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Blog Category: Collection release

October 20, 2004

Collaborative Agreement Reached Between Jonathan Bloom, Sheila Blair, Walter B. Denny and ARTstor

Professors Jonathan Bloom and Sheila Blair (Boston College), Professor Walter B. Denny (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) and ARTstor announced today that they had reached an agreement to collaborate on the distribution through ARTstor of up to 25,000 high quality digital images of the art and architecture of Islam from the personal archives of this team of leading scholar photographers.

Jonathan Bloom and Sheila Blair jointly hold the Norma Jean Calderwood University Professorship of Islamic and Asian Art. Jonathan Bloom’s primary areas of research include Islamic art and architecture, the history of paper, and art in the medieval Mediterranean world. Sheila Blair’s major areas of research are Islamic art, especially the arts of Iran and Central Asia, the art and architecture produced under the Mongols, calligraphy and books. In addition to specialized courses on various aspects of Islamic art and architecture ranging from the history of Jerusalem to the Silk Road, they team-teach a survey course on Islamic civilization. They are at work on an exhibition of Islamic ornament to be held in 2006 at the McMullen Museum at Boston College.

Walter B. Denny’s primary field of teaching and research is the art and architecture of the Islamic world, in particular the artistic traditions of the Ottoman Turks, Islamic carpets and textiles, and issues of economics and patronage in Islamic art. In addition to teaching a two-semester survey sequence on Islamic art and architecture, Professor Denny has taught a large undergraduate topical survey course, Introduction to the Visual Arts, every fall for more than three decades. His upper-level courses have focused on various aspects of Islamic and European art, including an historical survey of the art of the oriental carpet, and a course on orientalism in Western art.

In reaching this agreement, Walter B. Denny said, “This will be a marvelous opportunity to share a substantial portion of the over 140,000 images I have accumulated in my archive over 40 years. I anticipate that the availability of these resources through ARTstor will make it significantly easier for courses on Islamic art to be offered in institutions throughout the world.” James Shulman, Executive Director of ARTstor, commented: “The archives of our collaborators on this important project are renowned among Islamicists, and represent an enormous opportunity for ARTstor to provide wide-access to their unique archives. Sheila, Jonathan, and Walter know how difficult it is to build resources in their field, and we at ARTstor have great admiration for all that they have accomplished. We are thrilled that they want to join in our effort to make such resources widely available for the community of teachers, scholars, and students.”

ARTstor’s the three scholarly partners are long-standing colleagues and friends. They all contributed chapters to Islamic Art and Patronage, the catalogue accompanying a traveling exhibition of Islamic art from Kuwait collections. In the early 1990s they all worked together on the critically-acclaimed exhibition and catalogue, Images of Paradise in Islamic Art, which was also seen at museums around the country.

Jonathan Bloom and Sheila Blair have co-authored several books, including: Islam: A Thousand Years of Power and Faith (2000); Islamic Arts (1997); and The Art and Architecture of Islam: 1250-1800 (Yale University Press Pelican History of Art; 1994). Jonathan Bloom’s other major publications include: Paper Before Print: The History and Impact of Paper in the Islamic World (2001) (winner of the Charles Rufus Morey Award of the College Art Association); Early Islamic Art and Architecture (2002); and Minaret: Symbol of Islam (Oxford Studies in Islamic Art; 1989). He is currently at work on a book-length study of the art and architecture of North Africa and Egypt produced under the Fatimid dynasty between the tenth century and the twelfth.

Sheila Blair’s other major publications include ten books and more than 200 articles in journals, encyclopedias, colloquia and festschriften. Her books include: Islamic Inscriptions (1998) (winner of the British-Kuwait Friendship Society Book Prize for the best book on Middle Eastern studies published in Britain); A Compendium of Chronicles: Rashid al-Din’s Illustrated History of the World (The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art; 1995) (winner of the Bahari Prize for the best book on Persian civilization); and Islamic Calligraphy (due out next year from Edinburgh University Press).

Walter B. Denny’s recent publications include the books Gardens of Paradise: Ottoman Turkish Tiles of the 15th-17th Centuries (1998); Masterpieces of Anatolian Carpets from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, Istanbul (2001); Ipek: Imperial Ottoman Silks and Velvets (2002); and The Classical Tradition in Anatolian Carpets (2002). Iznik and the Ottoman Tradition is scheduled for publication in 2004 in Paris (Editions Citadelles et Mazenod). Other current projects include catalogues for two major collections of Islamic art, and a number of articles on Ottoman art and orientalism.

