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June 30, 2015

Did you know Artstor features more than just images?

Animation of the interior of the Hagia Sofia

In addition to still images, you can find videos, audio files, 3D images, and panorama (QTVR) files within the Artstor Workspace. You can search by media type using the file extensions as keywords:

  • Videos – search for mov. Clicking the movie icon will open your default video player.
  • Audio – search for mp3. Clicking the sound icon will open your default audio player.
  • Panoramas (QTVR) – search for qtvr. Clicking the QTVR icon will open a QuickTime Player window where you can view the environment by panning 360°.
  • 3D images – search for 3D. Clicking the 3D icon will open the 3D image in rotation in the image viewer. To stop or restart the rotation, click the rotation icon .

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June 8, 2015

Introducing the Artstor Digital Library User Advisory Board

Artstor has named the 30 community members of the new Artstor Digital Library User Advisory Board. The members represent a variety of areas of our user community and will gather online three times a year to identify critical issues regarding new tools, features, and functionality of the Digital Library and provide recommendations for improvement.

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June 3, 2015

The other Turner

William Turner of Oxford, Shepherd Boy on a Hillside, ca. 1840. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

William Turner of Oxford, Shepherd Boy on a Hillside, ca. 1840. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

He was only eighteen years old, yet William Turner’s watercolors were already praised in print as follows: “By dint of his superior art he has rolled such clouds over these landscapes as has given to a flat country an equal grandeur with mountain scenery, while they fully account for the striking and natural effects of light and shade which he has introduced.” The critic John Ruskin would also become a big supporter in the artist’s later years.

How could they not admire those rolling landscapes, the colorful skies! No wonder Turner’s considered a precursor to the Impressionists! Oh wait—wrong William Turner.

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May 21, 2015

La Española: the earliest recorded Blacks in the Colonial Americas

Unknown (Dominican), Saint Nicholas of Bari's Hospital, Santo Domingo, Photographer: Anthony Stevens Acevedo, Image: 2009. Photograph copyright © CUNY Dominican Studies Institute. CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, First Blacks in the Americas collection.

Unknown (Dominican), Saint Nicholas of Bari’s Hospital, Santo Domingo, Photographer: Anthony Stevens Acevedo, Image: 2009. Photograph copyright © CUNY Dominican Studies Institute. CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, First Blacks in the Americas collection.

La Española, the island now divided into the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Haiti, existed first as a Spanish colony during the entire sixteenth century, when its population became the first one in the Americas with a majority of people of African descent. The Black ancestors of today’s Dominicans were the first to experience the dreadful transatlantic slave trade, and the first to offer organized resistance as soon as they landed in La Española. They were also the first to endure and survive all the varieties of enslaved labor and enslaved life, and the first to thrive and produce new generations of Afro-descendants born in the “New World.”

Sixteenth-Century La Española: Glimpses of the First Blacks in the Early Colonial Americas,” a 2015 exhibition at the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, presented images of manuscripts, transcriptions, translations, and photographs that tell the story of the earliest Black inhabitants of the Americas. The exhibit included photographs of sites of the Dominican Republic’s colonial past by Anthony Stevens-Acevedo, Assistant Director of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute at The City College of New York, the co-curator of the exhibit and a colonial historian. Dr. Lissette Acosta Corniel, CUNY DSI Post-Doctoral Fellow, was also a co-curator of the exhibit.

The show was an offshoot of “First Blacks in the Americas,” a long term CUNY DSI online project focusing on photographs that were part of the living environment of Black people in that territory during colonial times. Part of the collection is available in Artstor’s public collections, an open-access library of digital media from JSTOR Forum subscribers.

“Sixteenth-Century La Española: Glimpses of the First Blacks in the Early Colonial Americas” ran from May 22 6:30–September 10, 2015 at the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, NAC Building Room 2/202, The City College of New York, 160 Convent Avenue, New York, NY 10031.

Editor’s note: this post was updated to reflect changes in Artstor’s platform for public collections.

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May 4, 2015

No longer scandalous: Manet in America

Éduard Manet, The Execution of Maximilian, ca. 1867-8. Photograph: ©The National Gallery, London

Éduard Manet, The Execution of Maximilian, ca. 1867-8. Photograph: © The National Gallery, London

Édouard Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass was the scandal of the year in France when it was exhibited in the 1863 Salon des Refusés, and Olympia was greeted with the same shock and indignation in the Paris Salon of 1865 (a journalist wrote, “If the canvas of the Olympia was not destroyed, it is only because of the precautions that were taken by the administration”). So selling tickets to show a new painting in America that was too controversial for France seemed a surefire way to get attention—and perhaps make a little money.

