We can all agree he was the coolest, right? Like so cool he released a weird new album, knowing it would be his last, just last week. Anyway, people will memorialize David Bowie much better than I can (Tilda Swinton’s speech at the V&A is amazing), but just know that this image was in the heroes section of my MySpace page back when MySpace was a thing and I was a young art kid myself. My heart is aching today.
Just below the library, in the President’s Gallery, Gaining Perspective: A Visual History of MassArt is on display. The library staff played a large hand in putting the exhibition on and we have gathered lots of interesting and inspiring stories from the history of the college. Go see it!
For years the Visual Resources department has been digitizing images for the MassArt community to use for teaching and research. Until recently those images were made available through the MDID interface. While MDID was a great platform when we started out, the technology has started to show its age. Luckily we have been able to join forces with the beloved ArtStor.org through a program called Shared Shelf to make our content available through their interface. Our own 28,000 carefully selected images have been added to the enormous collection of art, design, and architecture images already available through ArtStor. The robust image retrieval and organization tools of ArtStor will make our own collection more visible and easier to use. Users will no longer have to search two databases to find the images they are looking for. If you are an ArtStor user already there in nothing new to learn, if you’ve never logged in before, here are some helpful links to get you started.
To view MassArt’s images you must either be on campus or logged into ArtStor. You can create an account while on campus at ArtStor.org or contact Caitlin Pereira in the library. Faculty can also contact Caitlin for Instructor privileges to the database. Caitlin.Pereira@gmail.com (617) 879-7120
We Sew Retro is a blog community for vintage sewing enthusiasts, and recently a member launched a collaborative Google Map locating Costume Collections of the World. So far there are 78 collections mapped! It provides quick links to the big museums like the Met and the V&A and lets you know about collections you might not have known existed. While not all have online galleries it is fun to browse and see where some of these caches of fashion history are stashed and what kind of exhibits they put on. Or you can just take mental note of various listings, one day you might find yourself at the University of Alberta, and you’ll know that they have an amazing collection of hats!
And of course if anything piques your interest visit the library catalog to find books on your newly discovered favorite designers.
I happened upon this animation of NPR’s Ira Glass sharing his advice on how to find success doing creative work and I found it terribly charming (I am still charmed by Ira Glass I know for some he has worn thin). His advice is not groundbreaking, but it needs to be remembered and embraced. The early work won’t be as good as you would like but if you keep at it, eventually your work will come closer to meeting your own expectation. I would wager to guess that every creative person has years worth of work that they find terribly embarrassing.
For insight into how some other creatives get all that work done you can check out Daily Rituals: How Artists Work in the library (call number NX165 .C87 2013).
I will admit that I was a lousy baseball fan this year. I had a baby in the summer who prevented me from watching a single inning until the World Series started last week, but I love Boston and I love when our teams win things! GO SOX! To celebrate those bearded fellas that play on the other side of the Fens here are some vintage Fenway images from the Boston Public Library.
I can’t believe I let the New York Times Scoop me on a Visual Resources issue! I have known for months about the RIJKSSTUDIO project but I let the gray lady write about it first. The academic art community needs a robust public domain to teach art freely and inspire new work but sadly copyright laws have grown into unwieldy mess that is hard to navigate, and even when works are old enough to be in the public domain, the institutions that own them are often hesitant to share them with the world, for a number of tired and outdated reasons. That is why is it great to see a museum like the Rikjmuseum in Amsterdam enthusiastically sharing high quality images of its collections. They are encouraging you to print that poster at home! They want you to make t-shirts! The even have links to places that will put a famous masterwork on your car!
Projects like this are just what we need to remind folks of the importance of a robust public domain. Seeing art works on a screen/t-shirt/scooter will never replace seeing them in person but it certainly trumps never seeing them at all! A similarly large scale project is Your Paintings UK which aims to photograph and make accessible every painting owned by the government. They are even asking for help from the public figuring out the details of the more obscure works. So great!
If today’s Google Doodle didn’t tip you off it is International Women’s Day and March is Women’s History Month! I am of the view that women should be celebrated every darn day of the year, but I’ll take one official month (the other 11 can unofficially be ours too).
In an effort to bring you some awesome lady created art I hit the internet and came across the Fuck Yeah Female Artists! blog on Tumblr. Like others in the “F— Yeah” blog genre, this is a compendium type blog featuring exclusively female artists from across the internet and art history. It is a great place to browse, but we in the library have opinions on our favorite female artists. Here are a few from the female staff here at the MassArt LIbrary and a book you can check out to learn more about them.
Gabrielle’s Pick: Kara Walker After the deluge
Abi’s Pick: Mary Ellen Mark Exposure : Mary Ellen Mark : the iconic photographs
Katie’s Pick: Clare Rojas Clare Rojas : hope springs eternal
Cori’s Pick: Marina Abramovic Marina Abramovic : the artist is present
Rachel’s Pick: Tara Donovan Tara Donovan
Caitlin’s Pick: Artemisia Gentileschi Artemisia Gentileschi : the image of the female hero in Italian Baroque art
Do you use Pinterest? I use the social mood board site regularly, and yes I use it to save pictures of pretty dresses I want to buy but can’t afford, delicious meals I will never make, and other assorted shallow activities, but I also find some really great art on Pinterest. Many Museums are using the platform to expose some of their collections to the pin happy masses. I follow a many museums and this week in honor of Valentine’s Day, some have have created love themed boards for those looking for a little romantic inspiration. There is a lot to love about pinterest, aside from creative pancake construction. Take a look at these examples and start following museums.
The internet was a twitter last week with news of North Korean archeologists “discovering” a unicorn lair and while it turned out to be a mistranslation, there is no denying that unicorns have been a favorite mythical creature for centuries. The excitment over the news lead me to use ArtStor.org to dig up some fine unicorn art because at heart I am still a seven year old girl who thinks those horned beasts are just the coolest.
I first saw The Unicorn in Captivity tapestry in one of my grandmother’s books as a young girl, and it captured my equine loving heart immediately. This work is one of the seven Unicorn Tapistries from the middle ages that reside at the Met in New York.
Raphael knew how to make a girl feel special. He painted this young woman holding a tiny unicorn, although it may have originally been painted as a dog, I’m sticking with the unicorn.
Here Gustave Moreau depicts the mythic beast with a lovely pink highlighted mane.
That pink mane hints at the wide spread 20th century vision of the unicorn. Those of us old enough to remember the 1980’s would be hard pressed to forget the preeminent unicorn artist of the era. The one and only Lisa Frank.
Oh the horror.