Relics—bits of bone, clothing, shoes or dust—from Christian martyrs became popular in Western Christianity in the Middle Ages. The cult of relics dates back to the second and third centuries, when martyrs were persecuted and often killed in ways that fragmented the body, which was taboo in Roman society. The intention was to desecrate the body through execution and burning. But, Caroline Walker Bynum and Paula Gerson state that by the “late third to early fourth centuries the fragments of the martyrs had come to be revered as loci of power and special access to the divine” and, by the Second Council of Nicea in 787, relics were required for the consecration of altars.
It may come as a surprise that the Artstor Digital Library is flush with fashion. For a dose of glamour, how about a stroll down the red carpet, exploring designs through the ages?
Let’s begin with the ancients: In early dynastic Egypt, the beadnet sheath dress is often depicted in paintings and statuary. A faience (sintered-quartz ceramic) dress from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, reconstructed from thousands of beads found in a burial site, is our oldest surviving example from approximately 2551–2528 BC (this particular garment was used to dress a mummy). In life, these decorative nets were probably worn over plain linen sheaths, giving an effect that approximates the elegant lines of a deftly carved offering figure from the tomb of Meketre (c. 1981-1975 BCE). A similar silhouette is achieved five millenia later in an evening gown by the pioneering American designer Norman Norell through the layering of a peach satin under slip and black rhinestone beaded netting (c. 1963).
The CRAFT: Babka and Beyond public collection features 28 interviews conducted with people connected to the production and use of grain within the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area in Western Pennsylvania. The stories feature bakers, bakery owners, farmers, and even a Benedictine Monk talking about how grains contribute to larger themes of identity, community, and social capital — whether in agriculture, bread making, or baking.
In the summer of 1675, Madame de Sévigné, a doyenne of letters, protested from Paris: “It is horribly cold… we think the behaviour of the sun and of the seasons has changed,” prescient witness to the phenomenon now referred to as the Little Ice Age. Over the last century, scientists and historians have gathered evidence of a prolonged period of global climatic volatility from the thirteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries, culminating in a cooling trend in Northern Europe during the 1600s — frigid winters and wet, cold summers. As we bear our share of winter hardships, it might be comforting to gain some historical and pictorial perspective on the polar vortex.
Thanks to an additional contribution from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, we are now able to present a fuller picture of the artist’s early career in New York City.
Over the past year we have enriched Artstor’s resources with global selections that travel through time and meander from Ming ceramics to Mughal palaces, illuminating history from the tells of Ancient Iraq through to contemporary installations. We have released 30 additional collections in the Artstor Digital Library (enhanced and new), including notable contributions that target the highly sought areas of Asian and contemporary art.
Artstor will be attending the 2019 College Art Association Annual Conference in New York, New York, February 13-16.
Stop by booth #315 in the Rhinelander Gallery to say hello and learn about the new collections and tools we’ve added to Artstor, as well as some of our plans for future development!
Artstor will be attending the 2019 ALA Midwinter conference in Seattle, Washington, January 25-29.
Stop by booth #2018 to say hello to Artstor and JSTOR, and learn the latest on surfacing Artstor images in JSTOR searches, our improved accessibility, and the many new and updated collections we released in 2018.
Our thanks to New York photographer Bob Gore, who contributed approximately 300 images from his portfolio to the Artstor Digital Library, documenting diverse expressions of faith across the United States and in the Caribbean region.*
Our thanks to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, which contributed approximately 800 images of the artist’s work to the Artstor Digital Library.* The selection in Artstor encompasses the artist’s career, from 1970 through 1997, and includes paintings, mosaics, and mixed media.