Archive for Art

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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