So the government shutdown has become a reality — the first shutdown since the month long closure in 1995. What does that mean for the arts and for our image/research users? The National Endowment for the Arts is essentially closed and half its staff furloughed. The Smithsonian’s 19 museums and galleries are closed although the institutions remain guarded, HVAC systems are operating and maintenance crews are on call. Some current exhibitions may end early and others will have their rollouts disrupted. The National Zoo is closed and the panda cam is offline. National Parks are closed until further notice and national monuments are barricaded. Not only is the Library of Congress closed but its website is down. While you can’t access LC’s American Memory Project and the Prints and Photographs Collection, the National Archives catalog remains online (for the moment…) but without updates.
Archive for the ‘Museum news’ Category
The Getty has announced that it is lifting restrictions on the use of images to which the Getty holds all the rights or are in the public domain. According to Getty President and CEO Jim Cuno, “the Getty makes available, without charge, all available digital images to which the Getty holds all the rights or that are in the public domain to be used for any purpose.” The Open Content Program will make approximately 4600 images of paintings, drawings, manuscripts, photographs, antiquities and sculpture and decorative arts from the J. Paul Getty Museum available in high resolution on the Getty’s Search Gateway for use without restriction. The Getty plans to add other images, until eventually all applicable Getty-owned or public domain images are available, without restrictions, online.
On the Open Content Program’s website, the Getty explains their decision: “we recognized the need to share images of works of art in an unrestricted manner, freely, so that all those who create or appreciate art—scholars, artists, art lovers, and entrepreneurs—will have greater access to high-quality digital images for their studies and projects. Art inspires us, and imagination and creativity lead to artistic expressions that expand knowledge and understanding. The Getty sincerely hopes that people will use the open content images for a wide range of activities and that they will share the fruits of their labors with others.
The 15th Annual Sacramento Museum Day will take place this February 2nd (Saturday). Thirty Sacramento area museums will be participating with twenty-eight of the museums offering free admission for this event. Museum Day, a Sacramento cultural tradition, invites all members of the community to experience the Capital City’s incredible wealth of art, history, science and wildlife at numerous participating museums at no cost. Event hours are 10 am to 5 pm (with the last guests admitted at 4 pm).
Participating museums include: Aerospace Museum of California, California Automobile Museum, California Foundry History Museum, The California Museum, California State Military Museum, California State Capitol Museum, California State Railroad Museum, Ceter for Contemporary Art, Crocker Art Museum, Discovery Museum Science and Space Center, The Don and June Salvatori, California Pharmacy Museum, Fairytale Town, Folsom History Museum, Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park, Heidrick Ag History Center (Woodland), Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park, Maidu Museum and Historic Site, Museum of Medical History, Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum, Old Sacramento State Historic, Park, Roseville Utility Exploration Center, Sacramento Zoo, Sacramento Historic City Cemetery, Sacramento History Museum, Sojourner Truth Multicultural Arts Museum, State Indian Museum, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park, and Wells Fargo History Museum (Old Sacramento and Downtown locations).
In anticipation of its reopening on April 13, 2013, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam launched Rijks Studio, their new online presentation of 125,000 works in its collection.
“Rijks Studio invites members of the public to create their own masterpieces by downloading images of artworks or details of artworks in the collection and using them in a creative way. The ultra high-resolution images of works, both famous and less well-known, can be freely downloaded, zoomed in on, shared, added to personal ‘studios’, or manipulated copyright-free. Users can have prints made of entire works of art or details from them. Other suggestions for the use of images include creating material to upholster furniture or wallpaper, or to decorate a car or an iPad cover for example. To celebrate this digital milestone, the Rijksmuseum is asking leading international artists, designers and architects to become pioneers of Rijks Studio by selecting one work from the collection and using it creatively to create a new artwork. These will be released in the run up to the reopening of the museum.” (Press release)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has provided online access to their extensive publishing program through a newly developed resource called MetPublications. This portal currently provides access to 650 titles published from 1964 to the present but their goal is to make their entire list of publications — books, Bulletins and Journals published since 1870 — available online. Current titles that are in-print may be previewed and search online with links to purchase the item. Almost all other titles may be read online, searched or downloaded as a PDF through the Google Books program.
