Predicting the Past: Digital Art History, Modeling, and Machine Learning

NOAA 5-day hurricane forecast model. Forecast tracks are shown in gray, observed tracks in black. / NASA Case study from the Getty’s digital art history team shows how modeling and machine learning are shedding light on the history of the art market. By Dr. Matthew Lincoln / 07.27.2017 Historian and Data Research Specialist Getty Research[…]

West African Ashanti Kente Cloth Art

Asante kente cloth, 20th century, silk and cotton (Vatican Museums) By Dr. Courtnay Micots / 07.17.2017 Assistant Professor of Art History Florida A&M University Inspired by a spider’s web Among the Asante (or Ashanti) people of Ghana, West Africa, a popular legend relates how two young men—Ota Karaban and his friend Kwaku Ameyaw—learned the art[…]

Three Buildings, Two Architects, Common Spaces

Installation view of Berlin/LA: Space for Music at the Getty Research Institute. Photo: John Kiffe An architect finds commonalities in spaces for music in Berlin and LA—both highbrow and low. By Peter Greuneisen / 07.11.2017 Founder nonzero\architecture, studio bau:ton There are surprising parallels between the sister cities of Berlin and Los Angeles, as is convincingly shown in[…]

Leonardo, Rapunzel, and the Mathematics of Hair

Lecture by Dr. Raymond E. Goldstein at the Museum of London / 11.09.2016 Schlumberger Professor of Complex Physical Systems University of Cambridge Introduction How do physicists and mathematicians think about hair?  Everyone, especially those with their own hair, has surely been fascinated since their youth with the magical properties of bundles of hair: its “body”[…]

The Long, Forgotten Walk of David Ingram

Detail from Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues’ 1591 map of Florida, where David Ingram supposedly began his journey up the Eastern seaboard / Library of Congress If three shipwrecked English sailors really did travel by foot from Florida to Nova Scotia in 1569 then it would certainly count as one of the most remarkable walks[…]

Venus Felix, Genetrix, and Victrix in the Numismatic Record from Augustus to Hadrian: Stagnation to Innovation

Ruins of the Temple of Venus Genetrix, Rome / Wikimedia Commons By Caitlin Ryan / 08.2016 Historical Interpreter Scarborough Museum Abstract Venus is one of the most famous goddesses of the Roman pantheon, known for her grace and beauty. Her likeness was recreated countless times in a variety of different media. She was depicted in[…]

Joseph Cornell’s Mail Art

Card collaged by Joseph Cornell, enclosed with his letter to Susanna De Maria Wilson dated February 17, 1963. The Getty Research Institute, 2014.M.30 A look inside newly catalogued letters and collages by the American pioneer of collage and assemblage art. By Isabella Zuralski-Yeager / 06.27.2017 Special Collections Cataloger Getty Research Institute Joseph Cornell (1903–1972) is[…]

Hats Off: The Entry of Tarquinius Priscus into Rome?

By Dr. Jocelyn Penny Small Classical Archaeologist and Art Historian Rutgers University Etruscan Studies 8:6 (2001), 130-151 Iconography and divination have much in common.[1] Both are divinely inspired. Their practitioners need years of training and inculcation in the art of interpretation before formal admission into the priesthood. The interpretation invariably depends on details, or should[…]

Royal Propaganda, from Prints to Pixels

Triumphal Entry into Babylon (detail), Gérard Audran (French, 1640–1703) after Charles Le Brun (French, 1619–90), 1675. Etching and engraving, two sheets. Assembled size: 27 15/16 x 36 1/8 in. (71 x 91.8 cm). The Getty Research Institute, 2003.PR.33 By John Hicks / 05.27.2010 Research Assistant, Getty Publications Department Spin control—it’s been around for centuries. Louis[…]

The Eccentric, Democratic Architecture of Hans Scharoun

Philharmonie exterior. Photo by Chris Edwards The German architect created unique designs blending Expressionism and the International Style. By Dr. Kathleen James-Chakraborty / 05.09.2017 Professor of Art History University College Dublin The exhibition Berlin/Los Angeles: Space for Music (April 25–July 30, 2017, at the Getty Research Institute) explores two iconic buildings, Hans Scharoun’s Berlin Philharmonic[…]

