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Over the past year, we have released a veritable virtual feast of fresh imagery in the Artstor Digital Library. Thanks to the generosity of many partners we have published 23 collections (additional or enhanced), with hundreds of thousands of images across disciplines. We are now approaching the 2.5 million mark!* 2017 proved an annus mirabilis with something for everyone, from 15th-century feather work to contemporary sculpture.

Our year began with a collaboration with the inimitable and encyclopedic Metropolitan Museum of Art, which shared more than 400,000 images of works across 17 curatorial departments for a public collection. (Please refer to the list below for the full list of collection titles and links.) The global scope of the Met was followed by the singular focus of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, a contribution of images from his oeuvre and a lifetime of his photographs, his “visual diary”—more than 35,000 portraits and scenes, centered on the artist, The Factory, and his larger circle. Substantive additions to our collection from the groundbreaking San Francisco Museum of Modern Art have also enriched our holdings in modern and contemporary art with highlights including many works by Clyfford Still and Robert Rauschenberg.

Thematic launches of multiple collections have increased our depth in the following fields: Anthropology, Architecture, Decorative Arts, and Photography, with an end-of-year tribute to New York-based repositories as our final initiative.

In anthropology, world cultures have become more discoverable through the varied and vivid new selections of three leading museums—the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology (Harvard University), and the Musée du Quai Branly (through the collection of the Réunion des Musées Nationaux in Artstor). The diversity and brilliance of these offerings are captured by a single juxtaposition: a ritual transformation mask, c. 1870, from the west coast of Canada, and a feather headdress from Cameroon.

Architecture enthusiasts are rewarded by the unique work of photographer-scholars who have travelled the globe seeking buildings, sites, and monuments, many rarely seen. Alka Patel presents minarets, mosques, and other landmarks in exquisite detail in a collection that documents dynastic commissions in Afghanistan and Iran from medieval through modern times, while Misun Ahn’s contribution explores the contemporary Mimesis Art Museum and other sleek sites in South Korea and Japan. Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla captures the meticulous restoration of colonial chapels in Oaxaca, while Ralph Lieberman documents historic and contemporary landmarks and installations in America.

Some of the country’s finest specialized museums of decorative arts have also contributed singular selections providing an eclectic and intriguing mix: the treasures and the day-to-day of settlers lives from Colonial Williamsburg, a panorama of glass works from the Corning Museum, and the minutiae of Majolica from the Majolica International Society, as well as a full spectrum of Americana (art and decorative arts) from Reynolda House. The Bard Graduate Center has also shared an archive of installation shots that documents their history of innovative exhibitions that mine the global culture of the material world.

In the field of photography we have grown immeasurably thanks to the input of significant archives and collections. The American photographer Minor White is now well represented because of a substantial contribution from his Archive at the Princeton University Art Museum. The full arc of the history of the medium is represented by the comprehensive collection added by the Center for Creative Photography, while the fields of editorial and photojournalistic photography are enhanced by additions to striking work from the archives of Magnum Photos, Panos Pictures, and Condé Nast.

These collections support research in Political and Social History, Identity Studies, Environmental Studies and Sustainability, and related humanities.

Last but not least, for the mavens of New York, we have just released a launch centered on Gotham—a selection of highlights of drawings from the Morgan Library, a new contribution from the celebrated Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and historic photographs and other materials centered on the burgeoning and bustling city from the Museum of the City of New York and the New-York Historical Society.

We commend our outstanding and generous contributors. We also thank our colleagues in the Content and Marketing departments here at Artstor who have worked with diligence and agility to bring these collections to our platform.

We anticipate a full year ahead. You may look forward to an early launch of contemporary collections and a later one on Asian art, in addition to comprehensive releases from American collegiate museums and major North American collections.

Nancy Minty
Collections editor

*Image totals may vary from country to country, reflecting Artstor’s obligation to address the specifics of international copyright.

P.S. We have made an image group including a fuller range of selections from these collections.

Here is the full list of Artstor collections added or expanded in 2017:

Misun Ahn: Contemporary Architecture, Japan and South Korea
Alka Patel Archive: Afghanistan and Iran, Art and Architecture
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts: Oeuvre
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts: Photographic Legacy Project
Center for Creative Photography
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Condé Nast, Cartoons and fashion photography
Corning Museum of Glass
Ralph Lieberman: Architectural Photography
Magnum Photos
Majolica International Society
Metropolitan Museum of Art (public collection)
Minor White Archive (Princeton University Art Museum)
The Morgan Library & Museum
Musée du Quai Branly, see Réunion des Musées Nationaux (RMN)
Museum of the City of New York
Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia
New-York Historical Society: Museum & Library
Panos Pictures
Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology (Harvard University)
Restoration of Cultural Monuments in Oaxaca, Mexico (The University of Texas at Austin)
Reynolda House Museum
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

Edmund V. Gillon, photographer. Looking south on South Street to the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges and the Lower Manhattan skyline, c. 1977. Image and data provided by Museum of the City of New York.

