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June 10, 2005

Florentine Cultural Agencies and ARTstor Partner

ARTstor has reached an agreement with the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore and the Museo Opificio delle Pietre Dure (Florence, Italy). Through this agreement, ARTstor is supporting the rich photographic documentation of the recently restored bronze doors on the east side of the Florentine Baptistery, universally known as the “Gates of Paradise” (in Italian, “Porta del Paradiso”). The sculptural relief panels of the “Gates of Paradise,” produced during the second quarter of the fifteenth century by the great Florentine sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti (1378-1455), constitute one of the most important art works of the early Italian Renaissance. After more than twenty-five years of work, the restoration of Ghiberti’s famous “Gates of Paradise” is nearing completion. ARTstor is sponsoring the comprehensive photographic documentation of the Gates of Paradise in their newly restored state. This photographic campaign has produced nearly 700 stunning, detailed photographs of Ghiberti’s relief sculptures, all of which will be digitized and made available through ARTstor at the highest resolution.

“These splendid new photos finally allow Ghiberti’s work to be seen and studied as the three-dimensional, sculptural masterpieces they are,” according to Gary M. Radke, Professor of Fine Arts at Syracuse University and Curator for Exhibitions of Italian Art at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. “Never before have we been able to study Ghiberti’s works so clearly and in such exhaustive detail. Taken from a wide variety of angles and under lighting conditions that reveal the full subtlety of Ghiberti’s modeling and finishing, these images will transform thinking about Ghiberti for decades to come.”

The contents of this important archive will greatly enrich ARTstor’s value to a wide audience in the history of art and related fields, including especially students of Italian Renaissance art. In reaching this agreement, James Shulman, Executive Director of ARTstor, said, “The ‘Gates of Paradise’ are among the most glorious works of Italian Renaissance art, and the recent restoration of Ghiberti’s famous relief panels is one of the crowning achievements of scientific art conservation. ARTstor is delighted to be able to play a part in supporting this important work through rich, new photographic documentation, and we are equally pleased to make these stunning new images available to scholars, teachers, and students. We anticipate that our partnership with the relevant Italian authorities – the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, Opificio delle Pietre Dure, and other Florentine cultural agencies – will lead to many further collaborations with Italian museums.”
The Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore was founded by the Florentine Republic in 1296 to oversee the construction of the new Cathedral and its bell tower. Since 1436, the year in which Filippo Brunelleschi’s famous cupola was completed and the Cathedral consecrated, the principal charge of the Opera has been to conserve the entire monumental complex. In 1777 it was further assigned responsibility for the Florentine Baptistery and in 1891 for the museum which had been created to house works of art that, over the years, had to be removed from the Cathedral and the Baptistery.

The Opificio delle Pietre Dure is an autonomous Institute of the Florentine Ministry for Cultural Heritage, whose operational, research and training activities find expression in the field of conservation of works of art. It is the seat of one of the Italian state conservation schools, of a museum displaying samples of its artistic semiprecious stone production, a scientific laboratory for diagnostics and research, a highly specialised library in the sphere of conservation, extremely rich archives documenting conservation projects, a research centre and a public climatology service. It is one of the largest institutions in Europe in this field, having at its disposal an interdisciplinary team of conservators, art historians, archaeologists, architects, scientific experts and documentalists.

You may also be interested in “A peek behind Ghiberti’s Florentine Baptistery Doors.

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June 7, 2005

Oxford University and ARTstor Reach Collaborative Agreement

Oxford University and ARTstor announced today that they had reached an agreement whereby Oxford University’s Bodleian Library and ARTstor will collaborate on the digitization and distribution through ARTstor of approximately 25,000 high quality images of manuscript paintings and drawings from the Bodleian Library’s outstanding collection of medieval and renaissance illuminated western manuscripts.

With more than 10,000 volumes, the Bodleian Library’s Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts has one of the greatest collections of western medieval manuscripts in the world. In recent years, the Bodleian Library has – with support from the Getty Trust – been developing an Electronic Catalogue of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts. The present collaboration with ARTstor will build on the foundation laid through that important effort. Through this partnership, ARTstor will digitize virtually all of the illuminated manuscript leaves from Bodleian manuscripts through the 16th century, as well as selected 19th and 20th- century manuscripts in the medieval tradition. The project will also selectively include significant bindings, illuminated initials, and text pages. The present collaboration will make this rich body of visual material and related scholarship available online and at high resolution for the first time. The audience for these highly valued materials will include not only art historians and medievalists but also scholars, teachers, and students throughout the humanities and beyond, who will value having the ability to access, browse, and make rich educational and scholarly uses of this unique corpus of images.

