Skip to Main Content

Blog Category: Highlights

April 11, 2022

Explore Earth Day with Artstor and JSTOR: Environmental Studies and the Biosphere

Ami Vitale. A field of blue… 2008. Photograph. © Ami Vitale / Panos Pictures.

In homage to Earth Day we have gathered a list of resources on the Artstor and JSTOR platforms, from licensed to freely available community-generated collections. We encourage you to explore this content — it combines art and science, enriching the study of the environment and the biosphere across the globe: photography from the microscopic to the panoramic, scientific and anatomical illustrations, evidence from surveys and studies, models, artists’ interpretations in varied media, the vision and work of conservationists, and the effects of our existence on this planet from millennia of cultivation and development to the threats of climate change.

Continue Reading »

March 1, 2022

Genius has no gender*: Rethinking the Old Master moniker

Artemisia Gentileschi. Esther before Ahasuerus. Oil on canvas. Image and data from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Once upon a time–not so long ago–it seems that we believed that all the great pre-modern western painters were men! If not, why did we call them the Old Masters? The honorific derives from the masculine latin term magister meaning teacher, master, chief, coming from magis–more or greater. By definition and origin, the concept excludes women. Since the late 1900s the term has become so pervasive that a title search for old masters returns 74,000 + hits on WorldCat. Notwithstanding false results and the many auction catalogs, a lot of ink has been spilled on the Old Masters.

Seriously though, there have been many scholars, notably women, who have labored to dispel this myth. Beginning with the trailblazers Linda Nochlin’s “Why have there been no great women Artists?” and Old Mistresses, women art and ideology by Griselda Pollock and Rozsika Parker, the pendulum started to swing back and women artists began to take their rightful places. Women’s History Month provides an opportunity to revisit some of these “rediscovered” creators and their accomplishments. We already know their names: Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith Leyster, Rosa Bonheur… Thankfully, they are celebrated today, and it’s always worth taking another look; after all, how many times have we lauded their counterparts the Old Masters? Of course, the current small selection under-represents women painters, but it is intended here as a temporal counterpart to the Old Masters and as an indication of far greater numbers. Apologies to the many artists unmentioned, particularly to contemporary figures.

Continue Reading »

Posted in
February 25, 2022

Illuminate Women’s History Month with Artstor and JSTOR

In celebration of Women’s History Month we have compiled a list of resources available on the Artstor/JSTOR platforms, from licensed to freely available community generated collections.

Bain News Service. Woman suffrage pageant. May 191. Photograph. Image and data from Eyes of the Nation: A Visual History of the United States (Library of Congress).

We encourage you to explore the resources: photographic, graphic, and written accounts of the women’s suffrage, labor, and reproductive rights movements: the artistic output of female painters, sculptors, architects, designers, and craftswomen; the work and lives of women in science; photographs of women and by women, including a wide selection of portraits of literary luminaries, as well as of communities of women around the globe.

Continue Reading »

Posted in
January 24, 2022

Discover Black history with Artstor and JSTOR collections

In honor of Black History Month, we have consolidated a list of varied resources available on the Artstor/JSTOR platforms, from licensed collections to freely available community generated collections. We invite you to explore the resources – historic chronicles from manuscripts, newspapers, documents and recordings, the story of African American art told by the works themselves, photographic archives portraying the lives of celebrated African Americans and those we no longer know. Discover great works, official records, iconic portraits, ephemera and memorabilia in the collections below.

Josephine Baker, 1930s-1940s. Image and data from Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
Riley, Anthony. Ecstasy Garage Disco, Feb. 14, 1981. Image and data from Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
Heliton, Bob. Angela Davis smoking, 1968. Image and data from Stephan Loewentheil Photograph Collection, #8043. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
Phase 2, Lonny Wood. Ecstasy Garage Disco, Nov. 27, 1980. Image and data from Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
Lambert Center, Nov. 20, 1982. Image and data from Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
Two women standing, early 20th century. Image and data from Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.

Continue Reading »

Posted in
December 9, 2021

Celebrations of light

Samuel Palmer. The Harvest Moon. c. 1833

Samuel Palmer. The Harvest Moon. c. 1833. Image and data from the Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection.

As the strength of the sun wanes in the fall, our festivities and rites tend to be centered on the elements of fire and light — natural, divine, and synthetic. It is no accident that many of our brightest celebrations light up our darkest months. Below, we have selected some images that collectively exalt the power of light to animate our revels.

