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May 16, 2011

Winners of the Artstor Travel Award 2011

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.

Artstor would like to thank all of the participants for their wonderful submissions. We are very inspired by the ways our community teach and study with the Digital Library, and we have learned from you new ways in which we can grow our collections and services. Your continued use and support of the Digital Library in your daily work is vital to the Artstor mission.

We received more than 100 submissions that revealed the many creative ways that scholars, curators, educators, and students at universities, community colleges, museums, K-12 schools, and libraries are integrating Artstor Digital Library image collections into their interdisciplinary teaching and research.

 

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May 16, 2011

Case study: Picturing Animals

Keri Cronin

Department of Visual Arts faculty, Brock University

Albrecht Dürer, Hare (A Young Hare), 1502. Source Image and original data prErich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archivesovided by /ART RESOURCE, N.Y. artres.com

In January 2011 I launched a new senior-level undergraduate course called “Picturing Animals.” This is a research-intensive course that explores the history of visual culture through a thematic focus on representations of nonhuman animals. From Albrecht Dürer to Damien Hirst, we take a critical look at how and why artists have chosen to represent the animal body at various points in human history. Through discussions, readings and presentations we then situate these art histories in a broader visual context by considering other related instances in which the animal body plays a dominant visual role, including science, natural history, religion, animal welfare activism, the entertainment industry, and fashion.

I often draw on Artstor in preparation for these classes, as the range of images available in this database is broad and interdisciplinary. For this class I need to go beyond “Fine Art”-type images and this is where I find Artstor to be particularly useful. In addition to Landseer, Bonheur, Stubbs and other famous animal painters, I can also find editorial cartoons, tapestries, circus posters and scientific images in Artstor. It is easy to bring these different kinds of images together for critical analysis and discussion using image groups and folders.

Giovanni Francesco Castiglione, A Congress of Animals, 1641-1710. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Giovanni Francesco Castiglione, A Congress of Animals, 1641-1710. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Pieter Boel, Views of a Porcupine, c. 1669-1671. Musée des Beaux Arts, Rennes, France. Photo Credit: Erich Lessing/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.
Pieter Boel, Views of a Porcupine, c. 1669-1671. Musée des Beaux Arts, Rennes, France. Photo Credit: Erich Lessing/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.
Albrecht Dürer, Hare (A Young Hare), 1502. Graphische Sammlung Albertina. Photo Credit: Erich Lessing/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.
Albrecht Dürer, Hare (A Young Hare), 1502. Graphische Sammlung Albertina. Photo Credit: Erich Lessing/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.
Elsa Schiaparelli, Coat, Evening 1931-1932. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Elsa Schiaparelli, Coat, Evening 1931-1932. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Eadweard J. Muybridge , Trotting; sulky; breaking to gallop; sorrel mare, Flode Holden, ca. 1884 - 1887. George Eastman House
Eadweard J. Muybridge , Trotting; sulky; breaking to gallop; sorrel mare, Flode Holden, ca. 1884 - 1887. George Eastman House

One particularly interesting set of discussions we have had in this course is the use of the animal body as a component in the production of art and visual culture. Here, for example, we contrast the ways in which artists like Damien Hirst or Mark Dion incorporate animal bodies directly into their works with the history of animal bodies in artists’ materials (e.g.: dyes and pigments derived from cochineal insects). For this class I was delighted to find examples of clothing dyed with cochineal in the Artstor database.

In another instance we looked at the historical differences (and similarities!) that exist in the use of imagery by animal welfare/rights activists. We looked, for instance, at the ways in which groups such as the Victoria Street Society for the Protection of Animals from Vivisection or the Massachusetts SPCA recontextualized such well-known images as Sir Edwin Landseer’s A Distinguished Member of the Humane Society. In that same discussion, we analyzed some of the recent photographic campaigns produced by PETA.

One of the major assignments in this course is a 20 page research paper on some aspect of “Picturing Animals.” The students in the inaugural run of this course have done a phenomenal job of coming up with diverse research topics reflective of course themes. In many instances, the students were able to develop their topic through exploring imagery in Artstor, taking, for example, a term or an image from class discussions and using that as a keyword in the database to find related material.

