Archive for Art

One Million Images Freely Available from ArtStor

ArtStor has aggregated numerous public access collections containing a million images and made them available for free. Advanced searching allows you to narrow your searches to a manageable selection. Well worth perusing.

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A Brief History, With Pictures, of Loew’s Jersey City

Such a treasure! More information is available here.

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Thomas Nast’s “Christmas Drawings for the Human Race”

Nast was a political cartoonist whose work helped expose the corruption of New York City government as typified by Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall; he was also a prolific chronicler of the Civil War for Harper’s Weekly. In addition, he is credited with the creation of our modern depiction of Santa Claus. His Christmas Drawings for the Human Race collect his many seasonal sketches; you can see in these pages the Santa Claus we now know appear.

Additional work by Nast can be found at: The Thomas Nast Collection (Princeton); and Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (Ohio State).

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Illustrated Book Covers

Those of us who enjoy books also enjoy the book covers that encompass them. Many of them are works of art in themselves and were created by artists of some renown. (Check out Edward Gorey’s book covers for other authors.) Almost 500 examples of illustrated book covers can be found here. And here is an extremely informative article of this subject accompanied by splendid reproductions of this special art form.

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How To Find Civil War Historical Markers and Monuments

There is no comprehensive site that lists every single memorial, but there are certain sites/publications that allow one access to thousands of them:  The Landscape of Civil War Commemoration(Slate.com) provides an interactive map leading to hundreds of sites; The Historical Marker Database can be searched by topic or state; Save Our Sculpture database (Smithsonian) can be searched by keyword or  designated topics; The Civil War: Search for Monuments is an incomplete but growing database from the National Parks Service; and the report from the Southern Poverty Law Center – Whose Heritage? Public Symbols of the Confederacy – is self-explanatory.

 

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Museum of Modern Art Online Exhibition Catalogs

This MOMA site allows access to over 3500 exhibition catalogs dating back to 1929. The masters of modern art – Picasso, Stella, Rothko, Miro, Calder are all represented here. You can search by year, keyword or type. As this is an ongoing project, the earlier exhibitions are present in their entirety; the more current ones are in the process of being mounted. Where available, the catalogs as well as the checklists and press releases are included.

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Interviews With African-American Artists

The Archives of American Art has a special collection on African-American Artists; it contains dozens of available oral interviews (with transcripts and audio excerpts) as well as digitized collections of major artists; for example, Romare Bearden (2000+ pages) and Palmer C Hayden (4000+ pages).

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Dictionary of Art Historians

This free, scholarly biographical database provides succinct biographical information on scholars of western art. The newer entries contain active links; the older ones do not, but that does not detract from the usability of this fine tool. This work ranges far and wide, offering biographies of those individuals who were only tangentially related to art history, such as Georges Duby. The search box is a simple one, but you can enter terms in it to limit your results. In addition, this database contains a substantial bibliography arranged under broad topics. Also, peruse An Outline of the History of Art History. We remember with fondness our meeting with the great Islamic art historian Richard Ettinghausen during his tenure at NYU and the Met.

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Online Art History Books

The Getty Research Portal allows access to almost 40,000 volumes of digitized art history texts from some of the world’s great research institutions. You can filter your results in any number of ways: type, name, place, or contributor (i.e., library). See how many books are here by James Rorimer, one of the most influential “Monuments Men“.

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Art Historians in the Digital World

This 2014 report from Ithaka, Supporting the Changing Research Practices of Art Historians focuses on five areas of inquiry: the research methods for digital art history will be different than other humanities fields; networking and digital collaboration among various institutions and stakeholders is still in a nascent stage; the lack of a centralized discovery architecture that inhibits systematic searching/research; the storage of digital images is far from uniform; and graduate students’ research skills need to be refined. More than seventy practitioners from diverse institutions were interviewed for this report. Another germane report is Transitioning to a Digital World: Art History, Its Research Centers, and Digital Scholarship from the Kress Foundation. Also, papers from the Digital World of Art History conferences are online as is a webcast version of American Art History and Digital Scholarship: New Avenues of Exploration from the Archives of American Art.

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Artist Interviews from the Tate Museum

Audio Arts was an innovative audio-cassette magazine first published in 1972; it contained interviews with artists, critics, and other luminaries from the arts. The Tate Museum has preserved and made these interviews, over 1600 of them, available online. Listen to Christo, James Joyce, Marcel Duchamp, and Paul McCarthy, among others.

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The Real Monuments Men and Women

A group of approximately 350 men and women – artists, curators, educators, museum directors –  from more than a dozen countries operated under the U.S. Army’s Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program. They were tasked with retrieving art work looted by the Nazis; ultimately, Monuments Men went to Japan as well. From 1943 to 1946, they recovered vast numbers of masterworks that had been stripped from museums and private collections. The Archives of American Art has organized Monuments Men: On the Frontline to Save Europe’s Art, 1942-1946 featuring interviews and biographical information on some of these individuals. The Monuments Men Foundation has an extensive listing of those who participated in the program; where possible, biographical information is included. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has an itinerary and interactive map highlighting treasures held at the Met that were rescued by the Monuments Men. The National Archives hosts a Monuments Men site including finding aids, biographical essays, a link to a Prologue article Monuments Men and Nazi Treasure, and images of looted art. Monuments in Peril: The Rape of Europa is a very informative video on this topic.

