Published July 30, 2012
Tags: archives, California, libraries
If you’re not already aware of Calisphere you should have a look at it. A project of the California Digital Library and serving both the UC system and K-12 education, Calisphere is a gateway to a profusion of primary sources about… California!
The content comes from all UC campuses as well as non-UC institutions (including many specialized archives – see a list of contributors here), and represents California’s history and culture. The material is organized thematically, and special subject groups have been set up to conform with K-12 content standards (e.g. “Dust Bowl Migration”). You can also search, or browse the collection from a list of keywords, e.g. “Agricultural laborers” or “Reagan, Ronald”. In addition to images (scanned to archival standards) the collections include letters, newspapers, maps, and more.
Published July 23, 2012
Art news , Museum news
Tags: museums, painting
They almost got away with it. Matisse’s Odalisque in Red Pants was discovered stolen from the Sofia Imber Contemporary Art Museum in Caracas, Venezuela in 2002, but in fact it had been stolen at least two years earlier. The thieves had replaced the painting with a copy and no one had noticed, even though the fake was denounced as inferior when it was detected.
Last week the painting was recovered when two people in Miami tried to sell it to an undercover FBI agent. Among other factors blamed for this theft (and others that have been reported at the museum) museum officials point to the sharp decrease in arts funding under Hugo Chávez.
That’s the real Odalisque on the left, below, and the fake on the right; or wait, is it….
via the NY Times
In honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, two sites have launched with images from Britain’s past.
Queen Victoria’s Journals, through the efforts of the Royal Archives and the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, is an interactive site with online digital images of every page in the entire sequence of Queen Victoria’s diaries from 1832-1840. The site is searchable by keyword or browsable by date and include examples of her journal illustrations and sketchbook entries.
War art in The National Archives, through Wikimedia Commons, provides over 350 high-resolution digital images of posters and other works on paper from war-time Britain now in the public domain. Most of the posters and images, including a number of portraits and caricatures, are by known artists who worked for the Ministry of Information at the time. Visit The National Archives site for additional online records and links to partner sites.
Today is the 20th anniversary of the first photo to have been uploaded to the Web (pictured left). Its cultural and artistic merit speaks for itself. Read more about the story behind the photo here.
hat tip to Alex Nichols
Published July 13, 2012
Tags: fun, Islamic
Turkish student Murat Palta has done something very creative for his senior thesis project – he merged the language of Hollywood film posters with Ottoman miniature paintings. He has captured the compositional style, colours and patterns, and general authentic “look” of the miniatures. Capturing a moment of high tension and drama from the films (Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, A Clockwork Orange, and many more – see Scarface at right) he has created a unique mash-up of genres.
See all the paintings from Palta’s portfolio here; and some more background from this Slate article.
Published July 12, 2012
Art news , Museum news
The New York Times published an interesting article today about the ever-tightening restrictions on selling and donating antiquities that lack adequate provenance. On one side are the supporters of laws intended to prevent the looting of archeological sites and illegal selling or trading of antiquities. On the other side are collectors and dealers (and organizations such as the Cultural Policy Research Institute) who argue that by preventing the sale and donation of antiquities within the US those objects will leave the country, and additionally this will have a detrimental effect on museums by donors put off by these policies. It’s an argument that is likely to get thornier rather than simpler…
A new online exhibition, Lost Art, “explores the stories behind the loss of some of the most significant works of modern and contemporary art.” The works of art shown are not only those stolen, but also those which have been destroyed by disasters or neglect, and are all in various states of “loss” — temporary or permanent. The project is curated by the Tate and will post a new work each week. Be sure to use the zoom in/out and click-and-drag functions to get the full effect of the warehouse-like space.