In short, Artstor is a valuable tool for interdisciplinary courses because of both the range of material available in the database and the functionality of such features as “Advanced Search” and the ability to make image groups.

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May 16, 2011

Artstor: Making the Case for ‘Real’ Paintings in the Classroom

Elizabeth Perkins

Columbia University graduate student

While reading through conservation records at the National Gallery in Washington, I found many references to Giovanni Bellini’s fingerprints all over the faces in his portraits. I squinted and stared in the gallery, but despite my best efforts and the indulgence of a lenient security guard, I could not get close enough. Returning home and finding a fantastic image of Bellini’s Portrait of a Young Man on Artstor, I finally saw those fingerprints, and they took my breath away. As a developing scholar, the resources that Artstor provides allows me follow up in way that was not possible for earlier generations of art historians.

Giovanni Bellini, Portrait of a Young Man, c. 1490. The National Gallery of Art.
Giovanni Bellini, Portrait of a Young Man, c. 1490. The National Gallery of Art.
Giovanni Bellini, Portrait of a Young Man, c. 1490. The National Gallery of Art.
Giovanni Bellini, Portrait of a Young Man, c. 1490. The National Gallery of Art.
Jan van Eyck, The Arnolfini Portrait, 1434. National Gallery, London. Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives. Photo Credit: Erich Lessing/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.
Jan van Eyck, The Arnolfini Portrait, 1434. National Gallery, London. Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives. Photo Credit: Erich Lessing/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.
Jan van Eyck, The Arnolfini Portrait, 1434. National Gallery, London. Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives. Photo Credit: Erich Lessing/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.
Jan van Eyck, The Arnolfini Portrait, 1434. National Gallery, London. Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives. Photo Credit: Erich Lessing/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.
Jan van Eyck, Man in a Red Turban, 1433. National Gallery, London. Photo Credit: Erich Lessing/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.
Jan van Eyck, Man in a Red Turban, 1433. National Gallery, London. Photo Credit: Erich Lessing/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.
Jan van Eyck, Man in a Red Turban, 1433. National Gallery, London. Photo Credit: Erich Lessing/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.
Jan van Eyck, Man in a Red Turban, 1433. National Gallery, London. Photo Credit: Erich Lessing/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.
Agnolo Bronzino, Ritratto di Lucrezia Panciatichi, c. 1540. Galleria degli Uffizi. (c) 2006, SCALA, Florence / ART RESOURCE, N.Y.
Agnolo Bronzino, Ritratto di Lucrezia Panciatichi, c. 1540. Galleria degli Uffizi. (c) 2006, SCALA, Florence / ART RESOURCE, N.Y.
Agnolo Bronzino, Ritratto di Lucrezia Panciatichi, c. 1540. Galleria degli Uffizi. (c) 2006, SCALA, Florence / ART RESOURCE, N.Y.
Agnolo Bronzino, Ritratto di Lucrezia Panciatichi, c. 1540. Galleria degli Uffizi. (c) 2006, SCALA, Florence / ART RESOURCE, N.Y.

When I began designing an undergraduate course on Renaissance portraiture for Columbia’s summer session in 2010, I was pleased to find a wealth of high resolution images to teach from on Artstor. Given the incredible quality of the images from collections like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, would the students avoid entering the actual museum? Would they be content with the images on their computer screens? I could not help but fear that I would have to make a case for looking at “real” paintings. My initial fears were soon put to rest, for Artstor itself made the case for me.

We met at Metropolitan Museum of Art on the second day of class. Each student chose two portraits for class presentations, and I instructed them to get to know their paintings, both in the museum and through the images on Artstor. The combination of in-person and at-home viewing produced extraordinary results. It engendered a number of aha! moments for the students, as the students were given two modes of accessing their works of art. They learned how to look closely and discern aspects of a painting’s history from its very surface. The ability to save a detailed view of an image was enormously helpful; at home students could save specific details to present in class. Rather than flipping quickly through slides, we moved slowly about the paintings, one inch at a time. Through close examination of the paint itself, we made connections between Italy and northern Europe, portraiture and religious works.