Edmund V. Gillon, photographer. Looking south on South Street to the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges and the Lower Manhattan skyline, c. 1977. Image and data provided by Museum of the City of New York.

The Museum of the City of New York has contributed approximately 17,300 additional images from its permanent collection to the Artstor Digital Library, bringing their total to more than 71,000.* Continue Reading »

Richard Serra. The Matter of Time. 2005. Installation of seven sculptures, weatherproof steel. © 2014 Richard Serra / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. © The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York.

Richard Serra. The Matter of Time. 2005. Installation of seven sculptures, weatherproof steel. © 2014 Richard Serra / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. © The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is contributing approximately 850 additional images from the permanent collections of four of its museums to the Artstor Digital Library, bringing their total to nearly 8,000.*
Continue Reading »

Paul Cezanne. Still Life with Pears and Apples, Covered Blue Jar, and a Bottle of Wine. 19th century. Watercolor on wove paper. Image and data provided by The Morgan Library and Museum.

Paul Cézanne. Still Life with Pears and Apples, Covered Blue Jar, and a Bottle of Wine. 19th century. Watercolor on wove paper. Image and data provided by The Morgan Library and Museum.

The Morgan Library & Museum (The Morgan) has contributed approximately 200 images from its permanent collection to the Artstor Digital Library. The selection provides a range of highlights from The Morgan’s European drawings collection from the Renaissance to the 20th century, featuring celebrated works from Albrecht Dürer through Francisco Goya and Paul Cézanne. Continue Reading »

William Davis Hassler. Mr. Sowerby on his horse on the Speedway near High Bridge, New York City, undated (ca. 1905-1911). Washington Bridge visible.|William D. Hassler photograph collection, approximately 1910-1921. William Davis Hassler. Image and data from New-York Historical Society: Museum & Library.

William Davis Hassler. Mr. Sowerby on his horse on the Speedway near High Bridge, New York City, undated (ca. 1905-1911). Washington Bridge visible.|William D. Hassler photograph collection, approximately 1910-1921. William Davis Hassler. Image and data from New-York Historical Society: Museum & Library.

The New-York Historical Society (New-York Historical) is contributing more than 21,000 images from its museum and library collections to the Artstor Digital Library. The selection encompasses many aspects of the combined resources of the New-York Historical, including highlights across the diverse collecting areas—American paintings, sculpture, prints and drawings, decorative arts and artifacts, and historical photographs. Continue Reading »

  • Victor Hugo, Vianden Seen through a Spider Web

    Victor Hugo, Vianden Seen through a Spider Web, 1871. Image and original data provided by Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, N.Y.; artres.com

    Unauthorized touching makes some museums a multi-sensory experience–but why do museum-goers do it?

  • A team of archeologists from the University of Cincinnati recently discovered an intricately carved sealstone that “will change the way that prehistoric art is viewed.”
  • The National Gallery in London will be exhibiting a survey of black & white paintings exploring why artists from the 14th through 20th centuries have chosen to create monochrome works.
  • Research shows that while people can recognize corporate logos, they are terrible at recreating them as drawings.

Continue Reading »

A brief history of Majolica

George Jones.

George Jones. “Punch” Bowl. 1870-1880. Image and original data provided by Majolica International Society.

“Majolica” is the word used to denote the brightly colored, low-fired earthenware commercially introduced by the Minton Company at the 1851 London Exhibition of All Nations. This was in accordance with Herbert Minton’s long-held desire to capture the market of the newly emergent Middle Class. Majolica, a Victorian phenomenon, was a huge success at the Crystal Palace and soon became a worldwide fad, with factories on three continents and Australia to satisfy the buying craze it had inspired. Deborah English, Librarian, The Marilyn Karmason Majolica Reference Library of the Majolica International Society (MIS), has provided a history of the wares to celebrate the addition of the MIS collection to the Artstor Digital Library.

Staffordshire potters first developed lead glazes of green and brown in the 18th Century, but it was not until Herbert Minton of Stoke-on-Trent brought the French chemist Leon Arnoux to England, that more vibrant colors began to appear. This was possible, thanks to Mr. Arnoux’s previous work with the sumptuous porcelain glazes of Sèvres. Mr. Arnoux also persuaded several prominent French sculptors to join him at Minton, including A.E. Carrier-Belleuse, Paul Comolera, and Pierre Emile Jeannest. They joined the already formidable staff that Mr. Minton had built, including Alfred Lord Stevens, Baron Carlo Marochetti, John Bell, A.W.N. Pugin, and others. Mr. Minton formally introduced his new ware at the Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1851, even though English potters and English-born potters in the USA had been working on the formulas for some time. Arnoux’s saturated colors were the radical boost the new material needed. It soon happened that an astonishing number of forms evolved, sometimes in bizarre combinations.
Continue Reading »