Next Practices in Museum Digital and Technology

View of "You Are Here" exhibition at the Oakland Museum of California (photo: Matthew Millman, courtesy of Oakland Museum of California)The annual Next Practices in Digital and Technology from the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) is available and highlights 41 examples of recent and ongoing digital initiatives designed by AAMD member museums. From social media and mobile apps, to in-gallery interpretation and behind-the-scenes collections management, Next Practices in Digital and Technology explores the ways museums are using technology to advance accessibility, scholarship, education, and audience engagement. Some of the covered topics include Multimedia, In-Gallery Interactive, Open Data, Social Media, Apps, and Access.

Artistic genius? There’s an algorithm for that

A chart analysing 1,710 paintings, where the horizontal axis corresponds to the year the painting was created and the vertical axis corresponds to its creativity score according to the algorithm from Ahmed Elgammal and Babak Saleh, “Quantifying Creativity in Art Networks”  (draft 2 June 2015 from a conference paper)Researchers say they have created a quantitative way to assess “creativity” in works of art that they argue comes close to a scholarly assessment. Ahmed Elgammal and Babak Saleh (The Art and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Department of Computer Science, Rutgers University) used 1,710 paintings available on Artchive.com and ran them through their algorithm that looked at qualities such as texture, color, lines, movement, harmony, and balance. The algorithm then “measures the originality and influence of artworks by using sophisticated visual analysis to compare each piece to older and newer artwork…from the premise that the most creative art was that which broke most from the past, and then inspired the greatest visual shifts in the works that followed.”

via Quartz

Ransom Center makes more than 22,000 images available

The Egpytian Hall, Piccadilly, detail from a letter from Albert Richard Smith to Mr. Kepper introducing John Deane. Letter mentions Dickens and Thackeray (courtesy Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin; #MSS_ThackerayWM_3_15_005)The Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin, has adopted an open access policy, removing the requirement for permission and use fees for a significant portion of its online collections believed to be in the public domain. In conjunction with the release of the policy, the Ransom Center launches Project REVEAL (Read and View English and American Literature), a year-long initiative to digitize and make available 25 of its manuscript collections of some of the best-known names from American and British literature of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Project REVEAL initiative generated more than 22,000 high-resolution images, available for use by anyone for any purpose without restriction or fees. Future efforts will involve removing restrictions for other materials believed to be in the public domain and making them available through the Ransom Center’s digital collections portal.

Miriam Schapiro dies at 91

Miriam Schapiro, Big OX, 1967, acrylic on canvas. (COURTESY FLOMENHAFT GALLERY, via ARTnews)Painter, sculptor, and printmaker Miriam Schapiro, who helped spearhead the feminist art movement in the 1970s, inspiring generations of artists, died on June 20 at age 91 after a long illness.

via Artnews

UCSB Acquires Major Chicano/Latino Graphic Art Collections

Mission Grafica Collection, MCCLAThe UCSB Library has acquired two art collections — The Mission Gráfica and La Raza Graphics — from the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts (MCCLA) in San Francisco comprised of roughly 2,000 historical silkscreen print posters from the Chicano / Latino Visual Arts movement plus organizational records from the MCCLA. These will be housed in the California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives (CEMA), a division of UCSB Library’s Special Research Collections and will nearly double CEMA’s already extensive holdings of Chicano/Latino graphic prints. Once the items in the new collections have been processed and catalogued, they will be available to scholars and the public for research and viewing.

Among the artists featured in the collections are Rene Castro, Enrique Chagoya, Domitilia Dominguez, Juan Fuentes, Pete Gallegos, Carmen Lomas Garza, Ester Hernandez, Linda Lucero, Ralph Maradiaga, Oscar Melara, Consuelo Mendez, Malaquias Montoya, Irene Perez, Michael Rios, Jos Sances and Hebert Siguenza.

The rise of New York’s skyline

Experience the historic rise (and a tragic fall) of the skyline of New York as a time-lapse elevator ride to the observatory atop One World Trade Center.

On Time-Lapse Rocket Ride to Trade Center’s Top, Glimpse of Doomed Tower (Reuben Hernandez for The New York Times )

Creating interactive timelines

"Perspectives on the Haram" is an exhibit created by a group of University of Virginia undergraduate students for a course in the School of Architecture, taught by Professor Lisa Reilly. The exhibit uses images and texts from travel accounts to details the changes of the Haram Mosque over a thousand years (Virginia Harness, Jody Lahendro, Kelly Schantz, and David Sherdil | Map: Google Satellite | Link provided with the permission of the authors)Handy for illustrating both broad eras or shorter time spans, as well as applicable for classroom assignments and conference papers, these web-based tools are great for creating interactive and dynamic timelines:

  • Tiki-Toki: a web app to create interactive multimedia timelines with embedded images, text and even videos (YouTube, Vimeo and AVIs); they also have a desktop version for Max OSX.
  • Neatline: an add-on of open source web-publishing platform Omeka, Neatline allows you to create maps, annotate images, and develop narratives to interpret collections of artifacts, documents, or richly-described concepts.

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