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September 22, 2017

Now available: additional images from the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology

The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology (Harvard University) is contributing more than 95,000 additional images of objects from their permanent collection to Artstor, bringing the total selection to approximately 143,000. The collection and its representation in Artstor, featuring African, Native North American, Pre-Columbian,  European, Oceanic, and Asian cultures is virtually encyclopedic. The current contribution further enhances a rich selection.

A sampling of a single artifact — the mask — across time and place illustrates the scope of the collection: from an Aztec stone effigy c. 1500 to its  Panamanian ceramic counterpart, a Tlingit copper version of the mid 1800s, and a Mohawk corn husk Spirit image worn in ritual dances. Likewise, the juxtaposition of similar objects underscores the aesthetic and spiritual differences between cultures: a Communication Artifact (a wooden bird) from Rwanda and a Pre-Columbian Gold bird-shaped ornament from Chiriqui, Panama. Nonetheless, form, function, and even materials appear to be all but replicated in two versions of a beaded collar, objects that are geographically and culturally disparate, one from the Masai in Kenya and the other from the Mojave of California.

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September 22, 2017

Now available: African art and Aboriginal paintings from the Musée du quai Branly (Réunion des Musées Nationaux)

Magic zoomorphic statuette, dog. Congo, Loango. Before 1892. Musée du Quai Branly. Photo: Hughes Dubois. Image and original data provided by Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, N.Y.

Magic zoomorphic statuette, dog. Congo, Loango. Before 1892. Musée du Quai Branly. Photo: Hughes Dubois. Image and original data provided by Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, N.Y.

The Réunion des Musées Nationaux (RMN), and Art Resource are contributing nearly 1,400 images of works from the Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac to the Artstor Digital Library. The selection of images available in Artstor from this collection of global, non-Western art from pre-history to the present centers on the outstanding African collections, and also includes a selection of Aboriginal paintings from Australia, as well as other varied works. 

The diversity of African cultures represented is illustrated by a limited sample: a Mask Headdress with a Shark from the Ijo people of Nigeria; a Magic Zoomorphic Statuette, before 1892,  from the Kingdom of Loango (now part of the Republic of the Congo); and a panel from the Gate of the Royal Palace at Abomey, c. 1889, Kingdom of Dahomey, Benin. The selection in Artstor also includes brilliant examples from other cultures such as a feather Poncho from the Inca, c. 1500, and a tiny animal/man hybrid Figurine from the Inuit.

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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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