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Blog Category: Collection release

July 12, 2005

Artstor Announces Release of New Images, Formerly in the AMICO Library

Artstor is pleased to announce the release into the Artstor Digital Library of over 25,000 images, most of which were formerly a part of the AMICO collection. As of today, users of Artstor will be able to view images provided by the following museums:

  • Asia Society
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College
  • The Frick Collection and Art Reference Library
  • George Eastman House
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum
  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • The Walters Art Museum

To locate these images, which have been integrated into the Image Gallery and its browsing taxonomy, you can use “AMICO” as a keyword when searching. For best results, combine “AMICO” with additional search criteria, such as repository or creator name.
In early August, we anticipate releasing approximately 85,000 additional images from:

  • Dallas Museum of Art
  • Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art
  • Library of Congress
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art

We will make additional announcements when those images are available in the Library and will continue to keep you updated of additional releases of images and of new museum agreements as they are reached. For more information about our work on the AMICO project, please see our past announcement regarding this collaboration.

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June 13, 2005

Samuel H. Kress Foundation and Artstor Collaborate

The Samuel H. Kress Foundation and Artstor are pleased to announce that they have reached an agreement to collaborate on the digitization and distribution through Artstor of approximately 1,200 art works formerly belonging to the Kress Collection but, through a singular act of philanthropy, presently distributed among ninety institutions in thirty states around the country.

From the mid-1920s to the end of the 1950s, Samuel Henry Kress (1863-1955) and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation (est. 1929) amassed one of the most astonishing collections of European Old Master paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts ever assembled through the efforts of a private individual. Even more remarkable was the manner in which the Kress Collection was shared with the American people. In the largest single donation of European art from the Kress Collection, 1,800 works of art were donated to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The National Gallery of Art’s Kress Collection contains 376 Old Master paintings, 94 sculptures, 1,307 bronzes and 38 drawings. All of the rest of the Kress Collection – another 1,300 pieces – was distributed across the continent. 700 Old Masters were given to regional museums in eighteen American cities, resulting in the Kress regional collections of twenty to sixty Old Masters that brought the first Italian paintings to many communities throughout the country. Another 200 paintings were divided into study collections for twenty-three colleges and universities; these Kress study collections helped introduce European art to institutions of higher learning. Major gifts of special collections were also bestowed on the Metropolitan Museum of Art (French porcelains and furniture, and a complete Robert Adam room with Gobelins tapestries), the Pierpont Morgan Library (drawings and illuminated manuscripts), and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (13 tapestries on designs by Rubens and Pietro da Cortona). Initiated by Samuel Kress in the early 1930s, the distribution of art was completed, under the guidance of his brother Rush Kress, by the Kress Foundation between 1947 and 1961.

Through the present collaboration, the approximately 1,200 Old Master paintings from the Kress Collection will be made available in digital form through Artstor. Encompassing European art of the principal continental schools from the 13th to the early 19th centuries, the Kress Collection’s greatest distinction resides in the extraordinary abundance of its Italian pieces – more than 1,000 Italian paintings, 500 period frames, 1,300 small bronzes, medals, and plaquettes, and representative sculpture, drawings, and furniture. “The world’s most encyclopaedic collection of Italian painting may be that formed by Samuel H. Kress,” says Colin Eisler, Robert Lehman Professor of Fine Arts at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. “His original plan was to include works by every artist mentioned by Vasari but the grand design grew to include Italian artists’ works through the late eighteenth century. Had Kress’ gathering remained intact, it would have been the wonder of viewers and scholars alike for its unique, dazzling comprehensiveness.” Many of the greatest Italian artists – Cimabue, Duccio, Giotto, Botticelli, Fra Angelico, Filippo Lippi, Verrocchio, Raphael, Andrea del Sarto, Pontormo, Correggio, Bellini, Carpaccio, Giorgione, Titian, Lotto, Tintoretto, Veronese, Carracci, Bernini, Strozzi, Tiepolo, Guardi, Canaletto, and Bellotto – appear in the Kress Collection, as do numerous significant works by less familiar masters. The French school from the early Renaissance to Poussin, Claude, Watteau, Chardin, Boucher, Fragonard, Houdon, David, and Ingres, is richly represented. Art of German-speaking lands comes from the hand of Durer, Grunewald, Altdorfer, Holbein, and Cranach. Flemish and Spanish tastes intermingle through Petrus Christus, Bosch, Memling, El Greco, Rubens, Van Dyck, Zurbaran, and Goya.

