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.
Posts Tagged ‘conservation & preservation’
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.
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
The Art Newspaper is regularly reporting on the impact of the Kiev uprising and its impact of Kiev cultural sites and objects. According to AN reporters, the National Art Museum of Ukraine, which is located in the riot zone on Hrushevskoho Street, and the Ukrainsky Dom are caught in the middle of the month-long street battles. The National Art Museum of Ukraine was lit on fire is currently closed and blocked with its collection hidden within the museum for protection. The Ukrainsky Dome, which houses the Kiev History Museum, was seized by protesters but has since be captured by government forces. The Ukrainsky Dome’s Faceook page has noted that the storage space for the history collection has been completely ransacked.
The Museum’s director appealed to both government officials and opposition leaders, asking them to “remember their responsibility in preserving the cultural heritage of the state [and] refrain from deliberate or accidental actions that may damage the museum and the surrounding territory”.
The National Art Museum of Ukraine has a collection of 40,000 objects from 12th-century icons to masterpieces of the Ukrainian baroque and works by the avant-garde sculptor Alexander Archipenko and the painter Alexandra Exter.
After 5-years of restoration work, the catacombs on Via Salaria in Rome have been re-opened to the public by the Vatican. Using laser technology, the frescoes were cleaned and the sarcophagi fragments re-housed in a new museum. Now you can take a virtual tour of the Catacombs of Priscilla.
For more information, including new research suggesting women served as priests in early Christianity, click here.
If you are following the distressing situation in Syria, we recommend that you take a look at the art blog Hyperallergic. In collaboration with the news site Syria Deeply, the editors of Hyperallergic have started a series of posts on Syria that explore the visual and cultural responses to the crisis in Syria. Their first post delves into the issue of art, education and therapy for children living in the Syrian refugee camps. Their most recent post addresses the International Council of Museums “The Emergency Red List of Syrian Cultural Objects at Risk.”
Our Heghnar Watenpaugh, professor of Art History here at UC Davis and scholar of Syrian architecture and urban history, has also contributed to the conversations on the Syrian crisis and its impact on Syrian culture. We have linked her contributions to the SAH Blog (Society of Architectural Historians) and interviews on NPR at the Department of Art and Art History’s news page.
Remember the botched restoration of the 19th century “Ecco Homo” a year ago in the Borja church? The one that inspired numerous art memes, a “Restoration Society,” references to monkeys and caused considerable anguish among conservationists? In case you don’t remember, you can revisit our blog entry on the episode here. Well, it appears all is forgiven. Cecilia Gimenez’s restoration, aka “Beast Jesus,” has also been attracting numerous visitors and is now inspiring the production of Borja approved “Beast Jesus” merchandise.
All profits from the merchandise are split between the Borja city council and the artist (49% for Gimenez and 51% for Borja). The city has begun charging an entrance fee of $1.30 to see the “restoration” with proceeds going to the Sancti Spiritus charitable foundation which helps care for the elderly in Borja.
All of this comes as a relief to Gimenez who has just opened her own art exhibition. “Now it seems like everyone’s happy.”
Watch an interview with Gimenez at her exhibition opening here.