The students noticed how Antonello da Messina altered way he painted flesh in the dead Christ and the living; they observed how Giovanni Bellini changed his style from bold to a softly blended layers of oil. We confronted difficult issues of style, and were able to acknowledge how sometimes a damaged area can change the overall appearance of a painting. When we came to Giovanni Bellini, they were no less amazed than I was by the resolution of that image. In an interesting twist, the best images on Artstor encouraged a healthy and irreversible dissatisfaction with two-dimensional reproductions. Having seen a five-hundred-year-old fingerprint, my students could not wait to get out of my classroom and back to the museum, to the real things, and I could not have been happier about it.

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May 16, 2011

A Shakespeare Gallery

Julia Reinhard Lupton

Professor of English and Comparative Literature, The University of California, Irvine

With its extraordinary image collection and sensitive search functions, Artstor has changed the way I teach Shakespeare. Images of the Globe Theater and panoramic maps of Elizabethan London set the stage for our engagement with the plays. When teaching The Merchant of Venice and Othello, I use paintings by Venetian artists to introduce students to this city of canals, carnival, and liturgical spectacle. Ignazio Danti’s full-color map provides an aerial view of the city in Shakespeare’s century. Veronese’s Wedding at Cana puts the cosmopolitan world of sixteenth-century Venice on extravagant display, with an African cup-bearer, turbaned Turks and Moors, court musicians, fantastical wedding costumes, and a stage-like setting. Gentile Bellini’s Procession in Piazza San Marco graphs the political and theological axes of public pageantry in Renaissance Venice. A thoughtful illumination of a man and woman dressed for carnival gives further insight into the Venetian theater of life. Jacob de Barbari’s woodcut map of Venice provides a detail of the Jewish ghetto, which I supplement with photographs of the ghetto today. Images of Epiphany kings represent noble Africans as members of a Pauline community, a theme tapped by Shakespeare in Othello.

Sandro Botticelli, The Third Episode of the Story of Nastagio degli Onesti, 1483. (c) 2006, SCALA, Florence / ART RESOURCE, N.Y.
Sandro Botticelli, The Third Episode of the Story of Nastagio degli Onesti, 1483. (c) 2006, SCALA, Florence / ART RESOURCE, N.Y.
Jacopo del Sellaio, Banquet of Ahasuerus, c. 1490. Galleria degli Uffizi .(c) 2006, SCALA, Florence/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.
Jacopo del Sellaio, Banquet of Ahasuerus, c. 1490. Galleria degli Uffizi .(c) 2006, SCALA, Florence/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.
Venice: Map of City, 16th C
Venice: Map of City, 16th C
Globe Theatre (Southwark, London, England), Ref.: development 1580-90(i): possible intermediate steps in the early development of English theaters
Globe Theatre (Southwark, London, England), Ref.: development 1580-90(i): possible intermediate steps in the early development of English theaters
Paolo Veronese, Marriage at Cana; detail, 1563. Musée du Louvre. Photo Credit: Erich Lessing/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.
Paolo Veronese, Marriage at Cana; detail, 1563. Musée du Louvre. Photo Credit: Erich Lessing/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.

When I teach A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Winter’s Tale, I develop the extensive analogies between the metamorphic, seasonal, and amatory mythologies of Shakespeare’s plays and Botticelli’s Primavera. All three works display the glorious weave of holiday celebration, natural history, mythography, and courtship narratives in the Renaissance society of festival. I supplement Botticelli with examples of medieval and Renaissance calendar art. We also discuss the cassone tradition (marriage chests painted with mythological scenes) and their relevance to both the artistic output of Botticelli and the ways in which humanists and artisans in northern Europe wove classical mythology into the décor of daily life through tapestries, embroideries, and other household objects.

The Taming of the Shrew draws on falconry and animal husbandry discourses, which I introduce to students through medieval falconry guides. I also fill out Shakespeare’s bestiary with images of the hunt and animal social life.

