Archive for November, 2010

Kenneth Baker’s interview with Wayne Thiebaud online

November 29, 2010

The Art Studio Program’s 2010-2011 Lecture Series is underway and its second lecture — Wayne Thiebaud in conversation with Kenneth Baker — was hugely successful. In case you were unable to get a seat, you can catch the interview online at SFGate. An archival copy of the lecture between the UC Davis professor emeritus and the San Francisco Chronicle art critic will also be available in the Visual Resources Facility soon. For more information on the Art Studio 2010-2011 Lecture Series and upcoming presentations, visit the Art Studio Program website.

ARTstor now available through iPad, iPhone and iPad Touch

November 29, 2010

The ARTstor Digital Library is now accessible to registered ARTstor users through the iPad, iPhone, and the iPod Touch,my_artstor providing read-only features such as searching and browsing, zooming, and viewing saved image groups. ARTstor is also introducing the Flashcard View for ARTstor Mobile, which allows users to test their knowledge by viewing the image without textual information, and then flipping the image to reveal the image record. This new view can be found under the “Views” menu as “Flashcard.” ARTstor Mobile is only available through the Safari browser. For more information, go to ARTstor’s Help page.

Will Smarthistory replace Art History textbooks?

November 24, 2010

SmarthistoryMost art history students are painfully aware that Gardners Art Through the Ages and Stokstad’s Art History are some of the largest and heaviest textbooks around.  Wouldn’t it be nice not to have to lug those hefty books in your backpack? Art Historians Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker’s Smarthistory may provide some relief. Smarthistory is a free, open, not-for-profit online art history textbook that utilizes multimedia (video, maps, Flickr photos,, links and more) to present what they call and “unscripted conversations between art historians about the history of art.” Their use of multimedia and clever text to engage their audience may explain why is becoming increasingly popular among art history students.

MoMA’s AB EX NY iPad app

November 22, 2010

MoMA has just developed a new app in conjunction with their current exhibition Abstract Expressionist New York. The free app for iPads offers a selection of high-resolution images from the exhibition plus information, videos and maps on the artists, New York City history, galleries, bars and other interesting bits of NY Ab Ex history. If Abstract Expressionism isn’t your thing, MoMA has a few other apps worth exploring.

Fair Use primer

November 18, 2010

Can’t grasp tFair(y) Use Talehe concepts of Fair Use or the Public Domain? You are not alone.  Every year, more and more students are creating multimedia projects for class assignments, and frequently using copyrighted materials without any awareness of possible consequences. According to Patrick J. McGrail, assistant professor of communication at Jackson State University, we are in a “low-level crisis in copyright education now” (source: “Professors Publish Guide to Copyright Issues of Multimedia Projects”, Chronicle of Higher Education). Fortunately Eric Faden, a professor at Bucknell University, has created a video —  A Fair(y) Use Tale — to help clarify these confusing copyright principles.

Collection spotlight: Internet Archive

November 16, 2010

The Internet Archive, a non-profit digital library, ‘collects’ internet sites and cultural artifacts in digital fInternet Archiveorm. Founded in San Francisco in 1996 with the goal of providing researchers, historians, the general public and people with disabilities with permanent access to digital content, the Internet Archive contains moving images, software, texts, audio and archived web pages. Here is a tiny list of some of the archives’ amazing content: the Wayback Machine (an archive of over 150 billion web pages from 1996 to now), Prelinger Archives (2,000+ ephemeral films), Universal Newsreels, Media Burn (5,000 non-fiction tapes covering historical, political and social topics) and Animation Shorts.

Why you shouldn’t put off cleaning your attic…

November 16, 2010

In keeping with our Antiques Roadshow theme, and a $69.5Qianlong vase million reason to clean out your closets:
A brother and sister from a London suburb found a vase while clearing out their parent’s family home. In “a dusty attic”, they found several “Chinese knickknacks”, including a delicate vase. The vase turned out to be an 18th century porcelain dating from the Qianlong reign of the Qing dynasty. No one is really sure how the vase came to this modest London attic but the vase is believed to have come to Britain in the 19th century after British and French troops looted the Beijing Summer Palace at the end of the Second Opium War in 1860.  The vase was purchased by an undisclosed buyer and is now the most expensive Chinese artwork ever sold.  The other knickknacks, just for the record, fetched a paltry $65.

New ARTstor collections

November 12, 2010

ARTstor -- George Eastman HouseARTstor recently added several new collections to their database and signed agreements with 2 more major institutions. Among the new additions now available are: important works by Judy Chicago, including almost 400 images and interviews with the artist on her career, books and nonprofit organizations, and 14,000 additional photographs from the George Eastman House. ARTstor now contains approximately 19,000 examples of photographs — from early daguerreotypes to contemporary prints — from the George Eastman House.
New collection agreements have been signed with 3 new collections. The Museum of the City of New York will share approximately 55,000 images of New York City from their Prints and Drawings, and Photographs divisions. The Getty Research Institute is also collaborating with ARTstor to add two new collections: the Julius Shulman Archive and the Alexander Liberman Archive. The Alexander Liberman (1912-1999) archive will contribute 1,500 images of  modern European and American paintings, including works by Cézanne, Duchamp and Rothko. The Julius Shulman collection contains nearly 5,000 iconic photographs of Southern California modern architecture from 1936-1997.

Ansel Adams meets the Antiques Roadshow

November 10, 2010

It all began ten years ago when Rick Norsigian bought 2 boxes of negatives at a Fresno garage sale for $45. Art, handwriting and weather experts concluded that within these boxes of negatives were 65 plates produced by Ansel Adams; in July, an art dealer valued the negatives at $200 million. A short while later, a relative of Earl Brooks — a contemporary of Ansel Adams — claimed that the images were taken by Brooks, not Adams. Add now we can add Arthur C. Pillsbury to the list of possible creators of the Norsigian negatives.  According to the New York Times, because Yosemite was such a popular spot for photographers at this time (80 years ago), this may not be the last of the plot twists. The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust, the Center for Creative Photography and the University of Arizona archive, along with a number of art and forensic experts, dispute Norsigian’s claim to own authentic Adam’s negatives. The Adams trust and Norsigian meet in federal court this week over an alleged trademark violation resulting from Norsigian’s sale of prints of the negatives.

Tate Britain and iTunes develop Muybridgizer app

November 9, 2010

Tate Britain and iTunes have created a free app called the “Muybridgizer” Muybridge appthat allows iPhone photographers to take pictures inspired by the iconic works of early photographer Eadweard Muybridge. The app release coincides with the opening of the Tate’s major exhibition Muybridge at Tate Britain (8 September 2010 – 16 January 2011).

[Requirements: Compatible with iPhone and iPod touch (4th generation). Requires iOS 4.0 or later]