In reaching this agreement, Marilyn Perry, President of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, and Neil Rudenstine, Artstor’s Chairman, expressed their enthusiasm in collaborating to use digital technologies to make the unique Kress Collection more broadly available for noncommercial educational and scholarly purposes. “Sharing the artistic patrimony of Europe with the people of America was the philanthropic vision of Samuel Kress and the Kress Foundation,” comments Dr. Marilyn Perry, President of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. “We are deeply gratified that the Artstor initiative of the Mellon Foundation will make it possible to share these treasures even more widely.” Rudenstine adds, “We at Artstor are delighted to be working hand in hand with the Kress Foundation – and with the scores of museums which, through Samuel and Rush Kress’s generosity, now care for Kress paintings – to make these extraordinary works of art more accessible to teachers, students and scholars. This partnership is further evidence of Artstor’s strong commitment to engaging the museum community in our effort to build cohesive digital collections based on the needs of scholars.”

Since its creation in 1929, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation has devoted its resources almost exclusively to programs related to European art. In consequence, the Foundation’s activities have been of fundamental importance – and have established a record of philanthropy without equal – in three primary and related areas: the collection and distribution of works of European art to American museums, the preservation of significant monuments of European art and architecture, and the nurturing of professional expertise in art history and art conservation.

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June 10, 2005

Florentine Cultural Agencies and Artstor Partner

Artstor has reached an agreement with the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore and the Museo Opificio delle Pietre Dure (Florence, Italy). Through this agreement, Artstor is supporting the rich photographic documentation of the recently restored bronze doors on the east side of the Florentine Baptistery, universally known as the “Gates of Paradise” (in Italian, “Porta del Paradiso”). The sculptural relief panels of the “Gates of Paradise,” produced during the second quarter of the fifteenth century by the great Florentine sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti (1378-1455), constitute one of the most important art works of the early Italian Renaissance. After more than twenty-five years of work, the restoration of Ghiberti’s famous “Gates of Paradise” is nearing completion. Artstor is sponsoring the comprehensive photographic documentation of the Gates of Paradise in their newly restored state. This photographic campaign has produced nearly 700 stunning, detailed photographs of Ghiberti’s relief sculptures, all of which will be digitized and made available through Artstor at the highest resolution.

“These splendid new photos finally allow Ghiberti’s work to be seen and studied as the three-dimensional, sculptural masterpieces they are,” according to Gary M. Radke, Professor of Fine Arts at Syracuse University and Curator for Exhibitions of Italian Art at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. “Never before have we been able to study Ghiberti’s works so clearly and in such exhaustive detail. Taken from a wide variety of angles and under lighting conditions that reveal the full subtlety of Ghiberti’s modeling and finishing, these images will transform thinking about Ghiberti for decades to come.”

The contents of this important archive will greatly enrich Artstor’s value to a wide audience in the history of art and related fields, including especially students of Italian Renaissance art. In reaching this agreement, James Shulman, Executive Director of Artstor, said, “The ‘Gates of Paradise’ are among the most glorious works of Italian Renaissance art, and the recent restoration of Ghiberti’s famous relief panels is one of the crowning achievements of scientific art conservation. Artstor is delighted to be able to play a part in supporting this important work through rich, new photographic documentation, and we are equally pleased to make these stunning new images available to scholars, teachers, and students. We anticipate that our partnership with the relevant Italian authorities – the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, Opificio delle Pietre Dure, and other Florentine cultural agencies – will lead to many further collaborations with Italian museums.”

The Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore was founded by the Florentine Republic in 1296 to oversee the construction of the new Cathedral and its bell tower. Since 1436, the year in which Filippo Brunelleschi’s famous cupola was completed and the Cathedral consecrated, the principal charge of the Opera has been to conserve the entire monumental complex. In 1777 it was further assigned responsibility for the Florentine Baptistery and in 1891 for the museum which had been created to house works of art that, over the years, had to be removed from the Cathedral and the Baptistery.

The Opificio delle Pietre Dure is an autonomous Institute of the Florentine Ministry for Cultural Heritage, whose operational, research and training activities find expression in the field of conservation of works of art. It is the seat of one of the Italian state conservation schools, of a museum displaying samples of its artistic semiprecious stone production, a scientific laboratory for diagnostics and research, a highly specialised library in the sphere of conservation, extremely rich archives documenting conservation projects, a research centre and a public climatology service. It is one of the largest institutions in Europe in this field, having at its disposal an interdisciplinary team of conservators, art historians, archaeologists, architects, scientific experts and documentalists.

You may also be interested in “A peek behind Ghiberti’s Florentine Baptistery Doors.