I illuminate Richard II through the Wilton Diptych, a portable votive portrait depicting the coronation of the King by Mary and a host of angels. The painting demonstrates the power of political theology in Richard’s lifetime, tropes that Shakespeare both takes apart and rebuilds over the course of his play.

Banquets figure as settings for key scenes in plays as diverse as Romeo and Juliet, Timon of Athens, and The Taming of the Shrew. At court, Shakespeare’s plays were performed in banqueting houses. Images of Renaissance banquets bring to life the intimate relationship between hospitality, commensality and theater in the Renaissance.

Finally, in addition to these more historical and illustrative uses of visual art, I design backdrops for student readings of scenes from Shakespeare using Artstor images (often updated in Photoshop). By projecting the images against a screen, I can create instant environments for our in-class performances, greatly enhancing student learning and experience.

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May 16, 2011

Online teaching and architectural solutions to climate problems in the Islamic world

Colette Apelian

Fine Art faculty, Berkeley City College

As the Islamic art historian in the Art Department of Berkeley City College (BCC), I explain how North African to South Asian art and architecture are relevant to design students less familiar with pre-modern and non-western material cultures. Course logistics add to the challenge. Art 48VR, Introduction to Islamic Art History, is one of the few, if not the only online survey of Islamic art presented to a community college audience. To better address student needs, I organize the class thematically rather than chronologically, and focus upon a carefully chosen combination of fine and utilitarian objects and buildings. Presentations must be compressed so that BCC’s course management system, Moodle, properly stores and displays them. An example of how I use Artstor in Art 48VR can be viewed in one image group for the lecture “Architectural Solutions to Climate Problems in the Islamic World.”

Reed building screen, detail, Morocco. Image: 1982. Image and original data provided by Walter B. Denny
Reed building screen, detail, Morocco. Image: 1982. Image and original data provided by Walter B. Denny
Bagh-e Fin, exterior, through screen of entrance portal, toward court. Image: 1978. Image and original data provided by Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom
Bagh-e Fin, exterior, through screen of entrance portal, toward court. Image: 1978. Image and original data provided by Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom
Alhambra Palace - (Partal Gardens), Granada, Spain, Main construction 14th century. Image and original data provided by Shmuel Magal, Sites and Photos
Alhambra Palace - (Partal Gardens), Granada, Spain, Main construction 14th century. Image and original data provided by Shmuel Magal, Sites and Photos
'Alawi Abu Bakr al-Kaf, Dar al-Salam, Exterior, Image: 2005. Tarim, the Hadramaut Valley, Yemen. James Conlon: Mali and Yemen Sites and Architecture
'Alawi Abu Bakr al-Kaf, Dar al-Salam, Exterior, Image: 2005. Tarim, the Hadramaut Valley, Yemen. James Conlon: Mali and Yemen Sites and Architecture
Alhambra Palace - (Generalife Market Garden),Granada, Spain. Begun in the early 14th century, redecorated in 1313-1324. Image and original data provided by Shmuel Magal, Sites and Photos
Alhambra Palace - (Generalife Market Garden),Granada, Spain. Begun in the early 14th century, redecorated in 1313-1324. Image and original data provided by Shmuel Magal, Sites and Photos

In addition to illustrating specific motifs, pictures in the group show technology, materials, and plans that naturally temper hot and dry conditions. There are reed, mud brick, stone, and wooden screens (musharabiyya and jails, among other terms), which are used to mitigate the sun’s glare and heat in North African, Middle Eastern, Central Asian, and Indian contexts. Screens also allow air to flow freely while preserving privacy and demarcating private and religious spaces from public and secular locales. There is an Iranian badgir (wind tower) at Mir Chaqmaq (1436-37 CE) that, without electricity, circulates fresh and cool air through multi-story structures. An example from the United Arab Emirates indicates how the idea spread. The image group additionally has historic to contemporary mud brick architecture from Egypt and Yemen. Mud brick insulates interiors from excessive heat and cold, uses inexpensive local resources, and can been crafted into a multitude of styles, including quasi-Rococo and neo-Classical in some Yemeni examples. Images of the Alhambra in Spain, Bagh-e Fin in Iran, and the Sahrij Madrassa in Morocco display architects’ and engineers’ use of water channels, pools, and fountains to cool and hydrate. Medieval waterwheels and a recent qanat demonstrate more methods to harness natural power and supply water. In Egypt and Morocco, central courtyard planned structures and narrow urban streets flanked by windowless buildings cool private and public spaces while providing light, seclusion, and ventilation.

