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Archive for the ‘Discovery’ Category

Alexandria, Map, 1619 | Image and original data provided by Bryn Mawr College

Alexandria, Map, 1619 | Image and original data provided by Bryn Mawr College

Navigating the tremendous number of images in the Artstor Digital Library can be daunting, particularly to those in fields outside of art history. Where to start looking for images for, say, an Introduction to Philosophy class? To address that hurdle, we are introducing curriculum guides – collections of images from the Artstor Digital Library based on syllabi for college courses.

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Reginald Marsh, Wonderland Circus, Sideshow Coney Island, 1930, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the State Art Museum of Florida, a division of Florida State University. © 2008 Estate of Reginald Marsh / Art Students League, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Reginald Marsh, Wonderland Circus, Sideshow Coney Island, 1930, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the State Art Museum of Florida, a division of Florida State University. © 2008 Estate of Reginald Marsh / Art Students League, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

When the weather starts getting unbearable New Yorkers—Artstor staff included—flock to the boardwalks of Brooklyn’s Coney Island or Rockaway Beach in Queens.

This ritual is nothing new and was, in fact, one of the pet subjects of Reginald Marsh (1898 –1954), an American artist famous for his paintings of New York City in the ’20s and ’30s. His city scenes are remarkable for their palpable sense of movement—bodies walk or loiter on street corners, crowds swell as New York’s lights pulsate and glow in the background.

That Marsh’s canvases seem to vibrate is due not only to his staccato brush strokes and bright, reflective colors, but also to his choice of subject matter. Rather than portray New York City’s elite, Marsh turned to everyday people and entertainments. Favorite subjects included burlesque and Vaudeville performers, pedestrians and, yes, public beaches. (more…)

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“It’s in the reach of my arms, / The span of my hips, / The stride of my step, / The curl of my lips. / I’m a woman/ Phenomenally. / Phenomenal woman, / That’s me.”

- Maya Angelou

Mickalene Thomas, Don't Forget About Me (Keri), 2009, exhibited at Lehmann Maupin, Spring 2009. Image and original data provided by Larry Qualls, © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / BILDKUNST, Bonn

Mickalene Thomas, Don’t Forget About Me (Keri), 2009, exhibited at Lehmann Maupin, Spring 2009. Image and original data provided by Larry Qualls, © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / BILDKUNST, Bonn

Women have long been used as inspiration for art. They have served as muses to both eastern and western culture, and our bodies have been used to represent the power and beauty of nature.

Yet the images of the female body that we see on a daily basis are often passive and hyper-sexualized. Women’s bodies are the go-to sales tactic in popular media and advertising. Yes, you might say, sex sells, but nothings sells as much as our sex sells. Women’s bodies sell beer, cars, perfume, burgers, chewing gum, and even animals rights (yes, you read that correctly – look up PETA’s campaigns) — and of course, the object that all of the women in these advertisements are ultimately selling is themselves.

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Giotto | Saint Francis Preaching to the Birds, predella of Saint Francis of Assisi Receiving the Stigmatta | c. 1295-1300 | Musée du Louvre | Image and original data provided by Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, N.Y. ; artres.com

Giotto | Saint Francis Preaching to the Birds, predella of Saint Francis of Assisi Receiving the Stigmatta | c. 1295-1300 | Musée du Louvre | Image and original data provided by Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, N.Y. ; artres.com

October 4 is generally recognized as the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, patron of the animals, steward of nature, and author of the Canticle of the Creatures.  In a divinely ordained cosmos, Francis considered all elements – sun, moon, and stars, water and fire, and the animals – our sisters and brothers, and he is often depicted and described preaching to the birds, as in Giotto’s panel shown here, 1295-1300.  The cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York famously marks his feast day with the blessing of the animals (this year the closest Sunday falls on Oct. 6).  Thousands of creatures, from tortoises to camels, process though the nave, gather in the yard, and are blessed by clergy.  This scene is replayed throughout churches around the globe, a celebration of the beasts that surround us and enhance our lives.

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It’s great to know that the ARTstor Digital Library offers more than 1.6 million images when you’re searching for something in particular, but a bit overwhelming when you just want to explore. With 235 collections from museums, photographers, libraries, scholars, photo archives, and artists and artists’ estates, where to start browsing? We have some tips.

random3Let’s begin with an open secret: the slide show on the Digital Library’s search page. You’ve probably noticed the image at the top of the page, and that it changes each time you visit. But did you know you can open the image by double-clicking it? You can also learn about the collection it comes from by clicking on “INFO” on the upper right, or dive straight into the full collection by clicking on the name below the image. And you can scroll through the slide show by clicking on the arrows on either side of the slide to discover a wide selection of hand-picked images from other collections. (more…)

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ARTstor is collaborating with the Ex Libris® Group to allow subscribers to search the Digital Library at libraries using the Primo Central Index, a mega-aggregation service of hundreds of millions of scholarly e-resources. Users can currently find ARTstor through discovery services including EBSCO Discovery Service™, Paratext’s 19th Century Masterfile database, and Serials Solutions®’ Summon™ service.  Agreements with more discovery services are on the way.

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The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded a three-year grant of $413,378 to support a project investigating and evaluating ways of improving library and museum searching and social tagging by presenting users with thesauri, taxonomies, and other structured vocabularies as a way to discover relevant content. The results will ultimately be useful to a wide range of museum and library users and can be directly applied by library and museum service providers and search engine designers. The project consists of lead applicant Drexel University’s College of Information Science and Technology as well as ARTstor, University at Buffalo, Getty Research Institute, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. Visit the IMLS website for more details.

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