Also available on MetPublication is their very useful Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, an online chronological, geographical and thematic exploration of global art history.
You can read more about the program here.
Users of the Rembrandt Research Project (RRP) will be happy to know that there is a new resource available to Rembrandt scholars. The Rembrandt Database is an inter-institutional research resource for information and documentation on paintings by Rembrandt – or attributed to him, either now or in the past – in museums around the world. This new resource consolidates all the various documentation on Rembrandt into one site with the aim of becoming the first port of call for research on Rembrandt’s paintings. Over 20 institutions partnered with the primary sponsors RKD (Netherlands Institute for Art History) and the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in developing the Rembrandt Database. The developers eventually hope to include the body of information and documentation collected by the RRP into the Rembrandt Database.
The website currently contains 1700 digital documents (visual and textual material) relating to 12 paintings in 3 different museums. This number will grow in the coming period with the number of contributing museums is expected to reach 20 by 2014.
The Museo del Prado has launched a new site devoted to its extensive collection of Goya works and documents. The site, called Goya en el Prado, provides more than 1,000 digital images of paintings, prints, drawings and documents by the artist from the Prado’s collection. Goya in the Prado will be regularly updated with new information making it a primary reference point for those interested in Goya. The site offers rigorous technical and historical information, a comprehensive bibliographical section and high resolution images. The site is in Spanish but the Museum recommends non-Spanish speakers to consult with them for assistance.
The National Portrait Gallery in London is now supporting free downloads of images from its collection for academic uses. More than 53,000 low-resolution images and 87,000 high-resolution images are available with through a Creative Commons license.
More information on the NPG’s Academic license is available here.
ARTstor and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation have released more than 750 images of major artworks from the permanent collection in the ARTstor Digital Library. This first release amounts to 11% of the Guggenheim Foundation’s projected 7,000 images of art, exhibition installation views, and architecture. Future releases will include 5,000 installation views spanning from 1990s to the present from the Guggenheim Museum in New York, more than 1,000 installations views from the museums in Bilbao and Venice, and 200 historical and contemporary photographs documenting the architecture of these three museum buildings.
The culture and heritage minister of Italy began discussions last week that could force Italy’s national contemporary art museum to close its doors. The Maxxi, designed by Zaha Hadid, just opened those doors only two years ago. A €800,000 (over $1,000,000) gap in the museum’s accounts, along with a prediction that losses could grow to €11m in three years, prompted the minister’s actions.
[Source: The Guardian, April 24 2012]
The Maxxi is not flailing alone in this financial quagmire. Earlier this year, UNESCO accused the Italian government of failing to maintain the archaeological site of Pompeii. In 2010, the House of Gladiators collapsed leaving a pile of debris and a vote of no confidence in the Italian Parliament for then Culture Minister Sandro Bondi. After relentless criticism and negative attention, the Italian government and the EU launched a a project (amounting to €105m) earlier this month to save Pompeii. Italia Nostra, a group fighting to preserve Italy’s cultural heritage, called the project a “great start” but noted that twice the amount of funding is needed to properly maintain the site.
[Source: BBC News, April 20 2012]
At the Casoria Contemporary Art Museum in Naples, the museum director has declared an “Art War.” The Casoria has started burning its artworks because of government indifference. Museum director Antonion Manfredi set fire to the first of 1,000 paintings on Tuesday in protest of government austerity measures that are taking an enormous toll on cultural institutions. The painting set on fire was by French artist Severine Bourguignon who supports the protest and watched the event online. “The survival of the museum is such an important cause that it justifies the despicable, and painful, act of destroying a work of art,” she told the BBC.
[Source: BBC News, April 20 2012]