In reaching this agreement, Richard Ovenden, Keeper of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts at the Bodleian Library, expressed his enthusiasm in collaborating with ARTstor and in using digital technologies to make this important scholarly resource more broadly available for noncommercial pedagogical and scholarly purposes. “The Bodleian Library at Oxford is delighted to be working with ARTstor in making the tens of thousands of manuscript illuminations in our Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts more widely available to students and researchers in the field.” James Shulman, ARTstor’s Executive Director, expressed ARTstor’s keen interest in this partnership. “The Bodleian Library’s medieval and renaissance manuscript collections are legendary. We at ARTstor are delighted to help make their artistic content more readily available to scholars, teachers and students.”

The Bodleian Library is the main research library of the University of Oxford. It is also a copyright deposit library and its collections are used by scholars from around the world. In addition, the Bodleian consists of nine other libraries, in separate locations in Oxford: the Bodleian Japanese Library, the Bodleian Law Library, the Hooke Library, the Indian Institute Library, the Oriental Institute Library, the Philosophy Library, the Radcliffe Science Library, the Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House and the Vere Harmsworth Library.

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May 10, 2005

The University of Michigan, The American Council for Southern Asian Art (ACSAA) and Artstor Collaborate

The University of Michigan, the American Council for Southern Asian Art (ACSAA), and Artstor announced today that they had reached an agreement whereby the University of Michigan and Artstor will collaborate on the distribution through Artstor of approximately 13,000 high quality digital images from the University of Michigan slide distribution service’s “ACSAA Color Slide Project.” Spanning nearly 3,000 years of Southern Asian culture, the ACSAA Color Slide Project has been the primary source of teaching images in the field of Southern Asian art and architecture for thirty years.

The ACSAA Color Slide Project is a non-profit supplier of photographic materials of Southern Asian art. Since 1974, the Project has provided high quality yet modestly priced color slides of the art and architecture of India and other South and Southeast Asian countries (Nepal, Tibet, Burma, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan) to individuals and institutions for teaching and research purposes around the world.

This collaboration will make this rich body of visual material and related scholarship available online and at high resolution for the first time. The audience for these materials will include not only art historians but also scholars, teachers, and students throughout the humanities and social sciences, who will value having the ability to access, browse, and make rich educational and scholarly uses of this unique corpus of images. Through this agreement, the University of Michigan expects to make sets of the digital images available to individual scholars, here and abroad, as it has always done with its slide sets.

In reaching this agreement, Alex Potts, Professor and Chair of the History of Art Department at the University of Michigan, and Mary Beth Heston, President of ACSAA and Chair of the Art History Department at the College of Charleston, expressed their enthusiasm in collaborating with Artstor and in using digital technologies to make this important scholarly resource more broadly available for noncommercial pedagogical and scholarly purposes. “The History of Art Department at Michigan is very glad to be working with Artstor in making a significant portion of the exceptionally rich visual archive of Asian material it administers more widely available to students and researchers in the field. Collaborating with the American Council for Southern Asian Art to bring the holdings of the ACSAA Color Slide Project to a wider audience is important for the educational mission of both our institutions,” said Professor Potts, expressing the University of Michigan’s enthusiasm for this collaboration. “ACSAA believes Artstor shares the original educational and scholarly objectives of ACSAA in assembling and distributing these images. Artstor will further our mission to provide an important resource for scholars, teachers and students by bringing this resource into the digital age,” Professor Heston adds on behalf of ACSAA. Max Marmor, Artstor’s Director of Collection Development, expressed Artstor’s keen interest in this partnership. “The ACSAA slides have been one of the key sources of teaching images in Asian art and architecture for decades. Making these very important images available to teachers and scholars in digital form through Artstor will significantly ease the transition to digital for hosts of teachers and students, while also adding a new dimension to the immensely important slide distribution projects at the University of Michigan and strengthening ACSAA’s key role in support of the study of Southern Asian Art.”

