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June 17, 2013

Wrapped Up in Lace: Chantilly

Unknown (French) |Collar (Cape Collar) ; ca. 1835 | The Metropolitan Museum of Art | Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Unknown (French) |Collar (Cape Collar) ; ca. 1835 | The Metropolitan Museum of Art | Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Lisa Hartley, Columbus College of Art Design

The small town of Chantilly, France, is home to Chantilly Castle, an architectural wonder of sandstone, antiquated fountains, and enchanting gardens. Here is where lace, my research niche and mild obsession, takes center stage. The traditions and skills used in lacemaking date back to early as the 16th century Europe where the nobility commissioned workers to create dresses, parasols, shawls and gloves in beautiful openwork fabric. Coco Chanel once said, “Lace is one of the prettiest imitations ever made of the fantasy of nature,” and we have Chantilly to applaud for its origins.

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June 17, 2013

Washington’s Secret City: Cultural Capital

Luke C. Dilton | Colored Women's League of Washington, D.C.; ca. 1894 | Eyes of the Nation: A Visual History of the United States (Library of Congress)

Luke C. Dilton | Colored Women’s League of Washington, D.C.; ca. 1894 | Eyes of the Nation: A Visual History of the United States (Library of Congress)

Amber N. Wiley, Ph.D. , Visiting Assistant Professor of Architecture, Tulane University

Historian Constance Green characterized Washington, D.C. in the early 1900s as the “undisputed center of American Negro civilization” in her 1969 book Secret City: History of Race Relations in the Nation’s Capital. This was America before the Harlem Renaissance, in which the average percentile of the capital’s black population ranged from 25-33% throughout the nineteenth century. This population peaked between 1960 and 1990. This black Washington spans from the antebellum period through abolitionism, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, Civil Rights, Black Power, Parliament’s “Chocolate City,” and the so-called “post-racial” Obama era.

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June 17, 2013

Alexandria, The City

Placido Costanzi |Alexander the Great Founding Alexandria; 1736-1737 | The Walters Art Museum

Placido Costanzi |Alexander the Great Founding Alexandria; 1736-1737 | The Walters Art Museum

Marlene Nakagawa, Undergraduate student at the University of Oregon

During his ongoing series of campaigns, Alexander the Great founded or renamed nearly twenty cities after himself. From Pakistan to Turkey, these cities stood as a representation (as if one was necessary) of his omnipresence in the ancient world. Over the centuries, most of the Alexandrian cities have been destroyed, renamed, or absorbed into other territories. However, west of the Nile Delta stands Alexander’s lasting triumph: Alexandria, Egypt’s largest seaport and a dynamic force in the country’s ancient and modern economy.

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June 17, 2013

Shushtar: A Town to Tame Water

ordered by Shapur I | Dam and Bridge at Shushtar; c. 260 | Image and original data provided by Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

Ordered by Shapur I | Dam and Bridge at Shushtar; c. 260 | Image and original data provided by Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

Peyvand Firouzeh, PhD Candidate, University of Cambridge

Aridity in the Islamic world stands in contrast to the well-known landscape architecture of Islamic gardens, where water is used generously and luxuriously. The contrast hints at creative methods of dealing with water scarcity: from man-made canals and reservoirs to cisterns and qanats (subterranean tunnel-wells), examples of which can be seen in my image group, “Water Management in the Islamic World.” These solutions not only responded to the scarcity of water, but also made efficient use of the water that was unusable or inaccessible for agricultural purposes.

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June 14, 2013

Happy Father’s Day from Artstor

Anthony van Dyck | Portrait of a father with his son, also called Portrait of Guillaume Richardot and his son; 1618-1619 | Musée du Louvre | Image and original data provided by Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, N.Y.; artres.com

Anthony van Dyck | Portrait of a father with his son, also called Portrait of Guillaume Richardot and his son; 1618-1619 | Musée du Louvre | Image and original data provided by Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, N.Y.; artres.com

Happy Father’s Day! Every year on the third Sunday of June we celebrate our dads – whether or not they’re as stylish as the one in this portrait by Anthony van Dyke in the Musée du Louvre, courtesy of the Réunion des Musées Nationaux.

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June 12, 2013

Now available: Shared Shelf support for Omeka.net users

omeka-logo

Good news: Shared Shelf subscribers can now bulk-publish image files and associated metadata to collections in Omeka.net.

With the Shared Shelf Link plugin, metadata is mapped to Omeka’s Dublin Core fields from customizable schemas in Shared Shelf to publish projects to an Omeka.net site.

To get started using this plugin, contact Shared Shelf Support.

Want to find out more about Shared Shelf? Watch this short video.

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June 10, 2013

Announcing the winners of the ARTstor Travel Award 2013!

Ordered by Shapur I | Dam and Bridge at Shushtar; c. 260 | Shushtar, Iran | Islamic Art and Architecture Collection (Sheila Blair, Jonathan Bloom, Walter Denny)

Ordered by Shapur I | Dam and Bridge at Shushtar; c. 260 | Shushtar, Iran | Islamic Art and Architecture Collection (Sheila Blair, Jonathan Bloom, Walter Denny)

Congratulations to the five winners of this year’s ARTstor Travel Awards! They will each receive $1,500 to be used for their teaching and research travel needs over the course of the next year. The winning essays and accompanying images will be posted in the blog in the near future.

Our thanks to everyone who submitted an essay. Our committee was very impressed by the creative ways that our users integrate the images in the ARTstor Digital Library into their teaching and research. We hope to feature notable submissions from runners up in the blog throughout the year.

