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Art through the_information_age

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Presentation given at Brooklyn Museum Libraries. Bibliography soon to come.

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Art through the_information_age

  1. 1. Iris Finkel • M-LEAD Presentation • March 17, 2011
  2. 3. 1960s <ul><li>“ So metime in 1980 a scholar will enter a major museum, seat himself at a computer terminal in the research room, and ask to review all art works depicting say, sailing vessels. He will want to see bas-reliefs and sculptures, as well as drawings and paintings. He will expect to see works from all significant collections around the world, including works currently in storage in the museum, and those out in traveling exhibitions. ” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>William Paisley (1968) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Computers and their potential applications in Museums: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A Conference Sponsored by The Metropolitan of Art Supported by a Grant by the IBM Corporation, April 15, 16, 17 1968”, New York, NY: The Metropolitan Museum of Art </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 4. Computers and Their Potential Application in Museums <ul><li>Documentary Applications </li></ul><ul><li>The Analysis of Museum Systems </li></ul><ul><li>Stylistic Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>The Museum Computer and the Analysis of Artist Content </li></ul><ul><li>Visual Applications </li></ul><ul><li>Computer Methods for the Processing, Classifying and Matching of Profiles </li></ul><ul><li>and Other Irregular Curves </li></ul><ul><li>Computerized Museum Networks </li></ul><ul><li>The Value of a Computerized Data Bank as an Adjunct to a Museum </li></ul><ul><li>Card Catalogue </li></ul><ul><li>New Approaches in Museum Education </li></ul><ul><li>The Future of the Museum as a Learning Environment </li></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>“ I would remind us all that Vannevar Bush, one of our most brilliant scientists, called his latest book, Science Is Not Enough. Well, I might advance the observation that today the humanities are not enough either, but that together with science, perhaps they would </li></ul><ul><li>be enough.” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Thomas P. F. Hoving (1968) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>From speech entitled “Museums, Computers, and the Future” given by at the dinner marking the close of the conference </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 6. 1960s <ul><li>Museum Computer Network </li></ul><ul><li>General Retrieval and Information Processor for the </li></ul><ul><li>Humanities Oriented Studies (GRIPHOS) </li></ul><ul><li>Smithsonian </li></ul><ul><li>SElf GEnerating Master (SELGEM) </li></ul>
  6. 7. A typical IBM mainframe of the late 1960s
  7. 8. 1957: The first digitally scanned image and the movie, Desk Set
  8. 9. 1970s <ul><li>Standards </li></ul><ul><li>• Nomenclature for Museum Cataloging </li></ul><ul><li>• ICONCLASS on computers </li></ul><ul><li>Art Bibliographies Modern on Dialog </li></ul><ul><li>Canadian National Inventory Programme </li></ul><ul><li>(Now Canadian Heritage Information Network ) </li></ul>
  9. 10. In Museum Vol. XXX No. 2, 1978 “ Noemi said to me ‘The first problem they had when the computer arrived was the subjective nature of the catalogue .’ So it could be said that this drawing shows an inspired poet about to explain that he has before him an object in the shape of a vase, the size of a cup, slightly broken, with a handle on the left side.”
  10. 11. 1980s <ul><li>Getty Trust </li></ul><ul><li>• Art History Information Program: </li></ul><ul><li>- Art and Architecture Thesaurus </li></ul><ul><li> - Conference: Automatic Processing of </li></ul><ul><li>Art History Data and Documents </li></ul><ul><li>• Museum Prototype Project </li></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>“ The field of art and architecture is ultimately concerned with objects and therefore primarily visual. But along with image access, objects are enriched by their accompanying research, both descriptive and interpretive. Different document formats should not hamper access. The information should still flow in spite of the physical properties that house it-whether book, periodical, or object catalog. To make this integration possible, complementary data fields are needed to allow access to both image and text.” </li></ul>Patricia Barnett (1988) An Art Information System: From Integration to Interpretation , Library Trends, Vol 37, No. 2, Fall 1988, pp. 194-205
  12. 13. Pre-digital art history essentials
  13. 14. 1990s <ul><li>• Art Information Task Force </li></ul><ul><li>• IMAGE </li></ul><ul><li>• Art Museum Image Consortium (AMICO) </li></ul><ul><li>• Journal & Auction databases </li></ul><ul><li>• World Wide Web </li></ul><ul><li>• Museums and the Web </li></ul>
  14. 15. Images of newly-discovered Paleolithic cave paintings are showcased on a website (early 1995)
  15. 16. The Frick Collection home page, 1998 Virtual Tour !
  16. 17. Brooklyn Museum of Art home page, 1997
  17. 18. 2000 - <ul><li>• ARTstor </li></ul><ul><li>• Europeana </li></ul><ul><li>• SmartHistory </li></ul><ul><li>• Hathi Trust </li></ul><ul><li>• Standards: CDWA, CCO (Getty Research Institute) VRA Core </li></ul><ul><li>• Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>• Collaborative efforts (LAMs) to capture cultural heritage </li></ul><ul><li>• Steve Museum Tagging Project </li></ul><ul><li>• Museum 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>• Digital Learning Objects </li></ul><ul><li>• Open Access Publications </li></ul><ul><li>• Google Art Project </li></ul><ul><li>Kodak retires Kodachrome color film (2009) </li></ul>
  18. 20. Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy Google Art Project
  19. 21. Digitized lantern slide on Brooklyn Museum website Checking slide collection for image in ARTstor Zabar Art Library, Hunter College Libraries Where are slides today?
  20. 22. Metadata
  21. 23. What if? <ul><li>the semantic web model were applied to art information? </li></ul><ul><li>images, reference, e-books, open access journals, digital learning objects, audio lectures, video, social networks… </li></ul>
  22. 24. <ul><li>“ Working over the years at the intersection of art history, education and the new technologies, I find that I continually sail up to the brink, with visions of what lies just beyond the horizon, wishing for the skills and technology to take me there.” </li></ul><ul><li>Cohen, K., (1997) The Niña, the Pinta and the Internet, The Art Bulletin, V 79, June 1997, pp. 187-191 </li></ul>
  23. 25. Acknowledgements <ul><li>Deirdre Lawrence, Jennifer Chisnell, Sandy Wallace </li></ul><ul><li>Libraries and Archives, Brooklyn Museum </li></ul><ul><li>Steven Kowalik </li></ul><ul><li>Zabar Art Library, Hunter College Libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Loisann Dowd White </li></ul><ul><li>Research Library, Getty Research Institute </li></ul><ul><li>Deborah Wythe </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Collections, Brooklyn Museum </li></ul><ul><li>Thank you! </li></ul>