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August 22, 2014

Call for at-risk collection-building proposals

From James Shulman
President, Artstor

I’m writing to announce a call for collection-building proposals focused on at-risk archives of individual scholars. The Artstor Digital Library includes many image collections from individual scholars who have built important archives in support of their work.  Now, we are launching a project to preserve and increase the availability of these at-risk collections by inviting the Visual Resources community, which supports many such scholars, to identify and submit proposals for Artstor to provide some modest financial support to digitize and catalog some of these collections.  Artstor would then maintain the collections and make them available through the Artstor Digital Library as well as through open access initiatives (especially the Digital Public Library of America, with whom we have worked as a content hub since their April 2013 launch).

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August 21, 2014

On this day: Aubrey Beardsley is born

Aubrey Beardsley, Le Morte D'Arthur; "La Beale Isoud at Joyous Gard", 1893. Image and catalog data provided by Allan T. Kohl, Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Aubrey Beardsley, Le Morte D’Arthur; “La Beale Isoud at Joyous Gard”, 1893. Image and catalog data provided by Allan T. Kohl, Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Aubrey Beardsley was born on August 21, 1872. Despite dying of tuberculosis at the young age of twenty-five in 1898, the artist managed to have a brilliant career full of controversy and scandal. He shot to fame with his illustrations for Thomas Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur in 1893, and then became notorious for his illustrations for Oscar Wilde’s Salome (1894).

Recurring images throughout his career follow two seemingly incongruous paths. There is an emphasis on sly, clever wickedness; a youthful disregard for propriety; and an interest in the perverse and profane. Overlapping imagery of melancholia and death lead the second path. These two broad and inconsistent currents each render distinct images of the same artist who was drawn to scandal and associated himself with the 1890s Symbolist crowd often scorned by the arts elite and general public alike.

The images in this post come from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and George Eastman House collections in the Artstor Digital Library.

– Elizabeth Darocha Berenz

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August 19, 2014

Capital Gate: The Leaning Tower of Abu Dhabi

Often, it is the unconventional details that lend a building its sense of character. This is certainly true of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a monument striking for its tilt of approximately 4 degrees.

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Bonanno Pisano, Campanile (Leaning Tower), exterior, 1174-1350, Pisa, Italy. (c) 2006, SCALA, Florence / ART RESOURCE, N.Y., artres.com, scalarchives.com

The tilt was even more pronounced before modern efforts at stabilization began, and by some accounts has reached 8-10 degrees in past centuries. But while stabilizing the tower has been important to its physical preservation, it may have negatively affected the church’s historical legacy. Since the Leaning Tower of Pisa was straightened out, several other buildings–mainly in Germany and Switzerland–have been vying for the slanted spotlight, as was humorously reported by the New York Times in 2012.

However, no attempt at dethroning Pisa as home to the farthest leaning building has been as bold as that of Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. Starting in 2007, the city began work on the Capital Gate, which rises at an 18-degree westward lean–more than four times that of the Leaning Tower of Pisa–along the city’s waterfront.

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July 30, 2014

Narrow your results and find what you’re looking for

Adolph Menzel | General Moltke's Binoculars, ca. 1871 | Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin | Image and original data provided by Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz

Adolph Menzel | General Moltke’s Binoculars, ca. 1871 | Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin | Image and original data provided by Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz

Ah, the problems of having 2.5+ million images to choose from: your keyword search might get you too many results! Not to worry—just filter your results!

Refine your search results by clicking on collection type, geographic area, classification (i.e. media), contributor, or date range on the filtering panel on the left of the page with your results.

You can click “Clear” next to the filter heading to go back to your full list of results. Learn more on our support site.

Updated October 2020

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July 17, 2014

Après la Bastille: the changing fortunes of Marie Antoinette

On July 14, we celebrated the storming of the Bastille, the momentous day in 1789 that marked the beginning of the French Revolution, and the beginning of the end of the monarchy.

While it is a day revered by the citoyens of France, it has come to symbolize the declining fortunes of the king and his once celebrated and later reviled wife, Marie Antoinette.

Anonymous French printmaker | Coiffure of Independence or The Triumph of Liberty | c. 1778 | Musée national de la coopération franco-américaine

Anonymous French printmaker | Coiffure of Independence or The Triumph of Liberty | c. 1778 | Musée national de la coopération franco-américaine | Photographer: Gérard Blot. Image and original data provided by Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, N.Y. artres.com

History has revised the narrative of the Queen whose apocryphal utterance “let them eat cake” allegedly flaunted her disregard for her starving subjects.

Beginning with the nineteenth-century biography by the Goncourt brothers, and the insightful study of Zweig (1932), and culminating in recent portrayals, notably Coppola’s film of 2006, and Thomas’ chronicle of Marie Antoinette’s final days, Farewell, My Queen (published in 2003 and released as a film in 2012), characterizations of the monarch have softened and become more nuanced.

