipment, software, technology instruction and support. She also served as Project Director for UBdigit, an online environment for interdisciplinary multimedia digital collections at the University at Buffalo.

Carole Ann brings to Artstor deep and rich experience in the realms of art, visual resources, the library, and educational technology. She has written extensively on educational technologies and the use the electronic media in teaching and learning, and she is an active professional member of the academic library community, currently serving on the board of ARLIS/NA

As the Director of Strategic Planning and User Services, Carole Ann will be responsible for assessing, tracking, supporting and promoting use of the Artstor Digital Library and the Artstor software environment at the more than 600 institutions presently licensing Artstor. Strategic outreach activities will focus on building strong ongoing relationships with these participating institutions, and with staff at those institutions who help support the use of Artstor and its integration into the wider environment of teaching and learning. She will also be responsible for leading a growing User Services team that provides support and training services to institutions participating in Artstor and individuals at those institutions.

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