Friday, June 2, 2017

30,000 Getty Museum images available!

On June 1, 2017, the Getty Museum announced that 30,000 images of works in their collections have been added to their Open Content Program, using IIIF (International Image Interoperability Framework).

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Read more about the project on the Getty Museum's blog!

The Search Gateway to the Getty's Open Content provides numerous search facets to explore their collections.  

There are over 114,000 Open Content images available! 

Users can search by type (media) and by topic (such as conservation and restoration, buildings and structures, social life and customs).  You can also search specifically for Open Content images, which are in the Getty's collections and are in the public domain.  They can be used freely!

A search for the artist Jean-Siméon Chardin in the Open Content images, for example, yielded two still life paintings.  You can see the "Download" button on the left below the image and  colorful IIIF icon in the lower right corner.

Clicking on the icon displays the IIIF Mirador viewer (which also has terrific zoom capability!), to which can be added additional IIIF images. A great resource from the Getty!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Guest Blogger art history graduate student Amanda Peters discusses a unique painting (an image of which the VMC is acquiring!)

In 2016, the Denver Art Museum exhibited a show titled "Women of Abstract Expressionism." This revolutionary exhibition was curated by University of Denver professor and DAM Curator of Modern Art, Gwen Chanzit. The story that unfolded in the gallery space embraced many artists overlooked by traditional scholarship and shed new light on a previously male dominated movement. Not only were these women an integral part of the story of art in New York and California, they created stunning works that pushed the boundaries of what could be done with painting.

An example of this innovative undertaking is Jay DeFeo's The Rose, 1958-66. While this painting by DeFeo was not in the exhibition, it is a spectacular example of one of the methods in which these artists explored the spatial use of the canvas. Whereas artist Helen Frankenthaler was exploring the use of thinned paint in a way to let the canvas surface emerge through layers that stained the canvas rather than built it up, DeFeo's The Rose was a massive undertaking of incredible amounts of coating and volume. As quoted from the exhibition catalog,Women of abstract expressionism:

"The Rose, measuring eleven inches thick and weighing about a ton--now a centerpiece of the Whitney Museum's collection--is the most famous painting to have come out of the San Francisco movement. The enduring fascination stems not from its innovative technique or media-blurring fracture, but rather from its commanding presence, enigmatic nature, and legendary history. The story of DeFeo's single-minded devotion to the painting for the better part of eight years is well documented. Removing the work required cutting a hole into a wall and lowing the piece on a forklift into a truck, an event immortalized in Bruce Conner's film 'The White Rose' (1965). What gives The Rose such power is not only its imposing size but the quantity of light, an inner, radiant light that exerts an active force on the viewer. The Rose, like all great works of art, defies definition--as critic Michael Duncan put it, the painting offers 'no closure but infinite quest,' oscillating between 'the concave and the convex, between emanation and inhalation, between transcendence and abnegation.'"

--Marter, Joan M. (ed.). 2016. Women of abstract expressionism. Denver, Colorado: Denver Art Museum; New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 55.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Virtual exhibit describes transformation to the Musee d'Orsay

Victor Laloux's train station in the 1970s, before the transformation into a museum
The Orsay train station was built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. It stood in Paris opposite the Tuileries Gardens. By 1939, the station's platforms were too short for modern trains and the station was threatened with destruction in the early 1970s.  The building was classified a Historical Monument in 1978. Transformation into a museum specializing in art created from 1848 to 1914 was completed in 1986.

The virtual exhibit documenting the transformation uses historic photographs to showcase the architecture and art.