The ACSAA Color Slide Project is a not-for-profit service established by the American Council for Southern Asian Art (ACSAA) at the University of Michigan in the mid-1970s. Since then the ACSAA Color Slide Project has functioned as a service to the educational community. The Project, which has benefited from the contributions of many individual photographers, concentrates on photographing and distributing, at an affordable price, slides of art objects from exhibitions, distinguished private collections, and the permanent collections of major American and South Asian museums. The project also photographs and distributes slides of major architectural sites that include sculptural monuments. For more information on the Project, see its website at http://www.umich.edu/~hartspc/acsaa/acsaa.html.

The American Council for Southern Asian Art (ACSAA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the study and awareness of the art of South and Southeast Asia. In addition to periodic symposia, ACSAA pursues these goals through various projects, including its bi-annual newsletter, bibliographies, and of course the ACSAA Color Slide Project. Since its incorporation in 1967, ACSAA has grown from its original fifteen members to an organization of some three hundred individuals and institutions.

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March 30, 2005

ARTstor at Art Libraries Society of North America conference

We wanted to let you know that there will be an ARTstor Hospitality Suite at the upcoming ARLIS conference in Houston. All participants and non-participants are invited to visit us at the Hilton Americas at 1600 Lamar Street. There will be signs in the lobby and fliers at the concierge desk with the suite number. Representatives from our User Services and Library Relations teams will be in the suite so there will be ample opportunities for training and learning more about ARTstor. We encourage you to schedule an appointment for training in advance.

There will also be an ARTstor Users Group Meeting on Monday, April 4 from 8:00-9:30am in Room 340 AB of the Hilton Americas. This is an open meeting and breakfast will be served. You are welcome to drop in but if possible we ask that you RSVP to userservices@artstor.org in advance.

Suite Hours:

  • Sunday, April 3, 2005: 12:00pm-5:00pm
  • Monday, April 4, 2005: 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Tuesday, April 5, 2005: 9:00am- 2:00pm
  • ARTstor Demonstrations (45 minutes):
  • Sunday, April 3 2005: 4:00pm
  • Monday, April 4, 2005: 12:00pm
  • Tuesday, April 5, 2005: 9:00am

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a training session, please contact userservices@artstor.org. See you in Houston!

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February 28, 2005

ARTstor at Visual Resources Association Conference

We wanted to let you know that there will be an ARTstor Hospitality Suite at the upcoming Visual Resources Association conference in Florida. All participants and non-participants are invited to visit us in the Wyndham Miami Beach Resort at 4833 Collins Avenue. You will find us in the suite on Monday, March 7, 2005 from 10:00am to 5:00pm; Tuesday, March 8, 2005 from 10:00am to 5:00pm; and on Wednesday, March 9, 2005 from 10:00am to 4:00pm. There will be signs in the lobby and fliers at the concierge desk with the suite number. Representatives from our User Services and Library Relations team will be in the suite so there will be ample opportunities for training and learning more about ARTstor. We encourage you to schedule an appointment for training in advance.

There will also be a Participants Breakfast on Tuesday, March 8 from 7:00-8:30am in the Madrid Room at the Wyndham Miami Beach Resort. This meeting is open to all ARTstor participants and we hope that you will be able to join us. You are welcome to drop in but if possible, we ask that you RSVP to userservices@artstor.org in advance.

The agenda for the meeting is as follows:

  • Introduction & Welcome: James Shulman, Executive Director
  • Participation Update: Barbara Rockenbach, Assistant Director for Library Relations
  • User Services Update: Kimberly Harvey, User Services CoordinatorCollections Update: Max Marmor,Director of Collection Development
  • Hosting Pilot: James Shulman, Executive Director
  • Question & Answer Session: All ARTstor Staff

Finally, there will be an ARTstor Users Group Meeting on Tuesday, March 8, 2005 from 12:30-2:00pm. This meeting is being coordinated by Elisa Lanzi from Smith College and Tina Updike of James Madison University and is open to anyone who is interested in ARTstor.

To schedule a time for training or to RSVP for the Participants Meeting, please email userservices@artstor.org. See you in Miami!

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January 26, 2005

Institutional Hosting Pilot

In June 2004, ARTstor initiated a year-long pilot of its proposed institutional hosting service. This service will enable local institutional collections to be hosted by ARTstor and served back to the participating institution alongside ARTstor’s Charter Collection, and using ARTstor’s software environment and tools. Ten colleges and universities have been working with ARTstor to assess the usefulness of this service to institutions, as well as to evaluate the financial and organizational impact of hosting at each institution.

