Winterthur Announces $35,000 NEA Grant to Digitize Works of Art on Paper

vcsPRAsset_2429574_96464_3d38cdf8-e994-4761-87b2-ce4c6b94ae55_0.jpgWINTERTHUR, DELAWARE -- Winterthur, Museum, Garden & Library is pleased to announce a $35,000 Art Works grant recommendation from the National Endowment for the Arts to digitize 1,500 important works of art on paper. The project is part of a Winterthur initiative to thoroughly document its collection, upgrade its cataloguing content, and provide broad access through museumcollection.winterthur.org.

Much of the collection that will be digitized lies in storage, enabling Winterthur to document an important but hidden part of its significant and frequently used collection.

“We are grateful to NEA for recommending funding for this important project, which will not only exponentially increase access to works by staff, graduate students, researchers and the public, but also likely lead to an increase in applicants to Winterthur’s Research Fellowship Program,” said Linda Eaton, Winterthur John L. and Marjorie P. McGraw Director of Collections and Senior Curator of Textiles. Winterthur Research Fellows investigate the collections for their studies and, in turn, help promote the collections through use of digital images in scholarly printed, digital, and public presentations of their research.

NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “The arts are part of our everyday lives - no matter who you are or where you live - they have the power to transform individuals, spark economic vibrancy in communities, and transcend the boundaries across diverse sectors of society. Supporting projects like the one from Winterthur offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”

The project is part of Winterthur’s ongoing commitment to foster lifelong learning in the arts and humanities, educating and engaging the widest possible audiences through online collection access. Winterthur’s efforts to digitize its works of art on paper began with an NEA grant in 2012, in which more than 2,840 works and related information were digitized and made accessible online. Winterthur’s online collection database is currently accessed by nearly 59,000 users internationally.

Funding from the new NEA grant recommendation will be used to hire staff to scan or photograph works, digitally edit them, add metadata, and upload the new digital files to Winterthur’s existing online collections database. Visitors will see initial results of the project this fall in the exhibition Lasting Impressions: The Artists of Currier & Ives, the first exhibition to investigate the role of Frances (Fanny) Bond Palmer and Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, two of the most prolific Currier & Ives artists in the Victorian age. Lasting Impressions will explore how Palmer and Tait’s collaboration with Currier & Ives on Christmas cards and Americana transformed how Americans made and viewed art.

Many of the newly digitized images in Lasting Impressions will be included in an iPad app presenting highlights of the conservation work involved in preparing the exhibition. As they compare their responses to the prints exhibited in the galleries and to the virtual images on the touch screens, visitors will be able to identify traces of the lithographic process on the prints and exercise their judgment as instant “connoisseurs” of Currier & Ives prints.

The exhibition will be on view in the Winterthur Galleries September 17, 2016 to January 8, 2017, while the online/virtual exhibition will be accessible permanently. The online version of Lasting Impressions will include a section illustrating Winterthur’s full holdings of Currier & Ives works, many of which will be digitized through this grant-funded effort.

The digitization project is being directed by Linda Eaton, Winterthur John L. and Marjorie P. McGraw Director of Collections and Senior Curator of Textiles. Lasting Impressions is being curated by Dr. Marie-Stéphanie Delamaire, Winterthur Associate Curator of Fine Arts.

For more information on Winterthur, please visit winterthur.org. For information on the NEA and projects included in the NEA grant announcement, please visit arts.gov.

Image: This Currier & Ives hand-colored lithograph is among 1,500 works that will be digitized at Winterthur thanks to the NEA's $35,000 Art Works grant recommendation.

 

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