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December 19, 2013

Take Artstor home for the holidays!

Byron Company | Cantilever Aero Co., Aeroplane, Christmas Bullet, at factory Babylon, L.I | 1919 | Museum of the City of New York

Byron Company | Cantilever Aero Co., Aeroplane, Christmas Bullet, at factory Babylon, L.I | 1919 | Museum of the City of New York

Wishing you could access the Artstor Digital Library at home over the winter break? You can! One of the many benefits of registering for an Artstor account is the ability to access the Digital Library away from campus.

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December 18, 2013

Colby College’s Winter Wonderland

This post has been updated to include new information about Artstor’s public collections, formerly made available in Shared Shelf Commons.
1952 Winter Carnival | Colbiana Photographs | Colby College Special Collections, Waterville, Maine

1952 Winter Carnival | Colbiana Photographs | Colby College Special Collections, Waterville, Maine

Virginia Duggan, Winter Carnival Queen | Colbiana Photographs | Colby College Special Collections, Waterville, Maine

Virginia Duggan, Winter Carnival Queen | Colbiana Photographs | Colby College Special Collections, Waterville, Maine

Maine is famous for its winters, and understandably so – snow accumulation can reach up to 10 feet in parts of the state. This offers an irresistible opportunity for play, as you can see in these vintage photographs from the ’40s and ’50s.

The images come from the Colbiana Collection at Maine’s Colby College. The archive is composed of Colby’s historical records from 1813 to the present, and many of its photographs are openly available in Artstor’s public collections. Among the treasures to be found are the college’s first campus in downtown Waterville, the construction of the current campus on Mayflower Hill, as well as images of faculty and students making merry in the snow.

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December 17, 2013

On this day: ice-skating weather

William M. Vander Weyde | Ice Skating | ca. 1900 | George Eastman House

William M. Vander Weyde | Ice Skating | ca. 1900 | George Eastman House

It’s snowing today in New York City and crowds are lining up to skate at the legendary ice rink at Rockefeller Center, with its sparkling light displays and famous holiday tree. If I visit this year, it’ll be as a spectator only, since I’ve never ice skated in my life. Sad, I know, but I have a good excuse—I grew up in extremely warm areas of Mexico and Texas, so I didn’t have many opportunities to learn. But that doesn’t stop me from admiring skaters. I love their graceful gliding, and enjoy seeing the camaraderie that spontaneously develops when groups of people converge on the ice. Evidently I’m not alone, judging from the many depictions of skating groups in the Artstor Digital Library.

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December 6, 2013

Teaching with Artstor: The wondrous abyss of puppetry

Daniel Meader | Marionette Head and Torso | Image and data from Detroit Institute of Arts

Daniel Meader | Marionette Head and Torso | Image and data from Detroit Institute of Arts

By Mark Branner, University of Hawaii, Manoa

Nigerian | Puppet: Ekon Society | Seattle Art Museum; seattleartmuseum.org

Nigerian | Puppet: Ekon Society | Seattle Art Museum; seattleartmuseum.org

I have the great privilege of teaching an introductory college-level course on puppetry. Even though it is an introductory course, it is actually classified as an upper division course, which means that I generally have juniors and seniors straggling in, looking for an easy “basket-weaving” escape. There are even sniggers from some of the participants when I ask them why they are in the class. This is all pretty understandable. Just put the words together: “College. Puppets.” Already it feels like a bad Saturday Night Live sketch. No, we’re not saving the world (or destroying it) through biomedical engineering. We’re not planning a manned mission to Venus. We’re studying puppets, for crying out loud. What’s the earthly value in that?

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November 26, 2013

200 turtles: the Field Guide to Biodiversity in Artstor

Rob Stevenson  | Snapping Turtle Upclose View of Face |2004 | UMASS Boston;  Field Guide of Biodiversity Images |Photographic credit: Susan Speak

Rob Stevenson | Snapping Turtle Upclose View of Face |2004 | UMASS Boston; Field Guide of Biodiversity Images |Photographic credit: Susan Speak

Rob Stevenson’s Electronic Field Guide Project’s image collection is composed of more than 200 images of turtles, many of them photographed by Susan Speak. Stevenson is an Associate Professor in the Biology Department at UMass Boston, where he works on problems related to conservation physiology, environmental informatics, and science education.

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November 25, 2013

Dynamic L.A.: Images from the Julius Shulman Photography Archive

Kaufmann House by architect Richard Neutra Palm Springs, CA, 1947. © J. Paul Getty Trust. Used with permission. Julius Shulman Photography Archive, Research Library at the Getty Research Institute (2004.R.10)

Kaufmann House by architect Richard Neutra Palm Springs, CA, 1947. © J. Paul Getty Trust. Used with permission. Julius Shulman Photography Archive, Research Library at the Getty Research Institute (2004.R.10)

by Laura Schroffel, Library Assistant in Special Collections Cataloging at the Getty Research Institute

Co-published with The Iris, the online magazine of the Getty.