The ARTstor user community has expressed a great deal of interest and enthusiasm about the hosting service for several reasons: (1) hosting will allow institutions to supplement the images in ARTstor’s Charter Collection with additional images that meet the specific needs of an institution and its professors; (2) all hosted images will be retrieved via ARTstor’ tools and software, which means that local collections can utilize the searching, browsing, and zooming capabilities of the ARTstor software; (3) for many institutions, hosting will also provide organizational benefits, since ARTstor’s underlying database can function as a useful tool for the campus-wide management of images and data.

The ten institutions involved in the pilot, which include universities and colleges, were chosen for their diversity in the type of institutional collections, the size of those collections, and the media on which those institutional collections are stored. While some institutions elected to host art-related collections, many have contributed collections that represent a wide range of departments and disciplines, including biology, astronomy, maps of Africa, and Cuban Heritage objects.

Over the course of assessing the pilot, we are gathering data from institutions about current practices in image collection-building and management, and asking participants about the pedagogical impact of having local collections made more widely accessible alongside the ARTstor collections. ARTstor is working with the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education (NITLE) and seven NITLE-member colleges on the formal assessment of the hosting pilot. NITLE has provided these colleges with funds to access ARTstor for the length of the pilot, and ARTstor is working with these schools to assess the financial and organizational impact of institutional collection hosting in an educational environment.

The hosting pilot project is scheduled to run through the summer. Once the results are complied and reviewed we will be announcing the next steps.

The institutions currently participating in the pilot are:

  • Bryn Mawr College
  • Denison University
  • DePauw University
  • Emory University
  • Grinnell College
  • Sewanee: The University of the South
  • Stanford University
  • University of Miami
  • Washington and Lee University
  • Williams College

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January 10, 2005

Major Art Museums to Share Digital Image Collections with Artstor

ARTstor has announced that sixteen art museums have committed to share digital image collections and associated data through ARTstor. Image and data from these collections will enhance ARTstor’s ability to provide broad-based access to art images for educational and scholarly use in museums, colleges and universities, and the K-12 sector.

The contributing museums include:

Many of these museums have been participants in AMICO (Art Museum Image Consortium), the pioneering digital initiative originally created by the Association of Art Museum Directors. AMICO announced recently that it would cease operations in July 2005, and expressed its intention to work with ARTstor during a transition period to encourage member museums to continue their efforts in collaboration with ARTstor. In addition to these institutions that had previously contributed to AMICO, other major art museums that will make parts of their image collections available through ARTstor include the Kimbell Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, Yale University Art Galleries, and the Williams College Museum of Art.

These art museum partnerships will result in the sharing through ARTstor of tens of thousands of very high quality digital images – images carefully selected by museum curators representing both well-known masterpieces and thousands of works of art that deserve to be better known. Many of the hidden treasures of major art museums – such as the textiles, photographs, and works on paper that are typically too fragile to be on regular public view – will be available for study by scholars, curators, and students at the more than 300 colleges, universities, art schools and museums now participating in ARTstor. James Shulman, Executive Director of ARTstor, noted that, “We are delighted that ARTstor can serve as an avenue through which these extraordinary institutions can make images of their works available for non-profit educational use. In addition to adding many thousands of images of the highest quality and museum authorized cataloging data to the ARTstor Digital Library, these collaborations represent exciting steps in our effort to be a part of a community-wide effort. We look forward to continuing partnerships with colleagues and friends at these and other museums.”

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January 7, 2005

ARTstor at ALA Midwinter Meeting

We wanted to let you know that there will be several ARTstor activities at the upcoming ALA Midwinter meeting in Boston. We will be having our inaugural ARTstor Participants’ Meeting and all ARTstor participants are invited to attend. The meeting will be held on Sunday January 16, 2005 from 4:00-6:00pm in the Hynes Convention Center, room 100. If you plan to attend the Participants’ Meeting, please RSVP to userservices@artstor.org.

In addition to the Participants’ Meeting, all participants are invited to visit the ARTstor Hospitality Suite in the Marriott Copley Place. You can find us in the suite Saturday, January 15 thru Monday, January 17, from 10:00am to 6:00pm. [Note: the suite will not be open from 4:00-6:00pm on Sunday, January 16 because of the ARTstor Participants’ Meeting.] There will be signs or flyers available in the lobby at the concierge desk with the suite numbers. Representatives from our User Services and Library Relations team will be in the suite so there will be opportunities for training and learning more about ARTstor. The schedule each day will have a combination of training and drop-in times. During the training periods you are still welcome to come by with questions, but we cannot guarantee that a computer will be free for demos during those times.

