In homage to Earth Day we have gathered a list of resources on the Artstor and JSTOR platforms, from licensed to freely available community-generated collections. We encourage you to explore this content — it combines art and science, enriching the study of the environment and the biosphere across the globe: photography from the microscopic to the panoramic, scientific and anatomical illustrations, evidence from surveys and studies, models, artists’ interpretations in varied media, the vision and work of conservationists, and the effects of our existence on this planet from millennia of cultivation and development to the threats of climate change.
Once upon a time–not so long ago–it seems that we believed that all the great pre-modern western painters were men! If not, why did we call them the Old Masters? The honorific derives from the masculine latin term magister meaning teacher, master, chief, coming from magis–more or greater. By definition and origin, the concept excludes women. Since the late 1900s the term has become so pervasive that a title search for old masters returns 74,000 + hits on WorldCat. Notwithstanding false results and the many auction catalogs, a lot of ink has been spilled on the Old Masters.
Seriously though, there have been many scholars, notably women, who have labored to dispel this myth. Beginning with the trailblazers Linda Nochlin’s “Why have there been no great women Artists?” and Old Mistresses, women art and ideology by Griselda Pollock and Rozsika Parker, the pendulum started to swing back and women artists began to take their rightful places. Women’s History Month provides an opportunity to revisit some of these “rediscovered” creators and their accomplishments. We already know their names: Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith Leyster, Rosa Bonheur… Thankfully, they are celebrated today, and it’s always worth taking another look; after all, how many times have we lauded their counterparts the Old Masters? Of course, the current small selection under-represents women painters, but it is intended here as a temporal counterpart to the Old Masters and as an indication of far greater numbers. Apologies to the many artists unmentioned, particularly to contemporary figures.
In celebration of Women’s History Month we have compiled a list of resources available on the Artstor/JSTOR platforms, from licensed to freely available community generated collections.
We encourage you to explore the resources: photographic, graphic, and written accounts of the women’s suffrage, labor, and reproductive rights movements: the artistic output of female painters, sculptors, architects, designers, and craftswomen; the work and lives of women in science; photographs of women and by women, including a wide selection of portraits of literary luminaries, as well as of communities of women around the globe.
While 2021 had its share of jolts, schools and libraries began to regain their footing after the shocks of 2020 and started looking forward. And Artstor did as well, as we continued to make progress on the integration with JSTOR and on furthering the diversity of our content.
More diverse content and Open Artstor collections
Our ongoing efforts to bring more African American and ethnically diverse resources to Artstor and JSTOR started making their appearance in the middle of 2021, and we look forward to more releases this year.
Artstor has released more than 2,000 images from The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a world-leading cultural institution devoted to the research, preservation, and exhibition of materials focused on African American, African Diaspora, and African experiences. The center was named after its chief early contributor, Arthur Schomburg. The collection can be freely accessed by everyone on both Artstor and JSTOR.
In honor of Black History Month, we have consolidated a list of varied resources available on the Artstor/JSTOR platforms, from licensed collections to freely available community generated collections. We invite you to explore the resources – historic chronicles from manuscripts, newspapers, documents and recordings, the story of African American art told by the works themselves, photographic archives portraying the lives of celebrated African Americans and those we no longer know. Discover great works, official records, iconic portraits, ephemera and memorabilia in the collections below.
Open Artstor: Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture is now available on both the Artstor and JSTOR platforms, featuring a selection of approximately 2,500 images under Creative Commons licenses. This is part of an initiative to aggregate open museum, library, and archive collections across disciplines on both resources. We are proud to present this content, along with the freshly published Open Artstor: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (New York Public Library) collection as part of an ongoing initiative to bring more African American resources to Artstor and JSTOR.
As the strength of the sun wanes in the fall, our festivities and rites tend to be centered on the elements of fire and light — natural, divine, and synthetic. It is no accident that many of our brightest celebrations light up our darkest months. Below, we have selected some images that collectively exalt the power of light to animate our revels.
We are on the cusp of the holiday season, a quiet, delicious pause before the big rush — a time when we slow down to reflect and give thanks. In the spirit of A.A. Milne’s inimitable philosopher Piglet, we may recall our capacity for gratitude: “Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” In celebration of Thanksgiving, we are highlighting expressions of thanks through time and across the world.
A moment of grace bestills the bowed heads of three small Haitian girls captured by the photographer Bob Gore, while a swell of Ghanian women is moved by thankful joy during a Harvest Festival in a monumental painting by the African American artist John Biggers.
Since the early 1990s, communities across America have honored Indigenous Peoples’ Day—South Dakota and Berkeley, California being the leaders. Currently more than 15 states and many municipalities observe the day, and there is a resolution before Congress to declare a federal holiday (H.Res.627). In it, Congresswoman Deb Haaland, Co-Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus, declares: “Our resolution recognizing Indigenous People’s Day acknowledges our country’s real history and celebrates our languages, traditions, and heritage… By dedicating this day to the strength and resilience of Indigenous peoples, we condemn those who have tried to erase us, and build strength through understanding.”
Artstor marks the day with a selection of stirring works that express Indigenous cultures across the continent.1