Artstor has helped me create digital bridges between students, subject matter, and Moodle in other ways. I have most appreciated the ability to create presentations in OIV 3.1. After organizing and downloading an image group to my laptop, OIV allows me to create a slide show quickly complete with captions and copyright information. The opportunity to choose compression levels means few size problems when uploading to the course website. Artstor’s varied content has also helped me be more efficient. I can find most of the images I need in one location without additional searches, imports, and scans.

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May 16, 2011

Teaching with Artstor: Teaching Shapes, Colors and Size to Young Children

Jacquelyn DeLombard

Beginnings Pre-School owner/teacher, Philadelphia Museum of Art Teacher Resource Center volunteer

Several weeks ago, the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten children from Beginnings Learning Center were at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) for one of the five lessons they attend during the school year. For the program, “Museum Looks and Picture Books,” PMA had sent the book, A Chair for my Mother, to school for the children to read prior to their visit, and now the class was following the guide to the American Wing to look at and discuss chairs. All of a sudden a child yelled, “Look! There’s Chuck Close! I want to go look at the rectangles and squares!”

Mark Rothko, No. 13 (White, Red on Yellow)1958. Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Mark Rothko, No. 13 (White, Red on Yellow)1958. Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Jean (Hans) Arp, Objects Arranged According to the Law of Chance, 1930. The MoMA. © 2009 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Jean (Hans) Arp, Objects Arranged According to the Law of Chance, 1930. The MoMA. © 2009 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
ordered by Sultan Mehmed II, Topkapi Palace; Outer Court; Tiled Kiosk interior,Istanbul, Turkey, 1473. Image and original data provided by Walter B. Denny
ordered by Sultan Mehmed II, Topkapi Palace; Outer Court; Tiled Kiosk interior,Istanbul, Turkey, 1473. Image and original data provided by Walter B. Denny
Various quiltmakers, Surprise Quilt Presented to Mary A. Grow, 1856. American Folk Art Museum
Various quiltmakers, Surprise Quilt Presented to Mary A. Grow, 1856. American Folk Art Museum

Obviously the children not only knew their shapes, but also were very familiar with Chuck Close, who had previously been the artist of the month in their classroom, and thanks to Artstor’s zoomable images were very aware of the shapes he used in his work.

Children are taught to recognize and classify objects around them according to the attributes of shape, size, and color. These are the basics for nearly all learning that follows: writing, reading, mathematics, and even common household tasks like matching their socks or putting away their toys. For years preschool teachers have collected picture files from magazines, calendars and discarded posters and artwork because, next to a concrete object, an image is the clearest way to teach a young child something new. With the images from Artstor, the teacher is able to use works of art to teach very young children the simplest concepts of shape, size, and color, and continue to the more complex as children are ready for additional attributes or combinations thereof. At the same time, the children are almost incidentally learning the names of the works of art and their creators.

With the images projected in front of them, they can create their own shapes in a variety of media: paint, shaving cream, chocolate pudding, or catsup. They can compare what they see in the images to things found in their own classroom: rectangular windows, circular tables, and the rhythm band triangle. On the way home they will see traffic signs and understand what they mean by the shape long before they can read the words. (Of course everything in the preschool environment is labeled, giving them the opportunity to compare the word to the object.) So when the children recognized the Chuck Close painting AND the shapes in it at the museum, the teacher knew they really understood what they had been taught.

This essay was a 2011 Artstor Travel Awards winner.