The ARTstor Travel Awards 2013 winning essays are:

Peyvand Firouzeh, PhD Candidate, University of Cambridge
Shushtar: A Town to Tame Water

The aridity of the Middle East stands in contrast to the landscape architecture of Islamic gardens, where water is used generously and luxuriously. The contrast hints at creative methods of dealing with water scarcity: from man-made canals and reservoirs to cisterns and qanats (subterranean tunnel-wells). Firouzeh focuses on Shushtar, a town in southwest Iran, by looking at the ways its inhabitants applied to tame water, making the nearby river not only a resource for the essentials, but also an amenity for leisure.

Lisa Hartley, Student Services Associate, Columbus College of Art Design
Wrapped Up in Lace: Chantilly

Coco Chanel called lace “one of the prettiest imitations ever made of the fantasy of nature,” and Hartley introduces us to Chantilly, the tiny town in France where the craft originated. The traditions and skills used there date back as early as the 16th century, when European nobility commissioned workers to create dresses, parasols, shawls, and gloves in beautiful openwork fabric.

Anne C. Leader, Art History Professor, Savannah College of Art and Design-Atlanta
Florence: City of the Living, City of the Dead

While the primary motivation for patrons of religious architecture and decoration was to gain or retain God’s grace, Florentine tomb monuments manifest a conflicting mix of piety and social calculation, reflecting tension between Christian humility and social recognition. Leader’s essay reconstructs the rich mosaic of tomb markers that once covered the floors, walls, and yards of the Florentine cityscape to bring us closer to how Florentines experienced the deaths and memories of their kin, friends, and competitors in the early modern city.

Marlene Nakagawa, Undergraduate student at the University of Oregon
Alexandria: The City

From Pakistan to Turkey, Alexander the Great founded or renamed nearly twenty cities after himself as a representation of his omnipresence in the ancient world. Over the centuries, most of these Alexandrian cities have been destroyed, renamed, or absorbed into other territories. Nakagawa introduces to the major exception: Alexandria, Egypt’s largest seaport, which continues to be a dynamic force in the country’s ancient and modern economy.

Amber N. Wiley, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor of Architecture, Tulane University
Washington’s Secret City: Cultural Capital

African Americans made up from a quarter to a third of Washington, D.C.’s population throughout the nineteenth century, and historian Constance Green characterized the capital in the early 1900s as the “undisputed center of American Negro civilization.” This population peaked between 1960 and 1990. Wiley’s submission tells the story of African Americans in Washington and their significant contribution to the nation’s capital since its founding in 1790.

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May 13, 2013

Fashion from the Great Gatsby’s roaring twenties

Left: Jeanne Lanvin | Ensemble, Evening; Summer 1923. Right: Jeanne Lanvin | Suit, Evening (Tuxedo); 1927. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art | Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Left: Jeanne Lanvin | Ensemble, Evening; Summer 1923. Right: Jeanne Lanvin | Suit, Evening (Tuxedo); 1927. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art | Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

“I noticed that she wore her evening dress, all her dresses, like sports clothes—there was a jauntiness about her movements as if she had first learned to walk upon a golf course on clean, crisp, mornings.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

The recent movie adaptation of The Great Gatsby has turned the spotlight on the fashion and styles of the Roaring Twenties. So what made the twenties roar?

The economic boom was decisive. Soldiers came home from World War I to jobs in manufacturing plants ready to turn from war production to consumer goods; with the flourishing economy, many commodities became affordable for the first time. Another key engine for progress was the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which granted women the right to vote. It was signed into law in 1920, heralding unprecedented liberation. The twenties were also a pivotal time for mass communication: radio, cinema, and the automobile sped up the distribution of information—and trends.

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May 3, 2013

May is National Barbecue Month, allegedly

Alfred Jacob Miller | Roasting The Hump Rib, 1858-1860 | The Walters Art Museum

Alfred Jacob Miller | Roasting The Hump Rib, 1858-1860 | The Walters Art Museum

May is National Barbecue Month, allegedly. Why the hedging? Because the closest to an official citation we could find was this post on the USDA blog from 2012. But we’ll go with it because a) it gives us the excuse to post this mid-19th century watercolor from The Walters Art Museum, b) we like barbecue, and c) it’s close to lunchtime.

View this image in the Artstor Digital Library to read the metadata, which includes the artist’s mouthwatering description of how the ribs are cooked.

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April 25, 2013

Celebrating National Bike Month

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec | La Chaine Simpson (bicycle chains), 1896 | Image and original data provided by Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.; artres.com

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec | La Chaine Simpson (bicycle chains), 1896 | Image and original data provided by Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.; artres.com

May is National Bike Month! Did you know that there are more than a billion bicycles worldwide? Perhaps more surprisingly, the basic configuration of a bicycle hasn’t changed much from the chain-driven model developed around 1885.

Amed T. Thibault | Bicycle, Livery, Carriage, and Paint Shop Trade Sign, 1895-1905 | American Folk Art Museum; folkartmuseum.org

Amed T. Thibault | Bicycle, Livery, Carriage, and Paint Shop Trade Sign, 1895-1905 | American Folk Art Museum; folkartmuseum.org

The first pedal-propelled bicycle was reputedly invented by Kirkpatrick MacMillan in Scotland in 1839. While not everyone agrees on his breakthrough, it is widely accepted that MacMillan was the first person to be charged with a cycling traffic offense in 1842 after he was fined five shillings for knocking over a little girl.

In the early 1860s, bicycle design was improved in France by a crank drive with pedals and a larger front wheel that allowed the rider to travel farther with every rotation of the pedals. The model soon developed into the “penny-farthing,” which boasted wheels with solid rubber tires mounted on a tubular steel frame. While certainly formidable-looking, the high placement of the seat and the poor weight distribution made it difficult to ride.

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