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New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday at 8:30pm ET


We have written a number of posts on how museums are in the forefront of using New Media technology, and comparing this to the dismal failure of the book publishing industry to use New Media technology to add value to an “electronic” copy of a book. One of those posts is , “E MUSEUMS LEAVE E BOOKS IN THE DUST: A VIEW FROM TWO DIFFERENT CENTURIES,” and another is,” E BOOKS vs. E MUSEUMS: THE LAG OF THE BOOK,”

On the Purpose page of this blog, we noted the comment by  Alice Rawsthorn in the New York Times of November 28, 2010 that:

“These devices offer thrilling possibilities for us to do much more than read words on a screen, and it is deeply disappointing that so few designers and publishers are embracing them.”

In the Post, “E-MUSEUMS and ENHANCED E-BOOKS – MUSEE d’ORSAY WHOLLY DIGITAL BOOK FOR IMPRESSIONIST EXHIBITION, about the Musée d’Orsay and Artepublishing’s  e-book, Great Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings,

we wrote,

This book is an outstanding example of what can be done in the enhanced e-book format, and an excellent example to print publishers by the Museum and Artepublishing of the tremendous power of enhanced e-books in the New Media. The book is beautifully designed, and couples art and scholarship in a way not possible in the static print and e-book methods of publication.

Artepublishing’s final product fulfills our objectives for fine art in the new media as outlined in our purpose page through its interactivity, in-depth content, and overall scholarly execution. The enhanced e-book contains reproductions of nearly 200 paintings by 26 artists, over three hours of original audio information about the artists and their paintings, and more than 500 hyperlinks to related content.


Now, MoMA has produced an  online-only on Pablo Picasso and Cubism,” Picasso: The Making of Cubism 1912-1914, (Edited by Anne Umland and Blair Hartzell, with Scott Gerson. With essays by Elizabeth Cowling, Jeremy Melius, and Jeffrey Weiss). As described on the museum’s website, “MoMA I Digital Books,”

“Picasso: The Making of Cubism 1912-1914 delves into a watershed moment in the history of twentieth-century art and in Pablo Picasso’s career through in-depth studies of fifteen objects made by the artist between 1912 and 1914. Catalyzed by MoMA’s 2011 exhibition Picasso: Guitars 1912-1914, this interactive digital publication reveals for the first time the many insights gained by curators, scholars, and conservators through first-hand examination of the works in the Museum’s galleries and in the conservation lab.”

“Each chapter is devoted to a single object from this period, featuring an overview essay by a distinguished scholar and a comprehensive portfolio of high-resolution images, ranging from X-rays and 360-degree views to enlarged details and photographs taken during the conservation process. A wealth of secondary resources, including video clips of curators and conservators talking about the objects, detailed conservation notes, illustrated provenances and exhibition histories, and lists of published references for each work further enrich the publication, presenting fresh interpretations of canonical works of art in unprecedented and dynamic ways.”


According to Art Daily,

“The publication delves into the artist’s complex, cross-medium studio practice in the years between 1912 and 1914 by examining Picasso’s cardboard and sheet metal Guitar constructions alongside the drawings, papiers collés, mixed-medium paintings, photographs, and assemblages made during this period.

Each chapter features an illuminating essay by one of the scholars and is complemented by a wealth of documentation. High-resolution images range from interactive 360° views of constructed sculptures to X-rays and ultraviolet, infrared, and raking-light images taken in the conservation lab. Detailed conservation notes offer key insights into the artist’s materials and processes.



Photo: Picasso holding Guitar, posing with William Rubin,
director of the Department of Painting and Sculpture at
The Museum of Modern Art, at Notre-Dame-de-Vie,
Mougins, France, February 8, 1971.
Photograph by Jacqueline Picasso (French, 1927–1986).
MoMA Archives. Department of Public Information Records.
Art Daily continues,

“Archival documentation includes newly discovered and previously unpublished photographs of Picasso in his studio, as well as an illustrated provenance, exhibition history, and published references for each object. Rare primary-source images show the works in the homes of early collectors, in historical gallery installations, and in early publications, augmenting the physical history of the object with details of its ownership, display, and reception.

