Access MOMA’s Exhibition Photographs on ARTstor

Last week ARTstor added the last installment of MOMA’s exhibition photographs.  The 16,700 or so photographs document over 70 years’ worth of major exhibitions at the museum.  To find them, just go to the ARTstor website (and log in if you’re not on campus), then search “moma archive” plus any additional terms to narrow your results.


Graphics Atlas

I just read about this great tool, the Graphics Atlas, created by the Image Permanence Institute at Rochester University.  The Graphics Atlas allows you to view minute details of photographic prints produced using different techniques.  You can not only zoom in on the surface of an image to see the emulsion, you can also see the edge of the photo, view it under different lighting conditions (like UV), and compare views of two different processes.


(discovered via Deep Focus, from the UT Austin School of Architecture Visual Resources Collection.)

USGS and LIFE Magazine Image Archives

Last week Google announced the availability of about 2 million images from LIFE magazine’s archives, many of them never published before now.  Over the next few months, the entire archive of about 10 million images should be available through Google’s image search.  To see the images, you can either go to the collection’s main page or do a regular Google image search, but specify that you want to search within the LIFE collection by adding “source:life” to your search string (example: “Dorothea Lange soure:life”).  The images come with some descriptive information, and you can access a decent-sized jpeg image (1280 pixels on the long side), but note that they neither prohibit nor permit use of the images in a context other than Google Image Search.

cm-capture-2(results from a search on Matisse)

What can be better than that?  The U.S. Geological Survey’s Photographic Library doesn’t rival the LIFE archive’s size or scope, but the quality is phenomenal and the images are all in the public domain (which means you can use them as you wish, as long as you cite the photographer — more information here).  You’ll find some great examples of early photography on this site, including images by W.H. Jackson, John Hillers, and others.  Also, there’s good coverage of some ancient monuments like Mesa Verde.  The images are positively huge, free to use, and are accompanied by good descriptive information.


(An image of Hovenweep National Monument by W.H. Jackson, 1874.  Full record here)

A Finals Week Treat!


Earlier this week we uploaded 1,968 new images to the DUVAGA repository!  This latest upload is sort of a hodge-podge collection lots of things, so I hope you’ll take a look to see what might be of use to you!  You can access the latest images by going to DUVAGA, logging in, going to “search,” and then clicking on “instructor galleries.”  All of the purchased images are available in the galleries under “Visual Media Center,” at the top of the page, and galleries with images from this order are dated 11/17/08.  Included:

  • Mesoamerican images
  • lots of modern design
  • some modern architecture
  • a handful of 17th and 18th century paintings
  • Indian architecture and sculpture
  • Japanese prints, paintings, and architecture (including much better Hiroshige prints!)
  • some Spanish Colonial works

As always, please let me know if there are problems with the metadata or images (especially the metadata — we process huge amounts of data when we receive these orders, and sometimes the vendors don’t classify things the way we do).  Enjoy!

New SFMOMA Tool: ArtScope


SFMOMA has unveiled an innovative tool for viewing objects in its collection.  ArtScope arranges some 3,500 of the museum’s works in a grid.  Users can either browse through images using a unique zoom tool, or search for terms in the images’ metadata.  It’s a great way to get an idea of what the museum’s holdings are.


Legend of the True Cross 3-D Model

Do you remember the internet of ten years ago?  You’d type in a web address and play a game of Minesweeper as you waited for the page to load.  Images on the web were small and of poor quality for the most part, took forever to load, and overflowed your e-mail account if you weren’t careful.

We’ve come a long way in terms of technology, and there are some incredibly innovative and useful tools available online now!  One beautiful example is a new site dedicated to Piero della Francesca’s The Legend of the True Cross.  Created by an international team of specialists, the site allows you to view a 3-D model of the chapel (if you are using Internet Explorer), as well as very high-resolution images of the paintings that compose this work (in any browser).  It contains scholarly information about The Legend of the True Cross, and is a great way to visualize how the work actually functions in the location.

Here are some sample images (click to make them bigger, and if you like these, make sure you visit the actual site!):

Contemporary Ceramics!

We in the Visual Media Center are up to our elbows in clay (or images of it) this fall.  In recent weeks, we’ve added 139 new images to DUVAGA to support ceramics studio courses, and we’re presently processing an additional 182 images, so keep an eye out for more!

The area of contemporary ceramics is one that hasn’t been adequately covered by most visual resources collections in the past.  That’s changing, thanks to initiative taken by Margo Ballantyne, Visual Resources Curator, and Ted Vogel, Assistant Professor and Program Head in Ceramics at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR!  Margo and Ted, with their staff and funding from the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education (NITLE)’s Instructional Innovation Fund, have worked to create a new resource, accessCeramics, which provides access to images of and information about contemporary ceramic works.

On the accessCeramics site, you can browse over 400 images (so far) by artist as well as by glazing/surface treatment, materials used, temperature used, and technique (wow!!).  Ceramic artists themselves submit their work for inclusion on the site, and submissions are juried by a curatorial board before they are added.  Only the person who owns the rights to the works depicted can add images, and most images are available for use with proper attribution.  The image resolutions are reasonable for PowerPoint presentations, or for addition to DUVAGA as personal images.  Alternatively, you can always just visit the website and use the Firefox plugin PicLens (mentioned on this blog previously) to view the images, or talk to me about tracking down similar images to add to DUVAGA.