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.
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.
AP Annual Conference
July 26-30, 2017
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.
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.
Editor’s note: this post was originally published in June 2017 and has been updated to reflect Artstor’s platform changes.
Persuasive Cartography: The PJ Mode Collection is a physical and digital collection of maps donated to Cornell University Library’s Rare and Manuscript Collections. It brings together maps from many eras from all over the world to explore their power as visual messengers. The collection is freely accessible in Artstor’s public collections and through its own website, which leverages the JSTOR Forum API to present these beautiful images in a customized end-user environment.
PJ Mode, the collection’s donor, worked closely with Cornell Library staff and the Digital Consulting and Production Services team to take high-resolution photographs of each map and create rich descriptive metadata for each image in Shared Shelf.
JSTOR Forum’s Hannah Marshall sat down recently with Mode to discuss the origin of the physical collection, the implementation of the digital collection, and some of the collection’s highlights.
Some stories we’ve been reading this month:
- How surreal: Salvador Dali’s body is to be exhumed to resolve a paternity case.
- An interview that asks the tough question: how does a curator match art with cannabis strains? Unfortunately, it’s not very clear on how one can get that kind of job.
- The illustrated history of the morse–a hairy, fearsome walrus-like beast that was said to snooze on cliffs while hanging by its teeth.
June is the most popular month to marry, an excellent reason to take a look at one of the world’s most famous wedding paintings–although we ended up wondering if that, indeed, was what we were seeing.
At first glance, Jan Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait (1434) appears to be an exquisitely rendered but otherwise straightforward depiction of a wealthy merchant and his wife. But take a second look (or third or fourth), and a more intriguing image emerges. The room in which the Arnolfinis pose is laden with images that signal wealth, have religious implications, or are just plain… odd.
The more than 350,000 photographs in the Artstor Digital Library are not only there for the study of art—they also tell stories of our past. One of the best examples is that of Robert Capa’s breathtaking photographs of Omaha Beach on D-day in German-occupied France on June 6, 1944.
That day Western Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy in France and began the effort to liberate Europe from Nazi Germany. The invasion was originally planned for May 1stbut was delayed due to bad weather. Finally, on June 6th, 156,000 Allied troops stormed the beaches—losing between 2,400 and 4,000 lives—and Robert Capa was there to capture it on camera.
Condé Nast is providing nearly 10,000 additional images to the Artstor Digital Library, bringing their total contribution to approximately 33,000. The release encompasses images from the Condé Nast Archive of Photography, selections from the Fairchild Photo Service, and signature cartoons from The New Yorker. Highlights of the new release include striking and innovative images from Vogue photographers Clifford Coffin and Louise Dahl-Wolfe, and ravishing food stills by Romulo Yanes.
The Condé Nast Archive is a leading repository of photography, featuring fashion, celebrity, and lifestyle shots from publications such as Glamour, Vanity Fair, and Vogue, dating from the 1890s to the present. The glamour and star power of fashion is represented in the commercial work of Edward Steichen and Horst P. Horst, through to contemporary takes from the runways of international style capitals, including the work of Patrick Demarchelier. The Fairchild Photo Service, comprised of more than three million photos gathered over six decades, is the fashion world’s preeminent image gallery. The New Yorker‘s cartoons are legendary for their incisive wit and for shedding light on the lives and foibles of the city’s dwellers from the Depression through to the era of “fake news.” The magazine’s cartoonists include renowned figures like Peter Arno, Roz Chast, Otto Soglow, William Steig, James Thurber, and Gahan Wilson.
We’re thrilled to announce that we will be releasing an updated Digital Library this summer. This is a first step in improving our support of digital image-based teaching and scholarship, and toward the longer-term goal of creating an integrated platform experience for users of both the Artstor Digital Library and JSTOR – now both allied services under the ITHAKA umbrella.
Enhancements will include:
- A new full screen IIIF image viewer with side-by-side comparison mode (no pop-ups or Flash required)
- Simplified image group sharing: all registered users (previously limited to faculty) will be able to share image groups with other users at your institution
- Increased web accessibility for users with disabilities
- Shorter URLs for easier linking in LibGuides, course websites, emails, and more
- Mobile friendly