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June 7, 2005

Oxford University and Artstor Reach Collaborative Agreement

Oxford University and Artstor announced today that they had reached an agreement whereby Oxford University’s Bodleian Library and Artstor will collaborate on the digitization and distribution through Artstor of approximately 25,000 high quality images of manuscript paintings and drawings from the Bodleian Library’s outstanding collection of medieval and renaissance illuminated western manuscripts.

With more than 10,000 volumes, the Bodleian Library’s Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts has one of the greatest collections of western medieval manuscripts in the world. In recent years, the Bodleian Library has – with support from the Getty Trust – been developing an Electronic Catalogue of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts. The present collaboration with Artstor will build on the foundation laid through that important effort. Through this partnership, Artstor will digitize virtually all of the illuminated manuscript leaves from Bodleian manuscripts through the 16th century, as well as selected 19th and 20th- century manuscripts in the medieval tradition. The project will also selectively include significant bindings, illuminated initials, and text pages. The present collaboration will make this rich body of visual material and related scholarship available online and at high resolution for the first time. The audience for these highly valued materials will include not only art historians and medievalists but also scholars, teachers, and students throughout the humanities and beyond, 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, Richard Ovenden, Keeper of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts at the Bodleian Library, expressed his enthusiasm in collaborating with Artstor and in using digital technologies to make this important scholarly resource more broadly available for noncommercial pedagogical and scholarly purposes. “The Bodleian Library at Oxford is delighted to be working with Artstor in making the tens of thousands of manuscript illuminations in our Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts more widely available to students and researchers in the field.” James Shulman, Artstor’s Executive Director, expressed Artstor’s keen interest in this partnership. “The Bodleian Library’s medieval and renaissance manuscript collections are legendary. We at Artstor are delighted to help make their artistic content more readily available to scholars, teachers and students.”

The Bodleian Library is the main research library of the University of Oxford. It is also a copyright deposit library and its collections are used by scholars from around the world. In addition, the Bodleian consists of nine other libraries, in separate locations in Oxford: the Bodleian Japanese Library, the Bodleian Law Library, the Hooke Library, the Indian Institute Library, the Oriental Institute Library, the Philosophy Library, the Radcliffe Science Library, the Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House and the Vere Harmsworth Library.

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May 10, 2005

The University of Michigan, The American Council for Southern Asian Art (ACSAA) and Artstor Collaborate

The University of Michigan, the American Council for Southern Asian Art (ACSAA), and Artstor announced today that they had reached an agreement whereby the University of Michigan and Artstor will collaborate on the distribution through Artstor of approximately 13,000 high quality digital images from the University of Michigan slide distribution service’s “ACSAA Color Slide Project.” Spanning nearly 3,000 years of Southern Asian culture, the ACSAA Color Slide Project has been the primary source of teaching images in the field of Southern Asian art and architecture for thirty years.

The ACSAA Color Slide Project is a non-profit supplier of photographic materials of Southern Asian art. Since 1974, the Project has provided high quality yet modestly priced color slides of the art and architecture of India and other South and Southeast Asian countries (Nepal, Tibet, Burma, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan) to individuals and institutions for teaching and research purposes around the world.

This collaboration will make this rich body of visual material and related scholarship available online and at high resolution 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. Through this agreement, the University of Michigan expects to make sets of the digital images available to individual scholars, here and abroad, as it has always done with its slide sets.

In reaching this agreement, Alex Potts, Professor and Chair of the History of Art Department at the University of Michigan, and Mary Beth Heston, President of ACSAA and Chair of the Art History Department at the College of Charleston, expressed their enthusiasm in collaborating with Artstor and in using digital technologies to make this important scholarly resource more broadly available for noncommercial pedagogical and scholarly purposes. “The History of Art Department at Michigan is very glad to be working with Artstor in making a significant portion of the exceptionally rich visual archive of Asian material it administers more widely available to students and researchers in the field. Collaborating with the American Council for Southern Asian Art to bring the holdings of the ACSAA Color Slide Project to a wider audience is important for the educational mission of both our institutions,” said Professor Potts, expressing the University of Michigan’s enthusiasm for this collaboration. “ACSAA believes Artstor shares the original educational and scholarly objectives of ACSAA in assembling and distributing these images. Artstor will further our mission to provide an important resource for scholars, teachers and students by bringing this resource into the digital age,” Professor Heston adds on behalf of ACSAA. Max Marmor, Artstor’s Director of Collection Development, expressed Artstor’s keen interest in this partnership. “The ACSAA slides have been one of the key sources of teaching images in Asian art and architecture for decades. Making these very important images available to teachers and scholars in digital form through Artstor will significantly ease the transition to digital for hosts of teachers and students, while also adding a new dimension to the immensely important slide distribution projects at the University of Michigan and strengthening ACSAA’s key role in support of the study of Southern Asian Art.”