The Getty Research Institute recently collaborated with the Artstor Digital Library to digitize and share approximately 6,500 images from the Julius Shulman photography archive, series II and III. The work of American architectural photographer Julius Shulman (1910– 2009) comprises the most comprehensive visual chronology of modern architecture in the Americas, with a detailed focus on the development of the Los Angeles region. Spanning 70 years, it is a critical visual record of the metropolis’s evolution. The images are available now both on the Artstor Digital Library and in the Getty Research Institute’s digital collections.

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November 13, 2013

Michelangelo’s Last Judgment—uncensored

Some of the more controversial nudity in Michelangelo’s Last Judgment was painted over the year after the artist’s death. Those additions were left intact when the Last Judgment was restored in the 1990s, but thanks to a farsighted cardinal we can see what the fresco looked like before it was censored.

Left: Michelangelo Buonarroti | Last Judgment | 1534-41 | Sistine Chapel, Vatican. Right: Marcello Venusti | Last Judgment | Museo e gallerie nazionali di Capodimonte | Images and original data provided by SCALA, Florence/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.; artres.com | (c) 2006, SCALA, Florence/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.

Left: Michelangelo Buonarroti | Last Judgment | 1534-41 | Sistine Chapel, Vatican. Right: Marcello Venusti | Last Judgment | Museo e gallerie nazionali di Capodimonte | Images and original data provided by SCALA, Florence/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.; artres.com | (c) 2006, SCALA, Florence/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.

The Last Judgment was commissioned for the Sistine Chapel by Pope Clement VII just a few days before his death. Michelangelo hadn’t even finished the fresco before controversy erupted over its unclothed figures.

Not long after the painting’s completion, the Council of Trent condemned nudity in religious art, decreeing that “all lasciviousness be avoided; in such wise that figures shall not be painted or adorned with a beauty exciting to lust.” Clement’s successor Pope Pius IV complied with the tenet, and in 1565, the year after Michelangelo’s death, had the more controversial nudity painted over by Daniele da Volterra, earning the artist the nickname Il Braghetonne, “the breeches-maker.” Da Volterra also substantially repainted the figures of Saint Catherine and Saint Blaise, whose positions were considered unseemly. Further coverings were added in the 17th and 18th centuries.

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November 11, 2013

Small Format, Big Style: Images from the Alexander Liberman Photography Archive

Caption: An afternoon at the Libermans’, 1963. Left to right, Lawrence Alloway, Beatrice Leval, Barnett Newman, Alexander Liberman, Sylvia Sleigh, Robert Motherwell, and Annalee Newman. Liberman’s ever-present Leica camera is on the table. The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, (2000.R.19). © J. Paul Getty Trust.

Caption: An afternoon at the Libermans’, 1963. Left to right, Lawrence Alloway, Beatrice Leval, Barnett Newman, Alexander Liberman, Sylvia Sleigh, Robert Motherwell, and Annalee Newman. Liberman’s ever-present Leica camera is on the table. The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, (2000.R.19). © J. Paul Getty Trust.

by Emmabeth Nanol, library assistant in Special Collections Cataloging at the Getty Research Institute

Co-published with The Iris, the online magazine of the Getty.

The Getty Research Institute recently partnered with the Artstor Digital Library to digitize and make available approximately 1,500 selections from the Alexander Liberman photography archive, from the series “Artists and Personalities.” These selections from the archive, which holds nearly 150,000 items, were inspired by Liberman’s publications, most notably The Artist in His Studio. The images are available now both via Artstor and the GRI’s digital collections.

A prolific photographer since his childhood, Liberman enthusiastically identified with the candid documentary style of the 35mm camera and its grainy aesthetic—almost all of the images in the archive were captured using 35mm. He admired the camera’s journalistic aesthetic, its soft focus, and how it disintegrated background details.

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November 8, 2013

Artstor named “best overall” database by Library Journal

We are thrilled to have been named as one of the two “best overall” databases of 2013 along with JSTOR by Library Journal. Lura Sanborn, reference librarian at St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH is quoted as saying that “Both databases are ‘classics worth owning,’” and adding “My library simply could not get by without JSTOR and Artstor.” Read all the reviews here.

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November 3, 2013

On this day: Daylight Saving Time ends

 Designer: Jean-Antoine Lepine; Painter: Joseph Coteau, | Astronomical Mantel Timepiece | about 1789 | Image and data from: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts Collection


Designer: Jean-Antoine Lepine; Painter: Joseph Coteau, | Astronomical Mantel Timepiece | about 1789 | Image and data from: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts Collection

Daylight Saving Time ended last night, which gives you an extra hour today to enjoy our slideshow of beautiful clocks and watches.

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