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Archive for the ‘Humanities & Social Sciences’ Category

Sydney Parkinson, Family: Carcharhinidae Genus/Species: Prionace glauca, 1769

Sydney Parkinson, Family: Carcharhinidae Genus/Species: Prionace glauca, 1769. Image and original data provided by Natural History Museum, London.

On his famous three voyages to the South Seas, British explorer Captain James Cook charted the largely unexplored Pacific Ocean, achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and completed the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand. But Cook’s nautical feats are only part of the story; of equal importance are the contributions made by the artists who went along on his journeys, risking their lives–and sometimes losing them–to illustrate the animals and plants they encountered for science and posterity. Here are their stories.

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Johannes Moreelse, Democritus, the Laughing Philosopher, c. 163

Johannes Moreelse, Democritus, the Laughing Philosopher, c. 1630. Image and original data provided by the Mauritshuis, The Hague.

Democritus is primarily remembered for theorizing that all matter consists of particles called atoms, and this stunning quote: “Nothing exists except atoms and space, everything else is opinion.”

The Short History of the Atom wiki summarizes Democritus’ theory nicely:

  1. All matter consists of invisible particles called atoms.
  2. Atoms are indestructible.
  3. Atoms are solid but invisible.
  4. Atoms are homogenous.
  5. Atoms differ in size, shape, mass, position, and arrangement.

Prescient, yes, but it didn’t give much material for artists to work with. Luckily, Democritus was also known as “the laughing philosopher.” As classicist Mary Beard explains in Confronting the Classics, (more…)

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By Joseph Costello, Medical Librarian, Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine

Head of Laocoon, c. 100. Foto Reali Archive, National Gallery of Art, Department of Image Collections.

Head of Laocoon, c. 100. Foto Reali Archive, National Gallery of Art, Department of Image Collections.

Prompt: Imagine the human expression of anguish. An amalgamation of stories, artwork, and social interactions blend together and you have your general concept of the human expression: anguish. The concept of anguish is correct to you since it is, after all, your portrayal; the anguish concept is a component in the overall conceptual framework you have constructed to assess emotional expressions. How accurate are you? In other words, how accurate are your visual detection skills of anguish or other emotions, how generalizable?

Accurate interpretation of facial expressions—the aggregate of minute facial movements we make, i.e. micro expressions—is believed to be associated with increased emotional intelligence. Researchers have shown that facial expressions can be generalized and successfully be a part of empathy training. Similarly, modern medicine generalizes the human body to find the distribution of values which in turn help generate a normal range.

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ARAS_logo_kArtstor and the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism have released more than 16,000 images documenting mythology, symbols, and rituals in the Digital Library.

The images in Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism (ARAS) explore the universality of certain iconographies and themes, illustrating commonalities in the ways human beings across the world have thought about and represented different phenomena throughout time. Each image includes commentary that points to its unique cultural history and contextualizes it within larger archetypal patterns and historical developments. The collection supports interdisciplinary research in the humanities, including the understanding of images in psychotherapy and dreams. It offers support for artists and designers to search for pictorial inspiration and for people of all ages to explore the power of symbols.

View the collection in the Artstor Digital Library.

For detailed information about this collection, visit the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism collection page in Artstor.

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The Codex Mendoza, early 1540s

The ‘Codex Mendoza’, pt. I.; fol. 002r, early 1540s. Image and original data provided by the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford. Copyright Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.

As we built our AP® Art History Teaching Resources over the last three years, we found ourselves fascinated by some of the newly required content. Over the next year, we will offer periodic webinars on some of these works of art and architecture; the first one will be on the Colonial Americas.

The art of the Colonial Americas is represented in the curriculum framework by six distinct objects. One of these is the “Codex Mendoza,” named for the first viceroy of Mexico (1535-1550), who commissioned it c. 1542 (contributed to the Artstor Digital Library by the Bodleian Library). Intended as a gift to Charles V, the manuscript never reached the monarch.

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Tim Dirven; Two boys ride a bike at the ruins of Palmyra; 2008; Palmyra, Syria. © Tim Dirven / Panos Pictures

Tim Dirven; Two boys ride a bike at the ruins of Palmyra; 2008; Palmyra, Syria. © Tim Dirven / Panos Pictures

Panos Pictures and Artstor have collaborated to share more than 1,000 additional photographs of contemporary global affairs in the Digital Library, bringing the total to more than 32,000 images in Artstor.

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Bruce Eric Kaplan, "Where does he get all his ideas?" Condé Nast; cartoonbank.licensestream.com. New Yorker Cartoons: Kaplan, Bruce Eric/The New Yorker Collection; Contact information: Content Licensing, 4 Times Square, NY, NY 10036; Tel No: 212-286-7147; licensing@condenast.com

Bruce Eric Kaplan, “Where does he get all his ideas?” Condé Nast; cartoonbank.licensestream.com. New Yorker Cartoons: Kaplan, Bruce Eric/The New Yorker Collection; Contact information: Content Licensing, 4 Times Square, NY, NY 10036; Tel No: 212-286-7147; licensing@condenast.com

Artstor has released approximately 18,000 additional images from Condé Nast in the Digital Library, including nearly 3,000 cartoons from The New Yorker and 15,000 fashion photographs from the Fairchild Photo Service.

Vivienne Westwood Red Label Fall 2013 Ready to Wear. Photographer: Giovanni Giannoni. Condé Nast; condenaststore.com | Fairchild Photo Service; Contact information: Content Licensing, 4 Times Square, NY, NY 10036; Tel No: 212-286-7147; licensing@condenast.com

Vivienne Westwood Red Label Fall 2013 Ready to Wear. Photographer: Giovanni Giannoni. Condé Nast; condenaststore.com | Fairchild Photo Service; Contact information: Content Licensing, 4 Times Square, NY, NY 10036; Tel No: 212-286-7147; licensing@condenast.com

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