The ACSAA Color Slide Project is a not-for-profit service established by the American Council for Southern Asian Art (ACSAA) at the University of Michigan in the mid-1970s. Since then the ACSAA Color Slide Project has functioned as a service to the educational community. The Project, which has benefited from the contributions of many individual photographers, concentrates on photographing and distributing, at an affordable price, slides of art objects from exhibitions, distinguished private collections, and the permanent collections of major American and South Asian museums. The project also photographs and distributes slides of major architectural sites that include sculptural monuments. For more information on the Project, see its website at http://www.umich.edu/~hartspc/acsaa/acsaa.html.

The American Council for Southern Asian Art (ACSAA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the study and awareness of the art of South and Southeast Asia. In addition to periodic symposia, ACSAA pursues these goals through various projects, including its bi-annual newsletter, bibliographies, and of course the ACSAA Color Slide Project. Since its incorporation in 1967, ACSAA has grown from its original fifteen members to an organization of some three hundred individuals and institutions.

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January 10, 2005

Major Art Museums to Share Digital Image Collections with Artstor

ARTstor has announced that sixteen art museums have committed to share digital image collections and associated data through ARTstor. Image and data from these collections will enhance ARTstor’s ability to provide broad-based access to art images for educational and scholarly use in museums, colleges and universities, and the K-12 sector.

The contributing museums include:

Many of these museums have been participants in AMICO (Art Museum Image Consortium), the pioneering digital initiative originally created by the Association of Art Museum Directors. AMICO announced recently that it would cease operations in July 2005, and expressed its intention to work with ARTstor during a transition period to encourage member museums to continue their efforts in collaboration with ARTstor. In addition to these institutions that had previously contributed to AMICO, other major art museums that will make parts of their image collections available through ARTstor include the Kimbell Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, Yale University Art Galleries, and the Williams College Museum of Art.

These art museum partnerships will result in the sharing through ARTstor of tens of thousands of very high quality digital images – images carefully selected by museum curators representing both well-known masterpieces and thousands of works of art that deserve to be better known. Many of the hidden treasures of major art museums – such as the textiles, photographs, and works on paper that are typically too fragile to be on regular public view – will be available for study by scholars, curators, and students at the more than 300 colleges, universities, art schools and museums now participating in ARTstor. James Shulman, Executive Director of ARTstor, noted that, “We are delighted that ARTstor can serve as an avenue through which these extraordinary institutions can make images of their works available for non-profit educational use. In addition to adding many thousands of images of the highest quality and museum authorized cataloging data to the ARTstor Digital Library, these collaborations represent exciting steps in our effort to be a part of a community-wide effort. We look forward to continuing partnerships with colleagues and friends at these and other museums.”

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November 23, 2004

Collaborative Agreement Reached Between the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America (Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University) and Artstor

The Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America (Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University) and Artstor Inc. announced today that they had reached an agreement to collaborate on the distribution through Artstor of approximately 36,000 high quality digital images from the Schlesinger Library’s renowned photographic archives.

The Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study is the leading national repository for women’s history. The Library’s collections document the full spectrum of activities and experiences of women in the 19th and 20th centuries. Particular strengths include women’s rights and suffrage, social reform, the labor movement, work and professions, family history, health and sexuality, culinary history, and gender issues. In the Library’s collections, there are more than 70,000 images in all varieties of photographic formats. These images represent the work of both professional and amateur artistic and documentary photographers and include portraits of individuals and family groups, men, children, landscapes, houses and interiors, travel pictures, women at work, and political and social activities. Although they provide a unique kind of documentation of women’s history that complements and enriches other parts of the Library’s collections, these images were, until recently, all but inaccessible.

This collaboration between Artstor and the Schlesinger Library will make this rich body of visual material and related scholarship available electronically, and in high resolution, to the larger educational and scholarly community for the first time. The audience for these materials will include scholars, teachers, and students throughout the arts, 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, Nancy F. Cott, the director of the library and also Jonathan Trumbull Professor of American History at Harvard University, and Max Marmor, Director of Collection Development at 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. “I am thrilled that this collaboration will bring a large part of the Schlesinger’s unique collection of photographic images to viewers worldwide,” said Professor Cott. Marmor adds, “The Schlesinger Library is by general consensus regarded as the leading repository for women’s history. Its photographic archives devoted to this subject are unrivalled. This collaboration should 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 more widely available for scholarly and educational purposes.”

The Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, is the leading national repository for women’s history. Founded in 1943 as the Women’s Archives at Radcliffe College, the Schlesinger Library has been at the forefront of collecting, cataloging and making available for research those papers, books, and other materials essential for understanding women’s lives and contributions. It houses one of the largest English language collections of published and unpublished sources that together document the range of issues, organizations and activities in which women have been central.