History and Architecture of the Basilica of San Clemente in Rome

The Basilica of San Clemente, Rome, church rebuilt 1099-1119 (mosaic 1130s) with eighteenth-century renovations (photo: Michael Foley, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) By Dr. Diane Reilly / 06.14.2017 Associate Professor of Art History, Department Chair Indiana University A shrunken Rome By the twelfth century, the city of Rome was a shadow of its former, imperial Roman self.[…]

Athens in the 19th century: The Neighbourhood of Metaxourgeion

Section of F. Aldenhoven’s map of Athens in 1837; marked are the four abandoned building plots on Millerou street, the road intersection at the Dipylon and the fortification wall of Haseki. By Dr. Christina Agriantoni Professor of Modern History University of Thessaly This is a discussion[1] of the mechanisms that command the evolution of a[…]

Preserving Native American History in Ambrotype Photography

People at the United Tribes Technical College Powwow are photographed as an ambrotype in 2016. The crowd raised their right hands in support of Native Americans everywhere. / Ambrotype by Shane Balkowitsch Using an early photographic process, one photographer hopes to draw a line connecting what happened to the Dakota people in Mankato, Minnesota, 155 years[…]

Religion and Art in Ancient Greece

Fragment of a Hellenistic relief (1st century BCE – 1st century CE) depicting the Twelve Olympians carrying their attributes in procession; from left to right, Hestia (scepter), Hermes (winged cap and staff), Aphrodite (veiled), Ares (helmet and spear), Demeter (scepter and wheat sheaf), Hephaestus (staff), Hera (scepter), Poseidon (trident), Athena (owl and helmet), Zeus (thunderbolt[…]

Does Technological Analysis Destroy the Romance of Art History?

Detail from Extracting the Stone of Madness by Hieronymus Bosch / Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid By Dr. Noah Charney / 08.09.2016 Adjunct Professor of Art History, American University of Rome Founder, Association for Research into Crimes Against Art In 2012, a linguist at the University of Southern California decoded a famous medieval manuscript written in a[…]

A New Archaeological Framework for Cultural Changes in Ancient Buddhism

Mingora, the modern-day capital city of Swat or ancient Mengjieli / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Anna Filigenzi Professor of Archaeology University of Naples “L’Orientale” Towards a New Reading of Conflicting Sources The more analytical studies highlight the artistic value, theoretical coherence, and innovative character of the rock sculptures, the more glaring appears the contradiction with[…]

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Japanese Education

On the left, Katsushika Hokusai’s ‘The Manifestation of the Peak’ (1834); on the right, Wright’s rendering of the Huntington Hartford Resort project (1947) © The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Taliesin West, Scottsdale, AZ, Author provided By Dr. Kevin Nute / 06.07.2017 Professor of Architecture University of Oregon To mark Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th birthday on[…]

Feel-Good Fractals: From Ocean Waves to Jackson Pollock’s Art

Photo by NCinDC/Flickr By Florence Williams / 01.26.2017 Visiting Scholar George Washington University When Richard Taylor was 10 years old in the early 1970s in England, he chanced upon a catalogue of Jackson Pollock paintings. He was mesmerised, or perhaps a better word is Pollockised. Franz Mesmer, the crackpot 18th-century physician, posited the existence of[…]

The History of Art and Literature in Urban Contexts

The Roman Forum, by Giovanni Paolo Pannini, 1755 / The Louvre Museum, Paris   By Dr. Markian Prokopovych and Dr. Roey Sweet / 05.13.2015 Prokopovych: Leverhulme Research Fellow, University of Birgmingham Sweet: Professor of Urban History, University of Leicester Abstract Artistic and literary production are not inherently urban processes in themselves but they have always[…]

Hellenistic Athens

The Stoa of Attalos at Athens – a modern reconstruction of the 2nd-century BCE building / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Charalambos Bouras The Late Professor Emeritus of Architecture National Metsovian Polytechnic School of Athens Introduction The city of Athens was without doubt the most important cultural centre of the Ancient World’s Classical Period. Later, during[…]

Gustav Wunderwald’s Paintings of Weimar Berlin

Gustav Wunderwald, Unterführung in Spandau, 1927 / Neue urheberrechtsfreie Künstler, Neuheiten The Berlin of the 1920s is often associated with a certain excess and decadence, but it was a quite different side of the city — the “sobriety and desolation” of its industrial and working-class districts — which came to obsess the painter Gustav Wunderwald. Mark Hobbs[…]