Saturday, May 28, 2011

Art Websites of Interest

I've been visiting a few brand new art-related websites that I thought I would share. For instance, I was thrilled to hear that the Yale Center for British Art has relaunched their website and included, for the first time, a database with digital images for all public domain paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, etc. in their collection. The image you see here of Leighton's charming portrait of Mrs. James Guthrie (1864-5) comes from the new database. Almost every museum is now working toward this goal (e.g. see the collection databases for the Met and the V&A), as it can only increase exposure to a museum's collection. In the case of specialized museums like the YCBA, an online collection database is even more important because it allows people to discover works that people might not have ever known they had. The database launch coincides with an in-house special exhibition highlighting works from their collection. I'll be able to see that show and (finally!) the Thomas Lawrence exhibition when I'm there next weekend. Yale also recently released the incredible news that they are the first university to make available digital images from their museum, archival, and library collections free of charge for all purposes, including publication. From Yale's press release: "In a departure from established convention, no license will be required for the transmission of the images and no limitations will be imposed on their use. The result is that scholars, artists, students, and citizens the world over will be able to use these collections for study, publication, teaching and inspiration." Works still protected by copyright will require permissions from the copyright holder of course, but this is an incredible advancement in the sharing of intellectual property, and it sets a challenging precedence for other universities to follow.

The newly launched website Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951 is a database that highlights the lives and working practices of British sculptors from the period of the Great Exhibition of 1851 to the Festival of Britain in 1951. Information on artists such as Hamo Thornycroft (1850-1925) includes things like exhibition history, chief works, associated studio assistants and pupils, etc., helping to create an integrated understanding of how sculptors were not individuals working in isolation but part of a large production of individuals who interacted with in one capacity or another.

My friend and fellow Solomon colleague CC is once again tapping into her creative juices, this time returning to her former career as a practicing artist. She has launched a site where she is selling prints and collages of her work. She has some beautiful work there, so check it out.

And my friend and fellow PhD Candidate PR has joined the world of bloggers (something I've been telling him to do for years now!) with his new blog Architecture/Cosmopolis. Specializing in Beaux-Arts and classical architecture in America and Europe, he has already written some great posts on things like the recent cleaning of the facade of the New York Public Library and Art Nouveau architecture in Brussels (which bklynbiblio readers will recall is very recently near and dear to my own heart).


pranogajec said...

Thanks for the nod to my blog.

That British sculpture database sounds like a great reference. We need some of that for architecture, now. And the news of the Yale image rights is wonderful--do you think this will ricochet and impact other institutions to follow suit?

bklynbiblio said...

I suspect that Yale will be establishing a precedent that other major universities will have to follow, but I don't expect it to happen anytime soon.