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Archive for the ‘Behind the scenes’ Category

In in the vast, global virtual museum of the Artstor Digital Library, women are rising to the top. Our recent use statistics reveal that portraits and likenesses of the fairer sex (your interpretation…) dominate. The subject of women prevailed among the top 20 hits, with, you guessed it, Leonardo’s Mona Lisa, c. 1505, his serene queen, as number one (more than 12,000 views), followed closely by the Venus of Willendorf, c. 30,000-25,000 B.C.E., and Manet’s Olympia, 1863, each a distinctive icon of a particular era.

Among our fine and plentiful selections from the Berlin State Museums (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin), Warhol’s silkscreens of Marilyn, 1967, arguably the modern Mona Lisa, topped the charts, prevailing over favorites by Pieter Bruegel I, Caspar David Friedrich, Jan van Eyck and Hans Holbein the Younger. At MoMA, another version, the Gold Marilyn Monroe, 1962, figured among the top ten, and its shimmering ground recalls so many Byzantine and early Italian Madonnas, like Giotto’s Ognissanti Madonna, c. 1310, one of the most frequented images across all of our collections.

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We want to thank you for your continued interest in the Artstor Blog. With more than 244,000 visits, you’ve made 2015 our biggest year yet!

In case you missed any of them, here are our top ten most popular posts from the year:

  1. Hopping through cultures: the rabbit in art Our gallery of rabbits and hares through the ages was our biggest draw, jumping way past its Easter theme.
  2. Game of Thrones and the House of Artstor No surprise–our readers are as hooked on the show as we are.
  3. No longer scandalous: Manet in America It turns out the artist who shocked Paris did not raise eyebrows in New York or Boston.
  4. Shopping paradise: Émile Zola and the world’s first department store Inspired by another TV show, we delved into the history of the department store.
  5. The secret names of Italian Renaissance artists Bronzino is a nickname that means “the bronze one,” referring to his dark complexion. There’s lots more where that came from.
  6. The art of looking slowly Museumgoers spend an average of just 17 seconds looking at an individual artwork. Meet the man who wants to change that.
  7. Artstor Arcades: Introducing our new crowdsourcing software We’ve made cataloging fun–and addictive!
  8. The infinite variety of artists’ books We drew up a selection from two collections that cover the range of this surprisingly diverse genre.
  9. A missing piece? Coordinating cataloging controls in the networked world Artstor’s president on the similarities between the cattle business in the 19th century and the Digital Humanities today.
  10. #thatdress Was it  black and blue, or white and gold? The debate might be over but our gallery of interesting dresses lives on.

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Louis Lafon, Railyard Scene, c. 1880. Image from The Trout Gallery, Dickinson College.

Louis Lafon, Railyard Scene, c. 1880. Image from The Trout Gallery, Dickinson College.

By James Shulman, Artstor President

When I was in Fort Worth for the ARLIS conference this spring, I learned a lot about the history of the cattle business in the post-Civil War period. The cities of the East and the West were hungry for Texas beef, but there was no practical way to get it to them. The age of the cowboy took place because a particular kind of soul was needed to lead the herds north from Fort Worth through exposed frontier to the train yards of Kansas City. But when the railroad reached Fort Worth (in 1886), everyone quickly adapted. The cattlemen soon realized that they could do more than load their cattle on trains at Fort Worth, and entrepreneurs raised capital from wealthy Boston investors to build “processing” plants at the Fort Worth rail yards. The moral of this story (and I’m sorry to have turned off the vegetarians in the reading audience) is simply that everyone involved in the process was more than happy to take advantage of infrastructure as it became available.

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Hans Holbein the Younger | Jean de Dinteville and Georges de Selve ('The Ambassadors') | 1533 | The National Gallery, London | Photograph ©The National Gallery, London

Hans Holbein the Younger | Jean de Dinteville and Georges de Selve (‘The Ambassadors’) | 1533 | The National Gallery, London | Photograph ©The National Gallery, London

We are looking for students in all concentrations to become the voice of Artstor on their campus for the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 semesters, and we’ve extended the deadline until June 30th!

The selected participants will get to work with professionals from Artstor’s New York office to develop valuable business skills; learn how to create effective social media campaigns with campus-wide and international exposure; network at Artstor events with peers from institutions across the country; and add Artstor to their resume and receive a certificate of completion at the end of the program. Plus they get to take part in special events and win prizes!

To apply, fill out this questionnaire by June 30, 2015. We will reach out to selected candidates for a brief interview. Applications will be reviewed as they are received and selected candidates will be notified by July.

We encourage administrators and faculty members to pass this on to their students.

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Shanghai Tongji Urban Planning & Design Institute (TJUPDI) (Master Plan, Regulatory Plan, Special Subject Study and Plan), Shanghai EXPO overviews; flags representing all of the countries represented at the EXPO, 2010, Shanghai EXPO, Shanghai, China. Image and original data provided by Art on File, artonfile.com

Shanghai Tongji Urban Planning & Design Institute (TJUPDI) (Master Plan, Regulatory Plan, Special Subject Study and Plan), Shanghai EXPO overviews; flags representing all of the countries represented at the EXPO, 2010, Shanghai EXPO, Shanghai, China. Image and original data provided by Art on File, artonfile.com

We are looking for students in all concentrations to become the voice of Artstor on their campus for the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 semesters.

Who are we looking for?
Good communicators who know and use the Artstor Digital Library in their studies and who are passionate about improving education.

What you get: 

  • Work with professionals from Artstor’s New York office to develop valuable business skills, such as event planning, marketing, and public speaking.
  • Learn how to create effective social media campaigns, including writing blog posts, with campus-wide and international exposure.
  • Network at Artstor events with peers from institutions across the country.
  • Add Artstor to your resume and receive a certificate of completion at the end of the program.
  • Take part in special events and win prizes!

To apply, fill out this questionnaire. We will reach out to selected candidates for a brief interview.

Deadline is June 12, 2015. Applications will be reviewed as they are received and selected candidates will be notified by June 19, 2015.

We encourage administrators and faculty members to pass this on to their students.

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We had another busy year at the Artstor Blog, with 161,000 visits in 2014. What were people clicking on? Here’s the list of the top ten most popular posts from last year:

  1. From Babylon to Berlin: The rebirth of the Ishtar Gate
  2. Finding the phenomenal women in fine art
  3. Dürer and the elusive rhino
  4. The travels and travails of the Mona Lisa
  5. The Museum of Natural History in The Catcher in the Rye
  6. Now available: Masterworks from the Berlin State Museums
  7. IFA Archaeological Project at Abydos: Shared Shelf in action
  8. Michelangelo, Raphael, and the Swiss Guard uniforms
  9. Après la Bastille: the changing fortunes of Marie Antoinette
  10. Reginald Marsh’s Coney Island

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Artstor Labs

Artstor Labs

Artstor is always working on improving its services. While you may notice some changes immediately, others might prove more subtle. In the case of Shared Shelf, our digital media management solution, the developments are sometimes dramatic as we work in close collaboration with users.

What is the thinking behind these changes? We’re pulling back the curtain in Artstor Labs (labs.artstor.org), a cross section of ideas, inspirations, and experiments that inform the ongoing digital design of Shared Shelf, the Digital Library, and other initiatives.

Focusing on topics related to visual culture, graphic design, and user experience, Artstor Labs offers a glimpse of our design process in relationship with the broader trends occurring in new media and digital humanities. In keeping with this spirit, entries are arranged hierarchically rather than chronologically to reflect their relationship with previous ideas. As the repository grows, a richly layered listing of nested links will track these ideas over time.

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