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Coding Our Collection: The National Gallery of Art Datathon

Led by Diana Greenwald, assistant curator of the collection, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and former Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow, National Gallery of Art, and Lynn Russell, head of education, National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art was the first American art museum to invite teams of data scientists and art historians to analyze, contextualize, and visualize its permanent collection data. The Gallery's full permanent collection data was released to six teams of researchers from institutions including Bennington College, Carnegie Mellon University, Duke University, George Mason University, Macalester College, New College of Florida, University of California, Los Angeles, and Williams College. Questions from curators, conservators, and researchers helped guide this analysis, and teams were encouraged to pursue whichever avenues of inquiry they found most compelling. The study culminated in a two-day Datathon, with teams finalizing their visualizations and presenting their findings at a public event on Friday, October 25, 2019. Special thanks to the Library of Congress LC Labs and Rare Books Division for facilitating access to Library collections as data for this event.