The schedule each day will be:
10:00am-12:00pm: Training
12:00-2:00pm: Drop-in: Demos and Q & A
2:00pm-4:00pm: Training
4:00-6:00 pm: Drop-in: Demos and Q & A

We also encourage you to schedule an appointment to visit with us while you are in Boston. To schedule time to meet with ARTstor Library Relations and User Services staff please send an email to: subscribe@artstor.org.

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November 23, 2004

Collaborative Agreement Reached Between the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America (Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University) and ARTstor

The Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America (Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University) and ARTstor Inc. announced today that they had reached an agreement to collaborate on the distribution through ARTstor of approximately 36,000 high quality digital images from the Schlesinger Library’s renowned photographic archives.

The Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study is the leading national repository for women’s history. The Library’s collections document the full spectrum of activities and experiences of women in the 19th and 20th centuries. Particular strengths include women’s rights and suffrage, social reform, the labor movement, work and professions, family history, health and sexuality, culinary history, and gender issues. In the Library’s collections, there are more than 70,000 images in all varieties of photographic formats. These images represent the work of both professional and amateur artistic and documentary photographers and include portraits of individuals and family groups, men, children, landscapes, houses and interiors, travel pictures, women at work, and political and social activities. Although they provide a unique kind of documentation of women’s history that complements and enriches other parts of the Library’s collections, these images were, until recently, all but inaccessible.

This collaboration between ARTstor and the Schlesinger Library will make this rich body of visual material and related scholarship available electronically, and in high resolution, to the larger educational and scholarly community for the first time. The audience for these materials will include scholars, teachers, and students throughout the arts, humanities and social sciences, who will value having the ability to access, browse, and make rich educational and scholarly uses of this unique corpus of images. In reaching this agreement, Nancy F. Cott, the director of the library and also Jonathan Trumbull Professor of American History at Harvard University, and Max Marmor, Director of Collection Development at ARTstor, expressed their enthusiasm in collaborating to use digital technologies to make this important scholarly resource more broadly available for noncommercial pedagogical and scholarly purposes. “I am thrilled that this collaboration will bring a large part of the Schlesinger’s unique collection of photographic images to viewers worldwide,” said Professor Cott. Marmor adds, “The Schlesinger Library is by general consensus regarded as the leading repository for women’s history. Its photographic archives devoted to this subject are unrivalled. This collaboration should produce an exceptionally significant resource for scholars, teachers and students in a wide range of fields. ARTstor is delighted to be able to play a part in making it more widely available for scholarly and educational purposes.”

The Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, is the leading national repository for women’s history. Founded in 1943 as the Women’s Archives at Radcliffe College, the Schlesinger Library has been at the forefront of collecting, cataloging and making available for research those papers, books, and other materials essential for understanding women’s lives and contributions. It houses one of the largest English language collections of published and unpublished sources that together document the range of issues, organizations and activities in which women have been central.

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November 11, 2004

Museum Education Program Announces Request for Proposals

The 2005 ARTstor Museum Education Program seeks proposals from small, medium and large museum education departments who wish to explore the integration of ARTstor into an already existing education program or design a new project that makes use of ARTstor with museum audiences, museum staff, or volunteers.

ARTstor staff will select promising proposals, and access to ARTstor will be provided at no charge to the museum and audiences identified in selected projects or programs from January 17 to June 30, 2005. Additional benefits for museums selected to participate in the program are support from ARTstor staff for project development, documentation and evaluation, and the publication of a final report encompassing all the participants in the 2005 ARTstor Museum Education Program to further the education field’s understanding about teaching with digital images.

On November 15 at 11:30 a.m. CST and November 22, 2004 at 1:00 PM CST an informational session and demonstration of ARTstor will be held online in Museum-Ed Office at LearningTimes.org. LearningTimes.org is an open community that allows demonstrations and discussions to take place in one environment for people at many different locations. These sessions are free, and open to all interested museum educators. Advance registration is required, for more information email krisw@museum-ed.org.

All proposals are due January 10, 2005.
For more information about the 2005 ARTstor Museum Education Program and for application materials, contact Nancy Allen, ARTstor Director of Museum Relations, at NSA@artstor.org or 646-274-2255. The full guidelines for proposals may be downloaded as a PDF on the ARTstor website.

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