Antoni Gaudí, who began Barcelona’s cathedral of Sagrada Família in the 1880s and spent the rest of his life increasingly invested in its completion, was unable to see it happen in his lifetime. Indeed, the project continues to this day and is projected to be finished by 2026 (the 100th anniversary of Gaudí’s untimely death). However, with the help of this video, we can now visualize the remaining building phases that will complete the project.
The Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence announced the reopening of its main chapel with the completion of its extensive restoration. If you find yourself in Florence within the next year, the scaffolding used for the restoration remains and visitors can have a rare opportunity to see upper registers up close. However, even those of us who won’t be traveling to Italy soon can still view the before/during/after process of the restoration on the basilica’s website, along with previous projects. The software used to digitally document the work, Modus Operandi, allows users to zoom in on details of Angolo Gaddi’s brushwork from the 1380s as well as the restoration.
There’s a mysterious new web presence called The Art History Jedi, who has a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and two videos on YouTube, all giving sage advice to current and prospective students of Art History. The videos talk through the processes of applying for graduate studies and internships using XtraNormal Movie Maker, software that converts typed text to voice, often with amusing results. Despite the humour, there’s a lot of helpful advice here:
European Film Gateway (EFG) is a web portal to selected archival material held in European film archives. EFG contains over 26,500 videos, 500,000 still images and 15,000 texts on filmmaking and film-related issues in Europe from the early days until today. You can browse by collection or search for specific videos or images. Most object titles and descriptions come in the language provided by the contributing archive but sometimes translated into English if not the original language.
Additionally, if you subscribe to My EFG, you can receive news alerts and have access to a free personal work space that allows you to bookmark, comment and tag objects within MyEFG.
The online application Speaking_Image lets you create, edit and share interactive annotative images. After uploading images (those without copyright infringement), you can isolate and annotate areas of the image for your viewers. Students can also edit these images so they can create interactive and collective study guides as a group (edits are listed so everyone knows when and by whom an image is edited). For further information, check out video tutorials here and an example using Picasso’s Guernica.
More and more museums are now using social media and other new technology both to engage their existing audience in new ways and to bring in a new audience. Forward-thinking museums are creating iPhone apps and Facebook pages with interactive elements, and posting myriad content on their websites.
There are also interesting new partnerships among museums. One such collaboration is ArtBabble, a site with video content from 60 partner museums (including short curator talks, conversations with artists, full lectures, performance pieces, and more).
Some institutions, like the Guggenheim, are inviting video input which they post on their site YouTube Play. A recent call for content received 23,000 submissions!
If you want to read more, there’s a good profile in the New York Times of people directing innovative social media initiatives at the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
The newly-appointed Curator of Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Maxwell Hearn, discusses the intimate relationship between object and viewer with a 14th century Chinese handscroll painting in this video from the New York Times. For other videos from the museum, see their YouTube Channel.
Culture Monster has posted a video someone took during Friday’s earthquake while braving it out under a desk in Mediatheque cultural center in Sendai. As Christopher Hawthorne points out, both the length of the quake and the sway of the building are amazing to watch, especially since the structure seems to survive roughly intact.