Happy Belated Public Domain Day!

February 6, 2017 by

class-of-2017-finalLast month, the Public Domain Review announced its “Class of 2017” — their top picks of artists whose works have now entered the public domain as of January 1, 2017. Among the newly free artists: André Breton, László Moholy-Nagy, Gertrude Stein, Alfred Stieglitz, Buster Keaton, and Mina Loy.

Trump and the arts

February 6, 2017 by

gif by Hrag Vartanian / Hyperallergic

Want to know what the future holds for the NEA and the NEH during the Trump years?

Here is some suggested reading:

“Trump Team Plans to Eliminate National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities,” Hyperallergic, January 19, 2017
“Trump Reportedly Wants to Cut Cultural Programs that Make Up 0.02 Percent of Federal Spending,” The Washington Post, January 19, 2017
“What Trump’s Proposed Spending Cuts Could Mean for the Arts Economy,” Fortune, January 19, 2017
“Trump Reportedly Wants to Eliminate the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities,” artnet news, January 19, 2017
“NEH on the Chopping Block?”, Inside Higher Ed, January 20, 2017
“No Deal for the Arts: It’s No Surprise that Donald Trump Wants to Tell the Arts and Humanities ‘You’re Fired,'” Salon.com, January 22, 2017
CAA Statement on Government Spending Cuts for Arts and Humanities,” CAA (College Arts Association), January 23, 2017
“As Trump Threatens the NEA, an Artist Compiles LL the Projects It Funded Last Year,” Hyperallergic, January 25, 2017
“What if Trump Really Does End Money for the Arts?”, The New York Times, January 30, 2017

Why your Art History class may be the most important class you take

February 6, 2017 by

In “The Art of learning: Why art history might be the most important subject you could study today,” Art historian Noah Charney argues that the study of art history and a humanities-based education is more important than ever.  The emphasis placed on the study of STEM subjects can diminish the perceived value of the humanities major, leading some to view these disciplines as purely whimsical and unpractical. In fact, Charney points to John Berger and his groundbreaking book Ways of Seeing to show how Art history develops the skills that increase critical thinking which are especially important in this age of fake news and alternative facts.

Read the entire article here.

Aberdeen Bestiary online

November 16, 2016 by

The Aberdeen Bestiary (MS 24), considered one of the finest medieval examples of the illuminated manuscript, is now available online thanks to Aberdeen University’s decades long effort to make the ms-24entire manuscript publicly available. Access to high-resolution images have given historians a close look at its gorgeous illuminations as well as a new perspective on the history and construction of the manuscript: imperfections now visible indicate numerous  scribes took part in its creation; notes and instructions between  scribes are visible in margins; thumb prints reveal frequent use as a teaching tool. In addition to the high resolution images, transcripts and translations of the original Latin text are available.

Read more about the project on the University Aberdeen project site and in a review of the project by Hyperallergic.

Nationalmuseum releases 3,000 images on Wikimedia Commons

October 13, 2016 by

The Nationalmuseum Stockholm is making 3,000 high-resolution images of its most popular artworks available for free download on wikimedia_commons_3000_images_501x250Wikimedia Commons. Because the Nationalmuseum is currently closed for renovation, only a small part of the collections is accessible to the public. “To provide more opportunity for people to enjoy its artworks, the museum embarked last year on a joint project with Wikimedia Sweden. As a result, high-resolution images of some 3,000 paintings from the collections are now available for download on Wikimedia Commons as public domain. This means they are part of our shared cultural heritage and can be freely used for any purpose. The images are also now zoomable, but not currently downloadable, in Nationalmuseum’s online database.

Link to images on Wikipedia Commons

James Turrell and David Adjaye at SXSL

October 3, 2016 by

Today, sxslOcotber 3, James Turrell and David Adjaye will participate in “Hard Things are Hard: A Conversation with James Turrell and David Adjaye for the Breakfast Session of SXSL. SXSL or South by South Lawn, is President Obama’s response to Austin’s SXSW (South by Southwest). SXSL presents a series of conversations and performances on the topic of civic engagement.

For the full schedule, go here.