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July 7, 2014

Celebrating the storming of the Bastille

Maurice Prendergast, Bastille Day; Le Quatorze Juillet, 1892. Image and data from The Cleveland Museum of Art

Maurice Prendergast, Bastille Day; Le Quatorze Juillet, 1892. Image and data from The Cleveland Museum of Art

No matter where you were in the U.S. this Fourth of July, you probably had the opportunity to enjoy the Independence Day fireworks. Now it’s our friends’ turn in France to enjoy their revolution celebration with fireworks. Bastille Day, or Le quatorze juillet, commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison in Paris on July 14, 1789. The capture of the prison marked the beginning of the French Revolution and the end of Louis XVI’s absolute monarchy. Three years later the First Republic was born.

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June 27, 2014

In the news: soccer fever

Katsushika Hokusai, Soccer, early 19th century, Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Berlin State Museums. Image and original data provided by Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz bpkgate.picturemaxx.com

Katsushika Hokusai, Soccer, early 19th century, Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Berlin State Museums. Image and original data provided by Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz
bpkgate.picturemaxx.com

By all accounts, Americans are becoming enthusiastic about soccer in unprecedented numbers. Rumor even has it that a handful of Artstor employees may have sneaked into a conference room yesterday to watch the US team confront Germany (though, when asked about the story, everyone seemed too busy with work to comment).

Of course, the game has long been popular around the world, as you can see from this slideshow of images ranging from the 17th to the 20th century, and from countries including Italy, France, Japan, Ghana, and yes, the United States.

West African; Ghanain, Stool with Two Legs and Spinning Soccer Ball, circa 1920 – 1930. Image and data from Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Henri Rousseau, The Football Players, 1908. Image and original data provided by ©The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, guggenheim.org
Henri Rousseau, The Football Players, 1908. Image and original data provided by ©The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, guggenheim.org
George Herlick, Soccer, 1937. Museum of the City of New York, mcny.org
George Herlick, Soccer, 1937. Museum of the City of New York, mcny.org
Umberto Boccioni, Dynamism of a Soccer Player, 1913. Image and original data provided by the The Museum of Modern Art, moma.org
Umberto Boccioni, Dynamism of a Soccer Player, 1913. Image and original data provided by the The Museum of Modern Art, moma.org
Jacques Callot, Piazza Santa Croce, Florence, from the Capricci; Soccer Tournament in the Piazza Santa Croce), 1617, Gabinetto disegni e stampe degli Uffizi. Image and original data provided by SCALA, Florence/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.artres.com, scalarchives.com, (c) 2006, SCALA, Florence / ART RESOURCE, N.Y.
Jacques Callot, Piazza Santa Croce, Florence, from the Capricci; Soccer Tournament in the Piazza Santa Croce), 1617, Gabinetto disegni e stampe degli Uffizi. Image and original data provided by SCALA, Florence/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.artres.com, scalarchives.com, (c) 2006, SCALA, Florence / ART RESOURCE, N.Y.

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June 26, 2014

The Museum of Natural History in The Catcher in the Rye

Visitors viewing display cases and Bird Dome, Hall of the Birds of the World, 1927, American Museum of Natural History, Photographer: H. S. Rice. Image and original data provided by Library, American Museum of Natural History

Visitors viewing display cases and Bird Dome, Hall of the Birds of the World, 1927, American Museum of Natural History, Photographer: H. S. Rice. Image and original data provided by Library, American Museum of Natural History

Visiting the Museum of Natural History was high on my list of priorities on my first trip to New York City. This was in big part due to its mention in J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye—even if, to be honest, I didn’t quite remember the role it played in the book.

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May 29, 2014

Reginald Marsh’s Coney Island

Reginald Marsh, Wonderland Circus, Sideshow Coney Island, 1930, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the State Art Museum of Florida, a division of Florida State University. © 2008 Estate of Reginald Marsh / Art Students League, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Reginald Marsh, Wonderland Circus, Sideshow Coney Island, 1930, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the State Art Museum of Florida, a division of Florida State University. © 2008 Estate of Reginald Marsh / Art Students League, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

When the weather starts getting unbearable New Yorkers—Artstor staff included—flock to the boardwalks of Brooklyn’s Coney Island or Rockaway Beach in Queens.

This ritual is nothing new and was, in fact, one of the pet subjects of Reginald Marsh (1898 –1954), an American artist famous for his paintings of New York City in the ’20s and ’30s. His city scenes are remarkable for their palpable sense of movement—bodies walk or loiter on street corners, crowds swell as New York’s lights pulsate and glow in the background.

That Marsh’s canvases seem to vibrate is due not only to his staccato brush strokes and bright, reflective colors, but also to his choice of subject matter. Rather than portray New York City’s elite, Marsh turned to everyday people and entertainments. Favorite subjects included burlesque and Vaudeville performers, pedestrians and, yes, public beaches.

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