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September 1, 2004

National Gallery of Art and ARTstor Reach Collaborative Agreement

The National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.) and ARTstor announced today that they had reached an agreement to collaborate on the distribution through ARTstor of approximately 4,000 high quality digital images of French medieval architecture and approximately 3,000 images of American architecture from the Clarence Ward Archive.

The National Gallery of Art Library’s Department of Image Collections boasts unusually rich photographic archives. One of the most important and most heavily used collections is the Clarence Ward Archive, devoted mostly to French medieval (especially Gothic) and American architecture from Colonial times to the early 20th century. This archive is the product of focused photographic campaigns undertaken by Ward (1884-1973) who was a distinguished professor of art history at Oberlin College for many years. In conducting a series of photographic campaigns in the 1920s and 1930s, he enlisted Arthur Princehorn (1904-2001), staff photographer at Oberlin. The negatives produced by Ward and Princehorn are invaluable, both to medievalists and students of American architecture.

This project will digitize the ca. 7,000 Clarence Ward large format nitrate negatives, richly documenting Romanesque and Gothic architecture in France and selectively documenting American architecture from Colonial times through the early 20th century. These two landmark archives will greatly enrich ARTstor’s value to a wide audience in the history of art and architecture and related fields.

“The Clarence Ward archive of photographs of medieval buildings is an immensely important source for high quality images of Romanesque and Gothic architecture,” attests Caroline Bruzelius, A.M. Cogan Professor of Art History at Duke University. “To many students and scholars, these photographs will already be familiar from Jean Bony’s book on Gothic Architecture in France as well as other scholarly publications. Clarence Ward looked at, and photographed, buildings with the eye of an architectural historian, so that his pictures are especially valuable for the history of construction technique and architectural design. Moreover, a good proportion of the photographs were taken before the destruction wrought by World War II.”

In reaching this agreement, Neal Turtell, Executive Librarian, National Gallery of Art, expressed his enthusiasm in collaborating to use digital technologies to make these important scholarly resources more broadly available for noncommercial pedagogical and scholarly purposes. “The National Gallery of Art is excited to make the beautiful images from the Ward Archive more accessible to the academic community. It is a natural outgrowth of Paul Mellon’s commitment to excellence in art historical research,” commented Turtell. James Shulman, Executive Director of ARTstor, adds, “The Clarence Ward archive not only documents splendid works, but captures them in a splendid way. Working together with the National Gallery to make such a fragile and stunning collection available to scholars and teachers in a range of fields reminds us of the value of the resources that lay hidden in the world’s great photo archives. ARTstor is delighted to be able to play a part in making it available for scholarly and educational purposes.”

ARTstor was created in 2001 as an initiative of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and is now an independent non-profit organization with a mission to use digital technology to enhance scholarship, teaching and learning in the arts and associated fields.

The Department of Image Collections of the Library at the National Gallery of Art is a study and research collection of images documenting European and American art and architecture. Established in 1943, the collection now contains almost 10 million black-and-white photographs, negatives, slides, and microform images of all aspects of Western art.

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June 1, 2004

Artstor and AMICO Combine Efforts to Distribute Digital Images for Museums and Higher Education

The Art Museum Image Consortium (AMICO), a non-profit consortium of 39 museums, and Artstor, a non-profit organization sponsored by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, announced today that AMICO will be phasing out its independent operations as it focuses on supporting Artstor’s emerging leadership role in providing broad based access to what is expected to be the world’s largest single collection of online art images designed specifically for use by the education, research and arts communities. Both organizations expressed their belief that this important step will help museums, educational institutions, libraries, teachers, scholars, and students create and use this significant new community resource for the educational use of documented works of art. In phasing out its operations and endorsing Artstor’s role, AMICO affirms to the museum and educational communities that Artstor is well poised to carry forth and expand upon the mission that AMICO embarked on more than five years ago, when museum leaders recognized the vital need for an online library of high quality art images and associated data. While each museum that contributes content to AMICO will independently determine whether to make that content available through Artstor, both AMICO and Artstor expressed strong support for their continued sharing of their collections through Artstor.