From 1867 to 1869, Édouard Manet had made some works depicting the execution of Emperor Maximilian in Mexico in 1867. But considering that Maximilian’s empire had collapsed after Napoleon III withdrew his support, it was not prudent to exhibit them in France while Napoleon remained in power.

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May 4, 2015

Shopping paradise: Émile Zola and the world’s first department store

Eugène Atget, Bon Marche, 1926-27. George Eastman House

Eugène Atget, Bon Marche, 1926-27. George Eastman House

I recently came across the BBC adaptation of Émile Zola’s The Ladies’ Paradise and, as a self-confessed Francophile, couldn’t wait to begin watching it. A few episodes in, though, my enthusiasm dimmed when it became clear that the series didn’t faithfully follow the book. Zola’s novel is, at heart, an acerbic commentary on consumer culture, not a love story. Where Zola makes The Ladies’ Paradise, a department store, into a protagonist, the show instead relies on the budding romance between a shop girl and the store’s owner to drive it along. The Ladies’ Paradise is the backdrop of the story, but unfortunately not its focus.

Zola, often credited as one of the shrewdest observers of 19th-century French society, did not choose the department store arbitrarily as the setting for his novel. By the time he wrote The Ladies’ Paradise in the 1880s, the department store had become one of the most iconic features of modern Parisian life.

Gustave Eiffel; Louis Auguste Boileau, Le Bon Marché, 1876. Image and catalog data provided by Allan T. Kohl, Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Gustave Eiffel; Louis Auguste Boileau, Le Bon Marché, 1876. Image and catalog data provided by Allan T. Kohl, Minneapolis College of Art and Design

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May 1, 2015

Artstor Awarded IMLS Grant for DPLA Museum Hub

IMLS

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded Artstor and five collaborating institutions a three-year National Leadership Grant, with an award of $749,418. The funds will be used to support the development of free software to enable museums to contribute digital image collections for open access through the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).

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May 1, 2015

Game of Thrones and the House of Artstor

Fortress of Carcassonne, Carcassonne, France, 1150. Built by Bernard Anton Trencavel; fortified by Simon de Montfort; restored by Eugene Viollet-le-Duc. Image and original data provided by Shmuel Magal, Sites and Photos; sites-and-photos.com

Fortress of Carcassonne, Carcassonne, France, 1150. Built by Bernard Anton Trencavel; fortified by Simon de Montfort; restored by Eugene Viollet-le-Duc. Image and original data provided by Shmuel Magal, Sites and Photos; sites-and-photos.com

Yes, of course we’re watching Game of Thrones. The TV series based on a still unfinished (!) series of books by George R. R. Martin brings a new meaning to the word epic.

With more than 40 main cast members and complicated storylines for each, it’s a wonder anyone can keep track of what’s going on. Set in a distant land during the Middle Ages, this show has betrayals, dragons, knights, and a nail-biting struggle for power. It’s so rich with imagery that we were inspired to dive into the Artstor Digital Library to illustrate it.

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April 20, 2015

Drawing Connections with Artstor’s AP® Art History Teaching Resources

Kwakiutl, Transformation mask, 1917 or earlier. Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology

Kwakiutl, Transformation mask, 1917 or earlier. Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology

I continue to be amazed by the possibilities for teaching the new Advanced Placement® Art History Curriculum with Artstor. As we gather images to place in our growing AP® Art History Teaching Resources and draft the accompanying essays and links, I sometimes pause to marvel at how the curriculum interconnects. Those key works of art and architecture required for AP® Art History tell a powerful story. Along with the Digital Library’s 1.8 million images, I am seeing how having a deep reservoir of images really helps makes the large task of preparing to teach this new curriculum manageable and fun.

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April 20, 2015

Help other faculty use images in teaching

curriculum_guides

Have you heard about Artstor’s Curriculum Guides project? Instructors around the world are curating sets of images from the Digital Library as an aid in teaching a variety of subjects.

Would you like to share your work with colleagues at institutions around the world? We are looking for faculty collaborators who teach in areas such as history, the social sciences, and cultural studies. If you are interested in taking part, please contact us at curriculumguides[at]artstor.org to learn more.

We look forward to hearing from you and encourage you to pass this on to your colleagues!

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