In 1846, dentist William T. G. Morton assembled a group of doctors in the operating theater at Massachusetts General Hospital, a sky-lit dome located on the hospital’s top floor. As the doctors watched from the dome’s stadium seating, Morton waved a sponge soaked in a mysterious substance called Letheon inches from his patient’s face. The patient quickly lost consciousness and remained completely still as a surgeon removed a tumor from his neck. Upon waking, the patient declared to his astonished audience that he had felt no pain. This surgery marked the first time the effective and safe use of anesthesia was demonstrated publicly, ending centuries of agonizing pain during surgery. It would also quickly spiral into a dramatic controversy surrounding Letheon’s discovery.
Archive for the ‘Manuscripts & Manuscript Illuminations’ Category
Anne McClanan, Professor of Medieval Art History at Portland State University and one of the winners of the Artstor Digital Humanities Awards, introduces us to Medieval Portland and describes the impact Shared Shelf has had on the project.
Medieval Portland? We hope our project’s silly name is just perplexing enough to make people want to learn more—who wouldn’t assume there is no medieval Portland?
When I moved to Oregon after years of medieval art history graduate training at more resource-intensive places, Harvard and Johns Hopkins, I worried whether I’d be able to continue the teaching grounded in first-hand observation and investigation of works of art that I think is central to the practice of art history. I plunged into the task of trying to figure out what medieval material was here, and gradually discovered several hundred items in collections across the Portland area (the number varies depending on how generously we want to define “medieval,” and we often reach into the early modern period).
Running since 2005, our site has gone through several iterations, but by far the biggest change has been our recent transition to Shared Shelf. Our Shared Shelf collection’s defining feature is that Medieval Portland presents original research pursued by students alongside that by advanced scholars. The students doing the research are from across my university, for I teach the course as a community based learning senior capstone within Portland State University’s nationally-recognized University Studies program. The Medieval Portland capstone provides students opportunities to critically engage with the past as well as to then produce resources that allow these objects to become better known and understood to the wider community. The capstone students soon realize that history isn’t an edifice to be committed to memory, but instead is an act of inquiry into the meaning of the past.
Artstor and The Morgan Library & Museum are collaborating to make available 200 images from the museum’s permanent collection in the Digital Library.
A complex of buildings in the heart of New York City, The Morgan Library & Museum began as the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan (1837–1913), one of the preeminent collectors and cultural benefactors in the United States.
Posted in Architecture & City Planning, Curriculum Guides, Manuscripts & Manuscript Illuminations, Medieval Art & Architecture in Europe, Paintings, Prehistoric & Ancient Art and Architecture, Sculpture & Installations, Teaching with ARTstor on October 28, 2014 | 1 Comment »
Artstor is introducing curriculum guides–collections of images from the Artstor Digital Library based on syllabi for college courses–compiled by faculty members and experts around the country. Learn more here.
Survey of Western Art 1: Prehistoric to Gothic
Nancy Minty, Ph.D, Collections Editor, Artstor
This curriculum guide covers a comprehensive introduction to early western art (approximately 30,000 BCE through 1300 CE), presenting the iconic monuments of European and Mediterranean culture, including architecture and the built environment, paintings and sculpture, manuscripts and the decorative arts, as well as archeological sites and materials. The extensive range – both geographic and historic – coupled with a focus on key works, will establish a foundation in art history and a point of departure for further study (assuming this course is followed by its companion – Survey of Western Art 2: Renaissance to Postmodern). Students will learn to interpret works within their cultural contexts, developing both visual acuity and descriptive vocabularies. Readings will center on the standard texts with a sampling of specialist articles.
Posted in Manuscripts & Manuscript Illuminations, Paintings, Renaissance, Baroque Art & Architecture in Europe, tagged andromeda, dragon, greek mythology, monsters, mythology, perseus, st george on April 11, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Saint George’s Day is celebrated on April 23. I know this because as a child I was obsessed with the world of make-believe. While my sister was collecting books on the natural sciences, I had a whole shelf devoted to children’s versions of Greek mythology, fairy tales, and folklore. The stories I loved best involved magic and monsters. To this day my mother will buy me used books if they have a dragon on the cover. And this is where Saint George comes in.
In the 13th century, Jacobus de Voragine wrote in The Golden Legend that Saint George was a Christian knight who in his travels came across a city called Silene that was being plagued by a dragon that lived in its pond. Silene’s inhabitants were forced to appease the monster by sacrificing their children. The victims were selected through a lottery system, and one day it was the king’s own daughter who drew the last lot.
Posted in African Art, Anthropology, Asian Art, Collections, Decorative Arts, Utilitarian Objects & Interior Des, Drawings and Watercolors, Islamic Art, Manuscripts & Manuscript Illuminations, Medieval Art & Architecture in Europe, Modern & Contemporary Art, Museums, Paintings, Photographs, Prehistoric & Ancient Art and Architecture, Release, Renaissance, Baroque Art & Architecture in Europe on August 29, 2013 | Leave a Comment »