Digital Art History
Elizabeth Cropper, Dean of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, offers a welcome and introduction to the conference “New Projects in Digital Art History,” held on November 21, 2014. In the first lecture of the conference, Paul B. Jaskot, DePaul University, considers how specific kinds of art-historical problems relate to digital mapping methods. Jaskot focuses on this question through a case study of the digital visualization of space and the built environment at Auschwitz, a site of generic and mostly functional buildings that can be labeled, broadly, as vernacular. In this case study, stemming from Jaskot’s ongoing collaboration with Anne Kelly Knowles, digital mapping as part of the research process allows a more critical historical analysis of one of the most brutal architectural planning endeavors of the modern period. Furthermore, the study highlights the methodological potential of digital analysis for a renewed emphasis on vernacular architecture as a central subject of art history.
In this lecture, originally presented as part of the conference “New Projects in Digital Art History” on November 21, 2014, Martyna Urbaniak, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, considers the methodology, functionalities, and research possibilities afforded by the use of digital archives in the study of the visual and literary culture of the High Renaissance. Urbaniak discusses the project “Looking at Words through Images: Some Case Studies for a Visual History of Italian Literature,” based at the Center for Data Processing of Text and Images in Literary Tradition at the Scuola Normale Superiore. The aim of this project is to create a multimedia digital archive to investigate the origins, evolution, and fortunes of the Italian epic poem Orlando Furioso’s editorial format and its powerful influence, in figurative and editorial terms, on reception dynamics in the age of printing.
This panel discussion was originally presented as the conclusion to the conference “New Projects in Digital Art History” on November 21, 2014. The six lectures given at the conference are available online as NGA videos. Paul B. Jaskot of DePaul University moderates this panel of conference speakers (from left to right on the stage): Ivo van der Graaff, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts; Caroline Bruzelius, Duke University; Christian Huemer, Getty Research Institute; Martyna Urbaniak, Scuola Normale Superiore; and James T. Tice, University of Oregon. The panelists and moderator discuss the successes and challenges of their own projects and the future of digital research in art history.
In this lecture, originally presented as part of the conference “New Projects in Digital Art History” on November 21, 2014, Caroline Bruzelius, Duke University, discusses Visualizing Venice, a project that uses visualization tools to model Venice’s growth and change over time. For the Visualizing Venice research team, working with digital technologies prompted new kinds of questions about archival data and different approaches to scholarly research. Visualizing Venice has become a public-facing digital humanities initiative that seeks to engage users in considering ways in which social, economic, religious, and technological changes transform cities and their surrounding environments.
In this lecture, originally presented in the conference “New Projects in Digital Art History” on November 21, 2014, Christian Huemer, of the Getty Research Institute, discusses The Getty Provenance Index® as a tool for data visualizations. A pioneering project in the digital humanities, the Provenance Index is a collection of databases offering free online access to source material for research on the history of collecting and art markets. It currently contains 1.5 million records transcribed from sources such as archival inventories, sale catalogs, and dealer stock books. As an example of the data visualization possibilities offered by the Provenance Index, Huemer and his collaborator, Maximilian Schich (The University of Texas at Dallas), use 230,000 auction sales records to develop network diagrams of 22,000 agents connecting 130 sale locations in Great Britain, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands from 1800 to 1820. The ability to map multiple records at once allows researchers to recognize relationships between numerous data points. Huemer argues that these data visualizations, addressing the flow of objects, money, and people over time and through space, have the potential to draw attention to evidence difficult to see otherwise and prompt new research questions.
In this lecture, originally presented as part of the conference “New Projects in Digital Art History” on November 21, 2014, Ivo van der Graaff, CASVA, National Gallery of Art, discusses the Oplontis Project, an ongoing archaeological study of two Roman villas. Conceived from the outset as a “born digital” publication, the Oplontis Project utilizes a three-pronged approach to scholarly publication: a cloud-based 3-D model, an online database, and XML e-books. Van der Graaff explains how e-books, the cloud, and 3-D modeling software are transforming the distribution and publication of archaeological materials. Users can now access monographs, models of buildings and cityscapes, and even entire databases online. The sum of these technologies allows for a radical departure from print monographs as the established publication medium in this field.
In this lecture, originally presented as part of the conference “New Projects in Digital Art History” on November 21, 2014, James T. Tice, University of Oregon, discusses a project that will provide scholars with an innovative tool to study the complex urban fabric of Rome as it has evolved over three millennia. Using advanced GIS technology, this multidisciplinary project intends to create a layered history of Rome by updating the Forma Urbis Romae, the cartographic masterpiece of ancient Roman topography published in 1901 by Rodolfo Lanciani. This map measures 25 by 17 feet and employs an innovative graphic system that represents Rome’s historic urban fabric as a series of layers from ancient to modern. The map remains the standard archaeological reference for Rome even though it does not incorporate the numerous discoveries uncovered since its original publication. Tice and his fellow researchers plan to critically examine, update, and eventually republish the Forma Urbis Romae map as an interactive website. One of the website’s constituent elements will be an evolving geo-database that will both solicit and incorporate contributions by internationally prominent scholars in the field.
- Diamonstein-Spielvogel Lecture Series
- Sydney J. Freedberg Lecture on Italian Art
- Elson Lecture Series
- A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts
- Wyeth Foundation for American Art Programs
- Conversations with Artists
- Collecting of African American Art
- Conversations with Collectors
- Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE)
- Rajiv Vaidya Memorial Lecture
- Reflections on the Collection: The Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professors at the National Gallery of Art
- John Wilmerding Symposium on American Art
- Celebrating the East Building: 20th-Century Art
- Celebrating the Old Master Collections of the National Gallery of Art
- Teaching Critical Thinking through Art