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.
Some stories that have us wondering this week:
- Perhaps these artists weren’t too clear on the definition of temptation.
- Perhaps this artist should have consulted his neighbors before embarking on his latest project.
- Perhaps legendary editor, publisher, and anti-censorship champion Barney Rosset should have stipulated what to do with his giant mural.
- Perhaps you can score higher than us in naming these famous paintings based on a small detail (we got one wrong).
- Perhaps after their Dürer and Rembrandt prints went missing the Boston Public Library should have looked a bit harder before triggering a criminal investigation and the resignation of the institution’s president.
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.
Some stories we’ve been reading this week:
- “Brooks had always had an interest in art and, after marrying a farmer, she made her first butter sculpture in 1867 as a way to promote the product.”
- “Hidden within Copenhagen’s Glyptotek art museum is a curious cabinet filled with 100 plaster noses.”
- “… models and dioramas turned the skins of animals into more dimensional interpretations, although they still often got it wrong, like the overstuffed 1860s Horniman Museum walrus with not a wrinkle on its inflated body.”
- “The problem was that Bouguereau didn’t die penniless, obscure and defeated. He died rich, famous and proud. Also, he definitely wasn’t a genius.”
- “The same vase was discovered by archaeologists bearing traces of an ancient restoration, suggesting that it was damaged by some clumsy Cretan 4,000 years ago.”
We are looking for students in all concentrations to become the voice of Artstor on their campus for the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 semesters.
Who are we looking for?
Good communicators who know and use the Artstor Digital Library in their studies and who are passionate about improving education.
What you get:
- Work with professionals from Artstor’s New York office to develop valuable business skills, such as event planning, marketing, and public speaking.
- Learn how to create effective social media campaigns, including writing blog posts, with campus-wide and international exposure.
- Network at Artstor events with peers from institutions across the country.
- Add Artstor to your resume and receive a certificate of completion at the end of the program.
- Take part in special events and win prizes!
To apply, fill out this questionnaire. We will reach out to selected candidates for a brief interview.
Deadline is June 12, 2015. Applications will be reviewed as they are received and selected candidates will be notified by June 19, 2015.
We encourage administrators and faculty members to pass this on to their students.
Some stories we’ve been reading this week:
- A historian claims to have found “the only demonstrably authentic portrait of Shakespeare made in his lifetime” on the cover of a book from 1598.
- An interview with the founder of the Museum of Bad Art, “the world’s only museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition, and celebration of bad art in all its forms.”
- And how does one decide what’s bad? After the outcry over a plan to erect a pink sculpture in Long Island City, New York’s City Council passed a bill this week requiring public hearings before some public art projects can be installed. It still needs to be signed by the governor.
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,” an exhibition which opened in May 2015 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.
Some stories we’ve been reading (and watching) this week:
- This week, Sally Mann’s memoir “Hold Still” was released. Charlie Rose led a rare interview with Mann on her photographs, family, and the places and memories that move her.
- This art interview may be one of the last that requires human interlocutors. Smithsonian Magazine reports that computers are getting better than ever at identifying characteristics in works of art.
- Over a third of American museum directors are at retirement age. What does the role of Museum Director mean today and what challenges will new leadership face? (That is, assuming they’re not all replaced by artificially-intelligent art robots first.)
- And what better time to ask these questions than in the lead-up to International Museum Day on May 18th. See you in the galleries!
Some stories we’ve been reading this week:
- To sleep, perchance to dream. A look at depictions of dreams and nightmares in art.
- The Japanese-American community, led by everyone’s hero George Takei, rallied to prevent the sale of artifacts and art from Japanese internment camps. These works will continue to serve educational purposes in their new home at the Japanese American National Museum (L.A.), which announced its acquisition of the collection last Saturday.
- A new theory on what the Venus de Milo’s famously absent arms may have been doing. Knitting clubs rejoice!
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.