The Museum of Modern Art has launched an online resource documenting its complete exhibition history. Here you can find installation views, catalogues, checklists, and press releases for over 3500 exhibitions at MoMA from 1929 to the present. Needless to say, MoMA has played a central role in the history of modern and contemporary art, so this comprehensive resource should prove extremely valuable to scholars and students. You can read more in MoMA’s press release and an article in The New York Times.
You may have heard that Artstor recently allied itself with ITHAKA, the parent company of JSTOR. (And in case you missed it, Artstor had a pretty funny April Fools’ Day story about it.) Now that two of the leading providers of visual and textual content have joined forces, we should expect to see further integration of their resources.
A new pilot project gives us a glimpse of where this partnership may be heading in the future. Exploring Rembrandt shows how images of the master’s work from Artstor can be linked to articles in JSTOR that discuss them. It is still a small prototype–addressing only five of Rembrandt’s paintings so far–but I think it is easy to imagine how useful this could be on a much larger scale.
The Visual Resources Collection in Princeton University’s Department of Art & Archaeology has just launched an online Sinai Icon Collection. Built around the original color photography in the Princeton-Michigan Sinai Archive, these images document the unparalleled collection of Byzantine icons in Saint Catherine’s Monastery at Mount Sinai. They were photographed during the joint expeditions to the monastery carried out by Princeton, the University of Michigan, and the University of Alexandria between 1956 and 1965, led by renowned Byzantinists Kurt Weitzmann and George H. Forsyth. This new digital resource contains over a thousand images that users can download for use in class presentations. If you are unfamiliar with the icons at Mount Sinai, you may want to begin by browsing the online exhibition of Highlights of the Collection.
This week is Open Access Week, an annual opportunity to highlight the benefits of sharing scholarly research and resources online.
Kevin Smith, director of the Office of Copyright and Scholarly Communications at Duke University Libraries, will speak in the Morris Library Reading Room at 4:00 pm on Wednesday, October 21. His lecture, “The Meaning of Publication in the Digital Age, or What Open Access Can Do for You,” is part of UD’s celebration of Open Access Week.
You can read more about it in UDaily.
The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore–one of our Department’s CTPhD Program partners–was among the first museums to make images of many of the artworks in its collection freely available to the public way back in 2012. Ever since that time, you have been able to download high-resolution images of its works either on the museum’s own website or in Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons (CC BY-SA) license.
Now, the Walters has taken the unprecedented step of waiving copyright altogether and dedicating these images to the public domain (CC0). There are no longer any restrictions whatsoever on your use of these images. You don’t even have to say that they came from the Walters (although in general, crediting the source of an image is still considered a best practice whenever possible).
Note that this new policy does not apply to images of every artwork in the Walters’s collection. All of the images released into the public domain are of artworks that are themselves also in the public domain. If an artwork is copyrighted, the Walters does not have the authority to place images of it in the public domain. This means that most art made since about 1900 is still under copyright, so those images are not made available here. However, since the Walters focuses mainly on earlier periods, this restriction excludes a relatively small number of the works in its collection.
A number of new online sources for images, text, and video are now available:
- Getty Research Institute – 77,000 historic photographs of tapestries and Italian monuments are now part of the Getty’s Open Content Program
- American Museum of Natural History – 7,000 archival photographs in Digital Special Collections, the new image database of the museum’s Research Library
- Bodleian First Folio – a digital facsimile of Shakespeare’s First Folio at Oxford, now releasing digital editions of each of the plays, beginning with Henry V
- British Pathé – 85,000 newsreels chronicling events of the 20th century are now available on its YouTube Channel
Visitors to the Delaware Art Museum‘s website can now search for works in its newly launched online collection. So far, this includes more than 1,000 works of art; the museum’s entire collection is expected to be online by 2018. You can read more about this new feature in the museum’s press release.
Located in Wilmington, the Delaware Art Museum is best known for its important collections of Pre-Raphaelite art; Howard Pyle, the Brandywine School, and American illustration; and John Sloan and the Ashcan School.
After many years of development, the Getty Research Institute has finally begun to roll out its newest online vocabulary, the Cultural Objects Name Authority (CONA). It joins the Getty’s other vocabularies–the Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT), the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN), and the Union List of Artist Names (ULAN)–all of which have become standard reference tools for cataloguers of works of art.
The aim of CONA is even more ambitious than those of its fellow vocabularies. Whereas the scope of AAT was limited to art historical terms, TGN to place names, and ULAN to artists, CONA will eventually include (in theory, at least) an authoritative record for every work of art and architecture ever created.
As you can imagine, this is a massive undertaking that will require many more years of work. Right now there are only about 1000 records in CONA, and these draw heavily from the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, with works like Van Gogh’s Irises. There are also records for some of the major landmarks of world architecture, like the Pantheon and Taj Mahal. The total number of records is still small enough that you will probably have more success exploring CONA by browsing rather than searching. But regardless of its current limitations, for the first time we are getting a glimpse of what will soon become one of the most important metadata resources.
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has just released Rijksstudio, its new online collection of 125,000 images. You have to register (for free) in order to do much with the site, but it does then allow you to download excellent images of works from the Rijksmuseum’s peerless collection of Dutch art. The site’s Terms and Conditions do permit personal use of its images (e.g., in a Powerpoint presentation) without requiring a fee or special permission, but for commercial or professional use (including publications), you still have to apply to the Rijksmuseum by filling out an online form.
A new website on Rembrandt has just been released by the RKD (Netherlands Institute for Art History) in The Hague. Although this beta version includes only a few of his paintings so far, it looks like it will become an important online resource for scholars and students of the Dutch master.
Here’s the announcement:
As of today, The Rembrandt Database is online at www.rembrandtdatabase.org.
The Rembrandt Database is a freely accessible English-language website containing research material – texts, images and other research data – on paintings by Rembrandt or attributed to him, either now or in the past, from multiple institutions The Rembrandt Database aims to become the first port of call for those researching Rembrandt’s paintings. The Rembrandt Database focuses in particular on making available the body of visual and textual material that has arisen from the technical analysis and treatment of the paintings.
After a long period of behind-the-scenes work on cataloguing, digitizing and describing documentation, entering art-historical data and developing the database and the user interface, the website can now be seen by everyone for the first time. It is still in the beta stage, but will continue to be developed and will be expanded to include new functions. Much more content is already in preparation!
We want to thank The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for its generous support, all of our partners for their collaboration and all participants in the user tests for their feedback! We look forward to continuing our collaboration with (more) partners and to improve and expand this website in the next months and years.
We hope that this will be a useful tool for research on Rembrandt and that you will enjoy working with it. We appreciate your feedback.