Art Libraries

National Institute Of Art History Opens In France

The Curmudgeony Librarian writes "A central library for the study of art history opened this week in Paris.
The Institut national de l'histoire de l'art (INHA)The Institute has been planned for almost a century.
The core of the collection came from designer Jacques Doucet who opened a library in 1908 with 150,000 books and manuscripts and 280,000 photographs from his own personal collection. In 2001 Alain Schnapp established the INHA and convinced other French national museums to donate their own libraries, to the collection."

US Art Museums Study Results Available

An anonymous patron would like for us to know that the results of a Mellon Foundation study are available.

This study explores the cost and policy models adapted by US arts museums in arriving at pricing structures for delivering imaging and rights services. It examines the new market realities and opportunities cultural institutions face due to the transition to digital collections.

The art of classifying by color

From McSweeney's:

For one amazing week in November, Adobe Bookshop in San Francisco has agreed to allow its estimated 20,000 books to be reclassified by color. Shifting from red to orange to yellow to green, the books will follow the spectrum continuously, changing Adobe from a neighborhood bookshop into a magical library—but only for one week ...

This temporary public installation will be assembled by the San Francisco artist Chris Cobb and a staff of volunteers, who will reorder all the books in one night and, when the week is over, return them to their original locations.

Full press release. Here are some pictures documenting the piece, and an interview with the man behind it. Via Metafilter.

Neon Green Tree Frogs Grace MN Library Mural

Friends of the St. Louis Park Library in Minnesota recently unveiled the mural they commissioned for the Teen Corner of their renovated library...featuring two super-sized tree frogs in a three-dimensional art piece created by 2004 St. Louis Park High School graduate Yezi Xue, now starting her freshman year at the University of MN.

It's green, it's cool, it jumps out at you. Artist Xue says, "‘I mainly chose the frogs because of design purposes but I also thought the theme appropriate because it’s bringing nature indoors and adds a lively character to the teen corner.’ More (and a photo) from the Minnesota Sun .

Turn of the Century Library Murals Found

In May and in August of this year, employees of the Lakeview Museum in Peoria IL found three intact murals dating from the end of the 19th Century that had once adorned the walls of the old library, torn down in 1966.

The murals originally were thought to have been destroyed when the library was demolished because they were referred to in library board minutes as "frescos," (pieces of art painted directly on walls while the plaster is wet) when in fact, they were painted on canvas, rolled up and stored in excellent condition. A library reference assistant, Linda Aylward, started the hunt for the lost artwork based on a photograph she had showing the river mural in the old library's board room.

The bad news, though, is that the library can't afford to restore the murals, even though it was hoping to do so for their upcoming 125th anniversary.

Story from the Peoria Journal Star.

Art blossoming on mural in Hawaii Library

At Waimanalo library (on Oahu), a 25 foot blank wall will be turning into a colorful and exciting piece of art over the course of the next two weeks.

The design by award-winning Oregon children's illustrator Tara Sullivan will include flora and fauna that have a connection to Waimanalo, as well as dolphins, birds, a hula dancer, and likenesses of famed surfer Duke Kahanamoku and Sullivan's grandson.

The design is Sullivan's, but as she says, lots of people have been pitching in with the execution; "I suckered them all in Tom Sawyer style."

Students from Waimanalo Elementary & Intermediate School swarmed to the library last week to see Sullivan and volunteer Kevin Philbrook outlining trees, clouds and waves with pens before they start to paint. Excited and curious, the students jockeyed to get a better view.

"We can just sit here all day and watch this," said Alohilani Loretero-Whitney, 10. "I like art." More from the Honolulu Advertiser.

IST Results - Accessing and researching great art online

Anonymous Patron writes "Insteresting Idea: See a picture you like but cannot remember the original? Or want to use a motif within a design and need to know its source? Or curious who painted that masterpiece? Thanks to new search and retrieval techniques developed by ARTISTE, you can now find out.
European museums and galleries are rich in cultural treasures, but if you are unable to visit the premises then gaining information on their collections can be a challenge. Many of these institutions have online information facilities, however a lack of standardised systems and techniques has often made access more difficult than need be.

The IST project ARTISTE aimed to tackle this problem by developing content-based search and retrieval systems that could be used by major art institutions. Project participants included several leading galleries across Europe, such as the Uffizi in Florence, the National Gallery and the Victoria and Albert (the V&A) museum in London and Centre de Recherché et de Restauration des Musées de France (C2RMF), the restoration centre for French museums including the Louvre. By the close of the project in 2002, the project partners had developed several new and useful ways of accessing information online on major art collections."

Museums by Design

An Anonymous Patron sends "this piece from Cultural Commons about how museums have had to reinvent them selves in many ways, to stay viable.

There is no doubt that museums like most other cultural institutions (including symphonies, ballet companies, theaters, or universities) have had to become more Warholian, more entrepreneurial, in order to deal with economic recessions and cuts in public funding. Increasing competition within the cultural and entertainment marketplace has also led to increased programming costs and expansive building projects to attract and maintain audiences.


New Digital Art Library Could Revolutionize Teaching

Anonymous Patron writes
"'A giant art database offering thousands of photos of paintings, sculptures and architecture throughout history began accepting clients Monday. ARTstor, which currently offers 300,000 of the most famous art images used in the enjoyment and teaching of art, is planned to hold more than 500,000 images when the database is accessible in July.'

Before you think about googling it, 'The cost for access to ARTstor's services varies depending on the size of the institution, from "Very Large Institutions" to "Very Small Institutions" and community colleges.' Very Large Universities will have to pony up about 60 grand for access. The rest o' the story here at the Badger Herald.

British Library acquires unique 19th Century Famil

Charles Davis writes "Spotted at
The ResourceShelf.
A unique and important album of nineteenth-century Indian watercolours has been acquired by the British Library. The paintings show views of Mughal and pre-Mughal monuments in Delhi, many of which no longer survive...Following
conservation work the Metcalfe Album is now on display in the John Ritblat Treasures
Gallery at the British Library in London, until 1 October 2003. The album will also be
digitised and the images will be freely accessible on the Library's Collect Britain website at during 2004. Some information and images are already
available on the British Library website."


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