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May 9, 2011

Artstor Is… Asian Studies

Hindu temple at Pandrethan, south side of temple, Ca. eighth to ninth century, Jammu and Kashmir, India. The John C. and Susan L. Huntington Archive of Buddhist and Related Art, The Ohio State University

Hindu temple at Pandrethan, south side of temple, Ca. eighth to ninth century, Jammu and Kashmir, India. The John C. and Susan L. Huntington Archive of Buddhist and Related Art, The Ohio State University

Did you know Artstor is an excellent resource for Asian Studies? The Artstor Digital Library shares several collections that document Asian cultures, history, religion, architecture, and art.

Magnum Photos offers thousands of documentary images from Asia, beginning from the post-war period to the present, covering everything from Mahatma Ghandi’s India to the Japanese city of Obama as they capitalize on the 2008 American presidential elections. You can find a wide range of Japanese gowns, from 19th century dressing gowns to contemporary dresses by Yohji Yamamoto, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Brooklyn Museum Costumes. The Metropolitan Museum of Art also has scores of images encompasing household utensils such as needles, bowls, and saddles to ceremonial objects, armors, and costumes from all regions of Asia. Two other remarkable resources of Asian history are Southeast Asia Visions: John M. Echols Collection (Cornell University Library), which features European and American travel accounts of pre-modern Southeast Asia, and the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery (St. Lawrence University), which includes Vietnam War-era photography by American soldiers.

Temple scene, T'ongdo-sa, South Kyongsang Province, South Korea, Photographer: Carl Strom. Image and original data provided by Carl and Jennifer Strom

Temple scene, T’ongdo-sa, South Kyongsang Province, South Korea, Photographer: Carl Strom. Image and original data provided by Carl and Jennifer Strom

A number of collections offer field photography of architecture throughout Asia, such as: Alka Patel: South Asian and Cuban Art and Architecture (Islamic art and architecture from 12th to the 18th centuries in India and Pakistan); Huntington Archive of Asian Art (photographs of Asian art and architecture); American Council for Southern Asian Art (ACSAA) Collection (University of Michigan) (Southern Asian art and architecture); and Barbara Anello: Photographs of Southeast Asia and Morocco.

Collections that focus on important religious sites and architecture throughout Asia include: the Mellon International Dunhuang Archive (Buddhist cave shrines in Dunhuang, China); Shuilu’an Temple (Northwestern University) (Buddhist sculpture at Shuilu’an Temple in Lantian, China); Deepanjana Danda Klein and Arno Klein: Cave Temples at Ellora, India (Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain cave shrines in Ellora, India); Beyond the Taj: Architectural Traditions and Landscape Experience in South Asia (Cornell University Library); and Carl Strom and Jennifer Strom: Korean Buddhist Monasteries (Buddhist temple and monastery art in South Korea). For the Dunhuang caves and Shuilu-an Temple, ARTstor offers scholars and students unique visual documentation of the sites with high resolution digital photography and QuickTime Virtual Reality (QTVR) panoramas.

EIZAN (Yeiseu?), Japanese, Two Women Writing c.1850. Asian Art Collection (Connecticut College, New London)

EIZAN (Yeiseu?), Japanese, Two Women Writing c.1850. Asian Art Collection (Connecticut College, New London)

And of course, Asian art is well represented in the Digital Library. Some notable examples include: Rob Linrothe: Tibetan and Buddhist Art collection; Seattle Art Museum (Asian art, including works from Japan, China, Korea, India, the Himalayas, and Southeast Asia); Asian Art Collection (Connecticut College) (Chinese and Japanese art); Asian Art Photographic Distribution (AAPD) (University of Michigan) (Chinese painting, sculpture, and decorative arts and Japanese painting and prints); The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art (Chinese ceramics);  and Yao Ceremonial Artifacts (Ohio University).

Artstor has also assembled 100 eclectic, iconic, and provocative images for our Sample Topic on Asian Art. To view all our Sample Topics, visit the Digital Library and click on “Featured Groups.”

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April 11, 2011

Judith: the original femme fatale

Conrat Meit Judith with the head of Holofernes (detail ), 1512-1514

Conrat Meit, Judith with the Head of Holofernes (detail ), 1512-1514 Alabaster with gilding 30 cm high Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich

In the Old Testament’s Book of Judith, the beautiful widow saved the besieged city of Bethulia by charming her way into the tent of Assyrian general Holofernes and beheading him, enabling the Israelites to defeat the invading army.