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Getty Museum Publications Online

The J. Paul Getty Museum has been a major presence in the dissemination of free scholarly information in digital format; it now is making available over 250 of its publications online via the Getty Virtual Library. This collection, that will be continually expanded, offers translated volumes, symposium proceedings, as well as exhibition catalogs and the J. Paul Getty Museum Journal. Searching is by author, title, keyword, subject area and program, along with other options.

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American Artists: Online Interviews and Papers

The Smithsonian Institution’s magnificent Archives of American Art contains wonderful treasures. We will highlight two of them: oral history interviews and digitized collections of papers. The former site is comprised of hundreds of interviews with those connected with the arts, from administrators to educators to painters. There is a brief biographical note, collection summary, and transcript appended to each entry; in certain cases, an audio excerpt is also available. Currently, the latter site houses 110 artists’ collections online; these range from the letters of Albert Bierstadt to Charles Scribner’s Sons Art Reference Department. Hundreds of thousands of documents/texts/images, etc. are freely available. GREAT resources for art history or history researchers.

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Videos and Podcasts on Art

There are more than a few places one can go to listen/view/read lectures on various aspects of the arts. Here are a few good ones: National Endowment for the Arts has dozens of wide-ranging selections available from jazz masters to leading art experts; the National Gallery of Art hosts Notable Lectures by artists, authors, curators, and historians; the History of Art is presented by Oxford University; Frick has Lectures and Talks; artist interviews and exhibition videos are at LACMA(Los Angeles County Museum of Art); hundreds of videos are available from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (we especially like the Medieval Art and The Cloisters channel); the Museum of Modern Art hosts its videos at its YouTube channel; over 1600 videos including talks. lectures, workshops, performances, and exhibition films can be found at the Tate Channel; Podcats featuring exhibitions, art tours, and lectures are at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art offers videos on its channel; and the Guggenheim Museum has its own video collection. Some non-museum sites include:  Arts (Annenberg Learner), Art History (Khan Academy), Art History (Saylor), and Arts (YouTube).

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Metropolitan Museum of Art Online Publications

MetPublications is the access point to the, at the time of this writing, 674 volumes of monographs, collection catalogs, and exhibition catalogs published by the Met since 1964. Almost 300 of these volumes are available in their entirety online. There are various searches available: author, title, collection, theme, keyword, etc. Every book entry includes “… a description and table of contents for almost every title, as well as information about the authors, reviews, awards, and links to related Met bibliographies by author, theme, or keyword.” One of the links that many books have is to the excellent Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History developed by the Met. And even if the book is not online, a substantial portion can be previewed through Google Books. (A link is provided in the book’s description.) This is the beginning of an ambitious project to make accessible all of its publications back to 1870. While we wait for that to transpire, the Internet Archive has online versions of hundreds of pre-1964 volumes (primarily before 1923)  available.

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Greek Museum Catalogs Online

Published under the auspices of the John S Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, the “Museums Cycle” features lavishly illustrated books centered on specific Greek archaeological  museums. Written by experts, these works allow the reader access to the cultural legacy of Greece. Among the museums examined are: Thebes, Marathon, Olympia, Delphi, and Pella. A new volume is published each year; each volume is at least 300 pages in length (the Thebes volumes is 400 pages) and is accompanied by a bibliography. As of this writing, there are a baker’s dozen available with more planned.

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Guggenheim Museum Catalogs Online

More than 60 catalogs have been digitized and are available for viewing; they range from an exhibition on Alexander Calder to a 500 page volume on Chinese art through 5000 years. They can be searched by date, title, or subject. In addition, the museum is also devising The Syllabus which “…offers points of entry into the Guggenheim’s rich publication archives, with suggested readings on historical themes, topics, and trends, as well as links for further exploration.” This latter section is still under development and more content will be added over time.

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2008 Jersey City Artists Studio Tour

Stretching over three days from Friday, October 3 to Sunday, October 5, eleven curated art exhibitions, including one by NJCU’s own professor Hugo Bastidas, and another by NJCU’s professor Midori Yoshimoto, will be open to the public free of charge. Also represented in this tour is NJCU art professor Ben Jones who has a retrospective exhibition entitled “Deliverance: The Art of Ben Jones” featured at the Jersey City Museum. NJCU is also featured prominently as host of the Black Maria Film and Video Festival, as well as having the NJCU Art Faculty Biennial Exhibition represented in the tour on Saturday, noon to 5pm. Information on the tour can be found here. A map of the studio tours is available.

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