Continue Reading »

Posted in
November 17, 2021

Giving thanks

Bob Gore. Giving Thanks, Terrier Rouge, Haiti. 10 Oct. ‘07. Image and data from Bob Gore Productions, Inc.

We are on the cusp of the holiday season, a quiet, delicious pause before the big rush — a time when we slow down to reflect and give thanks. In the spirit of A.A. Milne’s inimitable philosopher Piglet, we may recall our capacity for gratitude: “Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” In celebration of Thanksgiving, we are highlighting expressions of thanks through time and across the world.

John Biggers. Jubilee Ghana Harvest Festival. 1959-1963. Image and data from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. © John T. Biggers Estate Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.

A moment of grace bestills the bowed heads of three small Haitian girls captured by the photographer Bob Gore, while a swell of Ghanian women is moved by thankful joy during a Harvest Festival in a monumental painting by the African American artist John Biggers.

Continue Reading »

August 11, 2021

Back to the museums

If you haven’t yet ventured back to your preferred museums, now is the time. Summer is coming to an end and the pandemic has deprived us of months of museum-going pleasure — reward yourself. We have assembled a list of some eye-catching exhibitions for the coming year. We’ll begin with a couple that are ending soon:

Jacob Lawrence. We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility…. 1955. Painting. Image and data from the Harvard Art Museums. © 2021 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle
The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C., June 26-September 19, 2021

Most of the 30 original panels from Jacob Lawrence’s series on the American Revolution have been reunited for this exhibition that has toured several museums. The artist conceived and executed the paintings during the mid-1950s as the Civil Rights Movement grew and his interpretation incorporated the actions of enslaved Black people as part of the arc of American history.

Continue Reading »

Posted in
June 16, 2021

Celebrating Juneteenth with quilts: sewing freedom, unity, and joy

Photograph of cotton quilt

America Irby. Quilt. Image and data from The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

We was taught there’s so many different ways to build a quilt. It’s like building a house. You can start with a bedroom over there, or a den over here, and just add on until you get what you want. Ought not two quilts ever be the same. You might use exactly the same material, but you would do it different. A lot of people make quilts just for your bed, for to keep you warm. But a quilt is more. It represents safekeeping, it represents beauty, and you could say it represents family history. 1

Mensie Lee Pettway (b. 1939), on learning her craft from her mother America Irby.

Jennie Pettway and another girl with quilter Jorena Pettway

Arthur Rothstein. Jennie Pettway and another girl with the quilter Jorena Pettway. 1937. Image and data from The Library of Congress.

Romare Howard Bearden. Quilting Time. 1985. Image and data from the Detroit Institute of Art. Art © Estate of Romare Bearden / Licensed by VAGA, New York.

Juneteenth is an annual holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, and we are celebrating with a virtual exhibition of African American quilts. June 19 observes and renews the call for freedom, justice, and equality in the African American community. From the period of slavery through emancipation and up to current times, the activities and output of quilters have embodied strength, bound the community, and bestowed beauty and warmth, echoing the spirit of the holiday. An archival photograph of two generations of the Pettway family sewing together, 1937, and the mosaic mural Quilting Time, 1986, by Romare Bearden attest to the community building/family bonding attributes of the tradition.

Continue Reading »

Posted in
June 3, 2021

Broadening horizons: Artstor collections 2020-2021

Tang Dynasty. Tomb guardian. early 700s. Glazed earthenware. Image and data from The Cleveland Museum of Art. CC0 1.0.

Extending our cultural scope and disciplinary reach

We are working to add new collections that extend Artstor’s cultural scope and disciplinary reach. This includes African, African American, and Asian content, and content in disciplines such as social justice and human geography, environmental studies, public health, and natural sciences. New additions centered on this growing diversity include: Barbara Anello: Khmer Sites; Arthur Szyk; Brooklyn Museum; Magnum Photos, and more.

Continue Reading »

Posted in
May 4, 2021

Spring into Artstor

Painting of field

Grant Wood. Spring turning. 1936. Oil on masonite. Image and data from Reynolda House Museum of American Art.

Welcome to all new participants and welcome back to old friends. For a quick refresher on tips and tools, new content, and our growth at Artstor, check out these handy resources to get the lay of the land:

Continue Reading »

Posted in