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The Magic Tate Ball is a new location-based mobile app from the Tate. It knows where you are, what the weather is and supposedly what type of artwork you might be in the mood to see.  When you shake your phone, this app presents you with an artwork from the Tate’s collection that is linked to your surroundings. It even senses ambient noise levels to determine whether you’re say, in the library or a bar.  The Magic Tate Ball tells you why it chose a particular image for you and provides a short description of the work.

From my office I was given John Constable’s Flatford Mill (‘Scene on a Navigable River’).  It asked me if I was having a nice bit of peace and quiet,
(like a stroll down this canal?), and ok, it does look a little like the Hudson River…how did it know?

Magic Tate Ball is available for free in the Apple App Store and the Nokia Store.

Images from the ARTstor Digital Library are now accessible through Android-powered devices! Simply go to artstor.org on your device, click the “Enter here” button, and install the free app (you must be a registered user).  iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch users can still access ARTstor by going to http://library.artstor.org from your mobile device – no app is required.

Page from the Book of Games, Chess, Dice and Boards from the reign of Alfonso X 'The Wise' (1221-84) King of Leon and Castile.

This summer, I attended a one-day conference entitled The Digital World of Art History, which was organized by the Index of Christian Art at Princeton University.  The papers dealt with a variety of relevant topics including copyright, bibliographic standards, and digital best practices.

The Index of Christian Art is the largest archive of medieval art in the world and the conference offered a fascinating look into their collections and current projects.  Although access to the Index is subscription based, I learned about several publicly accessible image databases that the Index has made available on their website for scholarly use. The images in these databases come largely from donated collections and include the Gabriel Millet collection of Byzantine and Early Christian art (over 10,000 images), The Gertrude and Robert Metcalf Collection of Stained Glass, The Mills-Kronborg Collection of Danish Church Wall Paintings, the Tuck Langland Collection (Gothic Architecture) and the Svetlana Tomekovic Database of Byzantine Art.

Conference papers from The Digital World of Art History can be viewed here.

A nice selection of drawing and image manipulation apps for the iPad are reviewed today over at My Life Scoop. Particularly intriguing is LiveSketch, an app that allows you to create drawings that look like pencil on paper.  If you don’t have an iPad, you can try the browser based drawing tool Harmony which LiveSketch is based on.

Kapsul is a relatively new online tool developed by the nonprofit Kadist Art Foundation. Designed for art curators, artists, and educators, Kapsul makes it easy to find, organize, share, and exhibit images, text, and video. The interface is very intuitive, with prominent and well-labeled function buttons. Images can be added by drag and drop from your computer files, or by entering a website url. Kapsul also offers a very efficient Google-powered search function. Image groups, or “Kapsuls” can be made private or public. Private Kapsuls can be shared at the discretion of the creator, with controllable levels of participation. Kapsul also allows you to make quick slide shows of images taken from the web. For a more comprehensive review go to http://www.kqed.org/arts/multimedia/article.jsp?essid=86434 or simply check out kapsul.org. By the way, the public Kapsuls you’ll see on the site are very interesting!

Google Art Project was introduced last year and showcased artworks from 17 museums in nine countries and included approximately 1,000 images.  Today, the Art Project includes more than 30,000 high-resolution artworks from 151 museums, with Street View images for 46 museums.

Expanding upon the original collection of mostly western paintings, Google Art Project now includes a wider representation of art (sculptures, photographs, street art) and has greater cultural diversity.  Newly added museums include the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar and the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi.

The updated My Gallery feature lets you select any of the artworks to build your own personalized gallery. You can add comments to each work and share your collections with others.

The National Gallery of Art has implemented an open access policy for digital images of works of art that the Gallery believes to be in the public domain. More than 20,000 high resolution digital images are now available free of charge for download and use through the NGA Images website.

For classroom presentation use, click the Quick Download icon below the thumbnail in the Search Results view. Your image will download directly to your computer.  In order to download higher resolution images, you must register for a free account.

Two piece suit "Advanced Spring & Palm Beach" designed by Pearl L. Alexander

The Picture Collection of the New York Public Library and the Special Collections & FIT Archives of the Fashion Institute of Technology Library have recently started a digital archive of fashion drawings and sketches by André Fashion Studios.  The collection includes more than 5,000 original drawings from the 1930’s to the early 1940’s.

There was an update to the ARTstor Digital Library this week. New changes include:

  • Full support for Chrome browsers.
  • Folders are now nested in two upper level folders: “Private Folders” and “Institutional Folders.” “Private Folders” contains folders viewable only by you. “Institutional Folders” contains folders that are viewable by other users at your institution either as “Public” folders or as “Password-protected” folders.

Because of this update, some of you may find that you cannot see your folders or image groups; clearing the browser cache should resolve the issue. Detailed instructions on how to do this can be found here

Did you know you can search for information on Google using an image instead of keywords?  This is particularly useful if you want to find a higher quality image of one you already have or you simply want to view results related to the picture or its contents.  If you are the creator of an image, you can use this feature to see how and where your image is being used online.

To search by image, go to images.google.com and click on the camera icon in the search box. You can either paste in an image’s URL or upload an image from your computer; Chrome and Firefox users can drag a loose image from the desktop into the search box.

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