AMICO’s operations are scheduled to conclude in August 2005. Until then, it will continue to support the independent distributors of its image library as well as the needs of its museum membership and library subscribers. During this period, AMICO will also be sharing with Artstor the experiences and knowledge gained over its years of operations as well as the software tools and standards for collection aggregation and distribution it has developed. AMICO and Artstor expect that this will help ensure a smooth migration of AMICO museum image contributions to Artstor for museums that choose to do so, as well as further bolster the confidence of AMICO subscribers that Artstor is upholding the high standards for content that characterized the AMICO collection.

“The art museums that make up AMICO have achieved something extraordinary by having created a uniquely effective cooperative program for making digital art images available,” said Michael Conforti, Chairman of AMICO, and director of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA. “AMICO’s critical and path-breaking work will continue to be advanced into the future through ARTstor’s broad community-wide initiative,” Conforti added, “and we hope that as many museums as possible will see the advantages of and making their work available through Artstor’s digital library.”

“I am certain that the opportunity for Artstor to draw from AMICO’s strengths will allow Artstor to build upon and extend the pioneering achievements of AMICO in order to create a valuable resource for education in fields that draw upon the visual arts,” stated Neil L. Rudenstine, former president of Harvard and Chairman of the Artstor board.

Founded in 1996, the Art Museum Image Consortium (AMICO) is a not-for-profit consortium of institutions nationwide that have been collaborating to enable educational use of museum collection images and multimedia. With a library that numbers over 140,000 images, AMICO began as the vision of Maxwell L. Anderson, former director of the Whitney Museum and past President of the Association of Art Museum Directors, with a goal of providing educational institutions that license the AMICO Library with access to museum multimedia for educational use.

Anderson commented, “AMICO is today poised to hand off to Artstor an unparalleled range of experience in making rich multimedia broadly available to educational users. All of us associated with AMICO are extremely hopeful about Artstor’s future under the leadership of its Chairman Neil Rudenstine and its Executive Director James Shulman. Their commitment, together with the Mellon Foundation’s peerless advocacy of art museums and higher education, will yield great progress in making illustrated art collections widely accessible in the years ahead.”

“We have enormous admiration for Max Anderson’s original and bold vision,” said James Shulman, executive director of Artstor, “and the way he and the AMICO staff transformed that vision into a reality. Their collective talent and the Herculean efforts of the staff at the member museums have shown the enormous community-wide benefits of collaboration.”

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May 14, 2004

Collaborative Agreement Reached Between the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research (Harvard University) and ARTstor

The W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research (Harvard University) and ARTstor Inc. announced today that they had reached an agreement to collaborate on the distribution through ARTstor of approximately 30,000 high quality digital images from the Du Bois Institute’s Image of the Black in Western Art Research Project and Photo Archive. Spanning nearly 5,000 years and documenting virtually all artistic media, the Image of the Black in Western Art Research Project and Photo Archive is an unprecedented research initiative devoted to the systematic investigation of how people of African descent have been perceived and represented in art.

Started in 1960 by Jean and Dominique de Ménil in reaction to the continuing existence of segregation in the United States, the Archive contains photographs of nearly 30,000 works of art, each one of which is extensively documented by the Archive’s staff. For the first thirty years of the project’s existence, it focused on the production of a prize-winning, four-volume series of generously illustrated books, The Image of the Black in Western Art. Since moving to Harvard University in 1994, the project has focused on production of the final volume of The Image of the Black in Western Art and expanding access to the Archive itself.

This collaboration between ARTstor and the Du Bois Institute will make this rich body of visual material and related scholarship available electronically for the first time. The audience for these materials will include not only art historians but also scholars, teachers, and students throughout the humanities and social sciences, who will value having the ability to access, browse, and make rich educational and scholarly uses of this unique corpus of images. In reaching this agreement, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and James Shulman, Executive Director of ARTstor, expressed their enthusiasm in collaborating to use digital technologies to make this important scholarly resource more broadly available for noncommercial pedagogical and scholarly purposes. “The Image of the Black Archive has been known too little for too long,” said Professor Gates, the W. E. B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities, Chair of the Department of African and African American Studies, and Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University. “We at the Du Bois Institute are delighted to work with ARTstor to make this essential archive more widely available to scholars and students in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.” James Shulman adds, “The Image of the Black Archive contains thousands of images that could not be made available in the splendid published volumes devoted to this important subject. This research project embodies an unusually thoughtful approach to interdisciplinary visual research. This collaboration should therefore produce an exceptionally significant resource for scholars, teachers and students in a wide range of fields. ARTstor is delighted to be able to play a part in making it available for scholarly and educational purposes.”