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November 11, 2004

Museum Education Program Announces Request for Proposals

The 2005 Artstor Museum Education Program seeks proposals from small, medium and large museum education departments who wish to explore the integration of ARTstor into an already existing education program or design a new project that makes use of ARTstor with museum audiences, museum staff, or volunteers.

Artstor staff will select promising proposals, and access to Artstor will be provided at no charge to the museum and audiences identified in selected projects or programs from January 17 to June 30, 2005. Additional benefits for museums selected to participate in the program are support from Artstor staff for project development, documentation and evaluation, and the publication of a final report encompassing all the participants in the 2005 Artstor Museum Education Program to further the education field’s understanding about teaching with digital images.

On November 15 at 11:30 a.m. CST and November 22, 2004 at 1:00 PM CST an informational session and demonstration of Artstor will be held online in Museum-Ed Office at LearningTimes.org. LearningTimes.org is an open community that allows demonstrations and discussions to take place in one environment for people at many different locations. These sessions are free, and open to all interested museum educators. Advance registration is required, for more information email krisw@museum-ed.org.

All proposals are due January 10, 2005.
For more information about the 2005 Artstor Museum Education Program and for application materials, contact Nancy Allen, Artstor Director of Museum Relations, at NSA@artstor.org or 646-274-2255. The full guidelines for proposals may be downloaded as a PDF on the ARTstor website.

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October 29, 2004

Collaborative Agreement Reached Between the Prussian Cultural Properties Foundation (Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz) and Artstor

The Prussian Cultural Properties Foundation and Artstor Inc. announced today that they had reached an agreement to collaborate on the distribution through Artstor of approximately 7,000 high quality digital images of sculptures from the Berlin State Museums.

The Berlin State Museums (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin) represent the result of centuries of collecting. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the holdings increased enormously through generous donations, through archaeological fieldwork and through sponsored ethnological expeditions. Today the national museums in Berlin consist of sixteen museums, each with its own special area of competence. Despite the losses suffered between 1933 and 1945, most collections rank high among the major museums of the world.

This collaboration between Artstor and the Prussian Cultural Properties Foundation will make a carefully curated selection of many of the most important objects from this rich body of visual material and related scholarship available to scholars, students, and curators electronically for the first time. The collaboration will focus on two museum collections. One project will focus on the unique collection of Greek, Hellenistic and Roman sculptures in the great Collection of Classical Antiquities, housed at the Pergamon Museum and on the first floor of the Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s landmark Altes Museum. A second project will be devoted to the important collections of the Museum of Ethnology. With over 500,000 artifacts from all over the world, the Museum of Ethnology is one of the largest and most important of its kind. It is devoted above all to the collection, preservation and study of the cultural artifacts of pre-industrial societies, especially those outside Europe. The present project will focus on the museum’s important African and Northwest Coast Native American collections, assembled and richly documented at a critical early juncture in the history of ethnological collecting and research. The museums’ curator will coordinate the selection of objects of greatest value to scholars and teachers for digitization. The Institute for Museum Research, an institution with nationwide responsibility for research and documentation, focusing also on all aspects of Museum studies across the various collections of the Berlin State Museums, will play a coordinating role in this partnership with Artstor.

In reaching this agreement, Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, President of the Prussian Cultural Properties Foundation, and James Shulman, Executive Director of Artstor, expressed their joint enthusiasm in collaborating to use digital technologies to make these important artistic and scholarly resources more broadly available for noncommercial pedagogical and scholarly purposes. “The Berlin State Museums have always been exceptionally significant places for scientific research and collection building. The modern possibilities of digital technology expand greatly on this potential and allow us not only to present these treasures, but also to link this effort with other important organizations, such as Artstor, to a degree previously unimaginable,” said Klaus-Dieter Lehmann. James Shulman comments, “This important partnership with the Berlin State Museums within the Prussian Cultural Properties Foundation will produce an exceptionally significant resource for scholars, teachers and students. Artstor is especially delighted to be part of this international collaboration. The coordination between the museums and libraries in Berlin – and the extent to which they are pursuing collaborative ventures both with universities and with other cultural organizations across Europe make them extraordinary partners for Artstor.”

The Prussian Cultural Properties Foundation is one of the world’s major cultural organizations. It embraces the sixteen national museums in Berlin as well as the State Library, State Archive and a number of research institutes, all with their origins in the collections and archives of the former State of Prussia. All are uniquely linked to form an integrated network for the exchange of cultural heritage objects and documentation.

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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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