The Artstor Digital Library features more than 600 images depicting the story of Judith and Holofernes, attesting to the powerful appeal the Judith narrative has over artists. The Jessica E. Smith and Kevin R. Brine Charitable Trust sponsored 330 new images to be added to the Digital Library’s existing 300 images based on the story. Images on the theme range from an 11th century illuminated manuscript to an unnerving tableau by Judith Greifinger Klausner from 2008 that features insects playing the parts of the two characters.

Hans Baldung, Judith with the head of Holofernes, early 16th century

Hans Baldung, Judith with the Head of Holofernes, early 16th century. Oil on panel , 92 x 77 cm. Schloss Friedenstein Museum, Gotha.

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, David with the Head of Goliath, 1609-1610

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, David with the Head of Goliath, 1609-1610.Oil on canvas, 125 x 101 cm. Galleria Borghese, Source Image and original data provided by Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.

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March 16, 2011

Artstor Features Contemporary Architecture in the United Arab Emirates

A rallying economy led the United Arab Emirates cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai through a six-year building boom that transformed sand dunes into futuristic cityscapes boasting the world’s tallest building, biggest shopping mall, and The World, a man-made archipelago in the shape of the seven continents. While the building frenzy has largely been tamed by the international economic crisis, the projects it engendered have significantly expanded the vocabulary of contemporary architecture.

Sheik Zayed Road (view of the traffic and metro station exterior), Dubai. Image and original data provided by Art on File.

Sheik Zayed Road (view of the traffic and metro station exterior), Dubai. Image and original data provided by Art on File.

In their most recent Artstor-sponsored campaign, Art on File photographers Colleen Chartier and Rob Wilkinson documented state-of-the-art projects in Dubai such as Burj Khalifa (Skidmore, Owings and Merrell), the world’s tallest building;  the Meydan Racecourse (TAK architects), the longest building in the world; the Burj al-Arab (Tom Wright of Atkins), a hotel constructed on an artificial island; the Dubai Marina (Emaar Properties), a man-made marina district; and the Rose Tower (Khatib & Alami Group), the world’s tallest building used exclusively as a hotel. In Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Chartier and Wilkinson photographed the new Sheikh Zayed Mosque (Yousef Abdelki, architect, and Halcrow Group, engineers), an enormous project that can accommodate up to 44,000 people for prayer sessions, and the Yas Hotel (Asymptote Architects), which features a Formula One racetrack that passes through the hotel, and a net-like roof consisting of thousands of light panels that change colors. Other buildings in the new campaign include Capital Gate (RMJM Architects), the largest leaning tower in the world, Al Jazira Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, and the new Ferrari World (Benoy Architects), a low undulating design with a roof surface of 200,000 sq. meters still under construction. See the Art on File collection in the Digital Library: http://library.artstor.org/library/collection/artonfile

Capital Gate (RMJM Architects), Abu Dhabi. Image and original data provided by Art on File.

Capital Gate (RMJM Architects), Abu Dhabi. Image and original data provided by Art on File.

Art on File’s UAE collection joins more than 300,000 images of architecture and the built environment in the Digital Library. Explore everything from archaeological sites such as Rome’s Colosseum in the Italian and other European Art (Scala Archives) collection or the Parthenon on the Acropolis in the Art, Archaeology and Architecture (Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives), to modern masterpieces such as Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia in Contemporary Architecture, Urban Design and Public Art (Art on File Collection) or architectural models by Le Corbusier in The Museum of Modern Art, Architecture and Design Collection.

Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club (Godwin Austen Johnson, architects). Image and original data provided by Art on File.

Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club (Godwin Austen Johnson, architects). Image and original data provided by Art on File.