The W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research is the nation’s oldest research Institute dedicated to the study of the history, culture, and social institutions of African Americans. Founded in 1975, the Institute serves as the site for research projects, fellowships for emerging and established scholars, publications, conferences, and working groups. Named after the first African American to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard University (1896), the Institute also sponsors four major lecture series each year, and serves as the co-sponsor for numerous public conferences, lectures, readings, and forums.

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April 12, 2004

ARTstor Announces Availability Of Digital Image Resource

Initiative Sponsored by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to Serve Educational and Cultural Communities

April 12, 2004. ARTstor, a non-profit initiative founded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, announces the availability of its Digital Library to non-profit educational and cultural institutions in the United States starting this summer.

The ARTstor Digital Library is comprised of digital images and related data; the tools to make active use of those images; and an online environment intended to balance the interests of users with those of content providers. ARTstor’s “Charter Collection” will contain approximately 300,000 digital images of visual material from different cultures and disciplines, and it seeks to offer sufficient breadth and depth to support a wide range of non-commercial educational and scholarly activities. The Charter Collection is anticipated to grow to half a million images by the summer of 2006.

ARTstor was established with a mission to use digital technology to enhance scholarship, teaching and learning in the arts and associated fields. James Shulman, the Executive Director of ARTstor, noted that “The impact of digitization on teaching and scholarship becomes increasingly clear every day. ARTstor is working with museums, colleges, universities, libraries, archives and others around the world in an effort to ensure that these dramatic changes happen in thoughtful ways. We are excited by the chance to play a role in a community-wide effort that represents many aspects of the world’s collective cultural heritage.”

According to Neil L. Rudenstine, ARTstor’s chairman and president emeritus of Harvard University, “The growing need for an accessible source of digital images has become a significant problem at many educational institutions that are using limited resources to build and sustain their own image archives. ARTstor hopes to help address this need by working with institutions to build a digital collection capable of both system-wide growth and expansion at individual institutions, so that participants will have significantly more material for educational and scholarly uses.”

The Charter Collection is meant to serve as a campus-wide resource that is focused on, but not limited to, the arts. It documents artistic and historical traditions across many time-periods and cultures and has been derived from several source collections that are themselves the product of collaborations with libraries, museums, photographic archives, publishers, slide libraries, and individual scholars. Source collections include:

The Image Gallery: A collection of 200,000 images of world art and culture corresponding to the contents of a university slide library, constructed in response to college teaching needs. Since the images have been cataloged with subject headings, they will be useful both to those in the arts and in many other fields;

The Carnegie Arts of the United States
: A widely used collection of images documenting aspects of the history of American art, architecture, visual and material culture;

The Huntington Archive of Asian Art: A broad photographic overview of the art of Asia from 3000 B.C. through the present;

The Illustrated Bartsch: A collection derived from the art reference publication of the same name, containing images and data related to more than 50,000 old master European prints from the 15th to 19th Centuries;

The Mellon International Dunhuang Archive
: High resolution images of wall paintings and sculpture from the Buddhist cave shrines in Dunhuang, China, along with related objects and art from the caves that are now in museums and libraries in Europe and the United States; and

The MoMA Architecture and Design Collection
: A comprehensive collection of high resolution images representing the holdings of the Department of Architecture and Design of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

ARTstor has developed software tools that will allow users at participating institutions to use its Charter Collection without the need for any other software. Users will be able to view and analyze images through features such as zooming and panning. They will be able to save groups of images for personal or group uses, as well as for use in lectures and other presentation, either online or off-line.

Participation fees for ARTstor’s Charter Collection are listed now at Participating in ARTstor. Thirty-five test institutions have had access to the software and image repository during the past academic year, including: the Art Institute of Chicago, Harvard University, Hunter College, James Madison University, Johns Hopkins University, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, New York University, Pennsylvania State University, Princeton University, Sarah Lawrence College, Smith College, University of California at San Diego, Williams College and the Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute.

As William G. Bowen, the President of the Mellon Foundation, noted: “The fit between new technology and visual images is an unusually promising one. The ability to combine – and make active use of – images, data, texts and other materials offers the opportunity to bring about a substantial and exciting transformation in art-related teaching, learning, and research.”

For more information about participating in ARTstor, please see the Participation Info section of the ARTstor website.