The festival will stream live at WhiteHouse.gov, Facebook.com/WhiteHouse and sxsw.com/live

It’s official — TB-9 is a Historic Place

June 22, 2016 by

The National Register of Historic Places and the California Register of HistTB9orical Resources have recognized what we have known all along: that TB-9 (Temporary Building 9) is an amazingly significant and historic place. Even though it’s not much to look at, this past April the NRHP included TB-9 on is register of historic places worthy of preservation. According to the NRHP, TB-9 was added “because it is2 the site where the Funk Figurative Ceramics Movement began, a movement that was influential in altering the history of Ame
rican ceramics” and “because Robert Arneson, a nationally acclaimed ceramic artist who started the Funk Figurative Ceramics Movement, produced his most significant and influential work in his studio at TB-9.”

You can read the complete TB-9 NRHP Listing here.

The Silk Road meets the Information Superhighway

June 16, 2016 by

The Silk Road and the information superhighway have intersected at “Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on virtualChina’s Silk Road.” This exhibition, currently at the Getty Center in LA until September 4, is the joint effort of the Getty Conservation Institute, the Dunhuang Academy and the Chinese government who share a goal to protect and conserve the ancient decorated temples known as the Mogao Grottoes. This partnership has existed for 27 years and has employed the Getty’s “whole-body medicine” approach to preservation which involves a holistic, all encompassing assessment of the site (weather, temperature, geologic stability etc.) in addition to an evaluation of artistic styles and materials.

You can read more about their joint conservation work here and learn more about the exhibition, including installation videos here.

Digital Scrolling Painting Project

May 24, 2016 by

Handscrolls, often fragile and difficult to handle and display because of their large format, are rarely shown in public and in their entirety.  These same qualities also makes them impossible to reproduce faithfully for teaching purposes. The Center for the Art of East Asia is hoping to change that by making a few valuable handscrolls more accessible and visible through its Digital Scrolling Paintings Project.
scroll project
Designed to support the teaching of classes on East Asian painting, the Digital Scrolling Painting Project developed digital scrolling technology to simulate the viewing experience lacking in classes that rely on reproductions which distort the sequential and participatory nature of the handscroll viewing process. In collaboration with the Humanities Computing, the Center for the Art of East Asia developed its digital scrolling technology to simulate the viewing experience and to improve understanding of handscroll paintings. The scrolling paintings website has been designed with interactive elements to allow unprecedented accessibility to the complete works of art for educators, students and researchers.

Viewers can search and browse a selection of scrolls from the Art Institute of Chicago, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Nelson-Atkins Museum. the St. Louis Art Museum, the Smart Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Palace Museum of Beijing.

Museum of Lost Objects Podcast

May 24, 2016 by

One year ago a man took a pneumatic drill to

Lamassu, Assyrian winged creature and protective spirit that guarded a gate along Ninevah's city walls before it was vandalized by ISIS.

Lamassu, Assyrian winged creature and protective spirit that guarded a gate along Ninevah’s city walls before it was vandalized by ISIS.  

the statue of a winged bull at the gates of the ancient city of Nineveh, near Mosul in modern Iraq. It’s one of countless treasures destroyed by vandals, militants or military action in the region in the past 15 years.” So begins the first in a series of stories about lost ancient art from Iraq and Syria.

These stories comprise the Museum of Lost Objects, a 10-part series and podcast produced by the BBC. Museum of Lost Objects follows looted, lost and destroyed antiquities or ancient sites, tracing the local histories, legends, personal stories surrounding Syrian and Iraqi antiquities from their creation to their demise.

Episode 1: Winged-bull of Nineveh
Episode 2: Palmyra: Temple of Bel
Episode 3: Tell Qarqur, Hama Province
Episode 4: Minaret of the Umayyad Mosque, Aleppo
Episode 5: The Lion of al-Lat
Episode 6: Mar Elian Monastery
Episode 7: Al-Ma’arri the Poet
Episode 8: The Genie of Nimrud
Episode 9: Armenian Martyr’s Memorial, Der Zor
Episode 10: Looted Sumerian Seal, Baghdad