Browse more than 50 collections focused on architecture,  including Sites and Photos: archaeological and architectural sites in the Middle East and Europe (30,037 images); Mellon International Dunhuang Archive: Buddhist cave shrines in Dunhuang, China (72,00 images and 24 QTVR files); American Institute of Indian Studies: Indian art and architecture (60,000 images); Columbia University’s QTVR Panoramas of World Architecture (1,280 files); MoMA Architecture and Design: 20th century architectural drawings and models (6,949 images);  Ezra Stoller Archive (Esto): Modern architecture (14,548 images); Canyonlights World Art Image Bank: Archaeological and architectural sites in the United States and Europe (4,500 images); and SAHARA: Society of Architectural Historians Architecture Resources Archive (8,991 images).

Dubai Metro (Aedas, architects). Image provided by Art on File.

Dubai Metro (Aedas, architects). Image provided by Art on File.

In addition, search “QTVR” to discover nearly 1,300 QTVR Panoramas of World Architecture from Columbia University, including sites such as the Doge’s Palace in Venice or temples and shrines in Kyoto.

Yas Hotel & Marina (Asymptote Architecture), Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Image and original data provided by Art on File.

Yas Hotel & Marina (Asymptote Architecture), Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Image and original data provided by Art on File.

Learn more about the Contemporary Architecture, Urban Design and Public Art (Art on File Collection) and download Artstor’s Subject Guide on Architecture and the Built Environment (PDF: 300 KB).

Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club (Godwin Austen Johnson, architects). Image and original data provided by Art on File.

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February 24, 2011

Artstor Talks to the American Folk Art Museum

Christine Kuan interviews Maria Ann Conelli, Executive Director of the American Folk Art Museum

 

CK: What’s special about the American Folk Art Museum?

MAC: The American Folk Art Museum is the only museum in the United States dedicated to traditional folk art as well as creative expressions of contemporary self-taught artists; it is home to one of the world’s premier collections dating from the eighteenth century to the present.

Henry Darger, Child-Headed Whiplash-Tail Blengins, Blengiglom-enean Island

CK: Many more people are interested in folk art today, why do you think that is?

MAC: I think that folk art and the art of the self-taught have an inherent accessibility people can relate to. What is amazing is that the art is made by individuals with no formal artistic or academic training who nevertheless have the need to articulate their passion to create. The result is these astounding works that speak to a broad and varied audience.

Artist unidentified, Witch on a Broomstick Whirligig

CK: What’s your favorite work in the collection?

MAC: That’s like asking a parent which child is her favorite.

CK: Why did the Museum decide to make digital images of the collection available in the Artstor Digital Library?

MAC: A large part of the museum’s focus is on education. We take great pride in our educational website, www.folkartrevealed.org, through which teachers have access to museum-generated lesson plans for grades K through 12. One of the exciting aspects about our collaboration with Artstor is that it allows us to reach a collegiate audience in ways that were not available to us before. It also allows us to share very high-resolution image files of thousands of objects in the museum’s collection that offer important details, such as stitching in textiles and signatures on paintings—details that are crucial to the study and preservation of folk art for generations to come. Providing high-resolution images to teachers, scholars, and students is extremely important to us—we want the works in our collection to be shared with as large an audience as possible.

Ammi Phillips, Girl in Red Dress with Cat and Dog

CK: How is your museum taking advantage of digital technologies?

MAC: We are using the Internet more and more to reach a larger audience and stay in touch with those who may not be able to actually visit the museum. Digital photography, because of its ease of use, makes it possible for us to share the collection with people around the globe, and social media outlets allow us to offer behind-the-scenes looks at the museum. Through the museum’s main and educational websites, as well as Facebook and Twitter, we are able to engage audiences around the world by sharing archival and installation information that we were not able to provide in the past.

Artist unidentified, Chevron Doll Quilt

CK: What’s the biggest challenge facing American museums [or your museum] today?

MAC: I think all museums are grappling with how to attract and engage a younger audience. We have a teen docent program that we’re all really proud of—our museum educators teach high school students how to serve as gallery guides to their peers. It’s a huge time commitment for the students and our educators, but I think it’s valuable for the participants to develop not just visual literacy but also writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills. The museum’s online presence can be a great introduction to the art, especially for younger audiences—but I think they know that the “real thing” is so much more interesting.

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