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 entire 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.
The Nationalmuseum Stockholm is making 3,000 high-resolution images of its most popular artworks available for free download on Wikimedia 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
Today, Ocotber 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 National Register of Historic Places and the California Register of Historical 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 is 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 and the information superhighway have intersected at “Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China’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.
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.
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.
One year ago a man took a pneumatic drill to
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
For everyone saddened by the events at the Mosul Museum in February, please take a look at Project Mosul. Project Mosul is an action by the Initial Training Network for Digital Cultural Heritage that is looking for volunteers to help them virtually restore the Mosul Museum. They need to find photos, process data, contribute to the construction of their website and help them organize the effort to identify the artifacts in the Mosul Museum. If you are interested in joining their effort, email email@example.com.
If you are trying to keep up to date on the state of the Mosul Museum and the Assyrian archeological objects, here are a few blogs to follow:
Gates of Nineveh
Association for Research into Crimes Against Art (ARCA)
SAFE/Saving Antiquities for Everyone