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April 2, 2004

Collaborative Agreement Reached Between the National Anthropological Archives (National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution) and ARTstor

The National Anthropological Archives (National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution) and ARTstor announced today that they had reached an agreement to collaborate on the distribution through ARTstor of approximately 12,000 high quality digital images of Native American art and culture from the NAA collections.

The collaboration will focus on two of the NAA’s most important archival collections, which it has already digitized at high resolution for preservation and access reasons: an archive of ca. 2,000 Plains Indian ledger drawings and a collection of ca. 10,000 historic photographs of Native American subjects (portraits, scenes, etc.), made from glass plate negatives collected by or produced under the auspices of the Smithsonian’s Bureau of American Ethnology beginning in the late 19th century. Plains Indian ledger drawings, mostly produced in the middle to late decades of the 19th century, represent an important indigenous artistic tradition of great and increasing interest to art historians and other scholars. These drawings on paper, often done on the pages of ruled ledger books acquired through trade, continue a long tradition of painting on buffalo hides and other available media.

The BAE photographic collections, supported by extensive documentation, are a foundation for our visual knowledge of the American Indian past. They were critical in shaping perceptions of Native Americans in the last quarter of the 19th century and thereafter and they constitute an unparalleled visual record of historic Native American art and culture. The approximately 10,000 historic photographs to be distributed through this collaboration range from studio portraits of individual Native Americans to tribal scenes, documenting treaty councils, official expeditions of exploration, and early anthropological and archeological inquiry in America. All major tribal groups are represented, many having been photographed during formal meetings of tribal delegations with members of Congress. These two landmark archives will greatly enrich ARTstor’s value to a wide audience in the history of art and beyond.

Under the agreement, ARTstor is supporting the post-processing of these 12,000 already digitized high-resolution images for inclusion in the ARTstor Library, a database of digital images of art and cataloging data that is being assembled for noncommercial, educational, and scholarly purposes. ARTstor is also supporting a variety of related cataloging activities that will enhance the value of these materials to scholars. The National Anthropological Archives will also retain a set of the processed digital images, and will continue to make these images available in lower resolutions through the Smithsonian Institution’s online public access catalog (SIRIS).

In reaching this agreement, Robert Leopold, Archives and Collections Information Manager at the National Anthropological Archives, and James Shulman, Executive Director of ARTstor, expressed their enthusiasm in collaborating to use digital technologies to make these important scholarly resources more broadly available for noncommercial pedagogical and scholarly purposes. “The National Anthropological Archives is delighted to make its existing high-resolution digital images available in a secure, online environment that promotes the use of authentic, well-documented historical images for research, lectures and classroom presentations,” commented Leopold.

The National Anthropological Archives collects and preserves historical and contemporary anthropological materials that document the world’s cultures and the history of anthropology.

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January 12, 2004

Collaborative Agreement Reached Between Hartill Art Associates, Inc., Artstor, and the California Digital Library

Alec Hartill of Hartill Art Associates, Inc., Artstor, and the California Digital Library announced today that they had reached an agreement to collaborate on the archiving, digitization and distribution of approximately 20,000 high quality slides, created by both Alec and Marlene Hartill of Hartill Art Associates, Inc. over the past 26 years. The images reproduce architecture and the built environment from antiquity to the present, and include thousands of details of architectural sculpture, mosaics and stained glass. Under the agreement, the California Digital Library has purchased an archival set of the slides, which will be housed at one or more University of California campus libraries and made available for noncommercial educational and scholarly purposes. Artstor is digitizing those slides, and the digital images will be incorporated into noncommercial educational resources supported, respectively, by Artstor and the University of California.

In reaching this agreement, Alec Hartill, Artstor, and the California Digital Library expressed their enthusiasm in collaborating to preserve this important educational resource and in using digital technologies to make it more broadly available for noncommercial pedagogical and scholarly purposes.

Artstor was created in 2001 as a nonprofit initiative of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and is now an independent non-profit that seeks to make available a digital library of art images for noncommercial educational and scholarly uses. Alec Hartill will continue to license and sell sets of his slides and will license the digital images for noncommercial and commercial purposes.

The California Digital Library partners with the 10 UC campuses in a continuing commitment to apply innovative technology to managing scholarly information. Organizationally housed at the UC Office of the President in Oakland, CA, the CDL provides a centralized framework to efficiently share materials held by UC, to provide greater and easier access to digital content, and to join with researchers in developing new tools and innovations for scholarly communication.

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