45,000 Works of Art from Stanford University’s Cantor Arts Center Now Freely Viewable Online

Cantor Arts

Just last month, Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty’s Iris and B. Ger­ald Can­tor Cen­ter for Visu­al Arts made its col­lec­tion acces­si­ble online, dig­i­tiz­ing and upload­ing over 45,000 of its works of art in forms freely view­able by all. These include, if you nav­i­gate through the col­lec­tions high­light­ed on the browse page, works of Amer­i­can and Euro­pean art; African, Native Amer­i­can, and Ocean­ic art; Asian art; mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary art; prints, draw­ings, and pho­tographs; and Stan­ford fam­i­ly col­lec­tions as well as works cur­rent­ly on dis­play.

But this hard­ly hap­pened at a stroke. The short video above gives a look behind the scenes — or rather, muse­um walls, or per­haps dig­i­tal muse­um walls — to reveal some of the effort that went into the six-year project that has cul­mi­nat­ed in the open­ing of the Can­tor Arts Cen­ter’s online col­lec­tions.

The endeav­or required no small amount of phys­i­cal work, not just to re-pho­to­graph every­thing in their col­lec­tions (only five per­cent of which goes on dis­play at any one time), but to per­form a whole new inven­to­ry, the first com­plete one the muse­um had done since 1916. (As a recent move remind­ed me, there’s noth­ing like hav­ing to move all your stuff from one place to anoth­er to give you the clear­est pos­si­ble sense of exact­ly what you have.)

Cantor Arts 2

Here we’ve post­ed a few paint­ings from the Can­tor: James McNeill Whistler’s Hurling­ham (well, an etch­ing, if you want to get tech­ni­cal), Théodore Caru­elle d’Aligny’s View of the Bay of Naples, Nakabayashi Chikkei’s Autumn Land­scape and Edward Hop­per’s New York Cor­ner. (You can also find a whole dif­fer­ent set of scenes ren­dered in pen and ink at the Can­tor’s ded­i­cat­ed dig­i­tal col­lec­tion of the sketch­books of San Fran­cis­co Bay Area abstract expres­sion­ist painter Richard Diebenko­rn.)

edward hopper

But to get a sense of the full scope of the geo­graph­ic, his­tor­i­cal, aes­thet­ic, and for­mal vari­ety of the art the Can­tor has made view­able any­where and any time, you’ll want to fol­low the instruc­tions pro­vid­ed by one of our read­ers, Robin L: “Go to this search gate­wayIf you enter in an artist (I tried Whistler), you will get a list of all of the col­lec­tions’ images with small images and some basic infor­ma­tion. Then click on the spe­cif­ic piece that you want. And that one will open up with a small-medi­um image and some descrip­tion of the piece. If you click on the image again, it will enlarge.” 

Cantor Arts 3

via Stan­ford News

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Whit­ney Muse­um Puts Online 21,000 Works of Amer­i­can Art, By 3,000 Artists

The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Muse­um of Art Puts 400,000 High-Res Images Online & Makes Them Free to Use

LA Coun­ty Muse­um Makes 20,000 Artis­tic Images Avail­able for Free Down­load

The Rijksmu­se­um Puts 125,000 Dutch Mas­ter­pieces Online, and Lets You Remix Its Art

The Nation­al Gallery Makes 25,000 Images of Art­work Freely Avail­able Online

The Get­ty Puts 4600 Art Images Into the Pub­lic Domain (and There’s More to Come)

40,000 Art­works from 250 Muse­ums, Now View­able for Free at the Redesigned Google Art Project

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, the video series The City in Cin­e­maand the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future? Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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