Video clips of curators and conservators speaking about the objects, including a 1971 interview with William Rubin, then director of MoMA’s Department of Painting and Sculpture, speaking on the occasion of the Museum’s acquisition of the sheet metal Guitar, further enhance the rich interactive study of these objects.”




The publication is $24.99. It is available as an iPad app from the App Store and as an interactive and enhanced PDF to be read on laptop or desktop computers using Adobe Reader through MoMAstore.org. MoMA says,

“This e-book is instantly downloadable as an interactive PDF file and can be read on your computer using Adobe Reader or Adobe Pro. Once you complete your purchase, you will receive an e-mail with a link to download your order.”

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The Tour Starts Here: Palazzo Ducale

New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday at 8:30 pm ET


For those on vacation, and those who are not, the company Arounder,  has made a stunning 360 tour available on the web. No lines, and no crowds.

From ItalyGuides.it:

Doge’s Palace

“If you imagine landing in Venice from the sea, as did those who came inland by ship, the first thing you see rising out of the water is the unmistakable shape of the Doge’s Palace – the city’s most famous building.

The Palace is the most representative symbol of Venice’s culture, which, together with the Basilica of San Marco at the back and the Piazzetta in the forefront, forms of the most famous sceneries in the world.

For centuries the Doge’s Palace had three fundamental roles: as the Doge residence, the seat of government and as the palace of justice. This was where some of the most important decisions for Venice’s, and even Europe’s destiny were taken.

Initially, when it was built in the IX century A.D. it was more like a castle than a palace with four sighting towers and high defensive walls. In fact, it was in a strategic position controlling the city, near to its sea access. Later, due to a series of fires and subsequent rebuilding, it became what we can see today – a splendid example of Venetian gothic architecture.

This imposing building has the one feature typical of Venetian architecture: lightness. Despite its considerable size, the multi-coloured façade decorations and the splendid perforation of the Gothic loggias, like stone lace, give us an elegant structure that isn’t heavy in appearance.

There is also a real architectural “find“: compared to most medieval palaces all over Italy, the Doge’s Palace was built in the opposite way with the loggias down below and full walls above, whereas buildings like this normally had a huge base to make them easier to defend.

In Venice the state Palace had to be an expression of the Republic’s special relationship with its citizens: one of trust and absolute fidelity. Venetians considered their government as legitimate not by imposition or divine right, like in other Italian medieval cities, but as an expression of the Venetians’ will.

The portico is already a special place, a masterpiece within an even bigger masterpiece: the thirty-six stone capitals on their arches are a marvellous example of medieval sculpture and give us a rich repertoire of symbolic figures: vice and virtue, saints, martyrs, knights, trades, birds and signs of the zodiac.

From these arches the Doge watched public executions in the square and under the ninth arch, the one that stands out for the red of its marble, death sentences were announced.”


You can see more of the Doge’s Palace on its Museum site, and even take what the Museum calls the “Secret Itineraries Tour,” including the Prisons, and the Armory.

ItalyGuides.it has another 360 tour on its site.

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Watch World War I Unfold in a 6 Minute Time-Lapse Film: Every Day From 1914 to 1918

Re-blogged from Open Culture: (Be sure to Click on the Links):

Watch World War I Unfold in a 6 Minute Time-Lapse Film: Every Day From 1914 to 1918

“World War I began 100 years ago, on 28 July 1914. The initial trigger, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, produced something of a “domino effect,” where European powers, bound by pre-existing international alliances, chose sides and fell rather obviously into a catastrophic war. It started as a European war, pitting Allied powers against Central powers. But, soon enough, it became international, involving a long list of countries from Africa, North and South America, Asia, and Australasia.

The trench warfare that became such an important part of World War I ensured that the battle lines moved ever so slowly, at least until the final stages of the war. That grinding quality gets captured remarkably well by EmperorTigerstar’s latest YouTube video, “World War I: Every Day,”[ above] which shows “the changing front lines of World War I every day from Austria-Hungary’s declaration of war to the armistice of November 11, 1918.”

It also includes the changing front lines in Africa and the Pacific. (A legend, below, will help you sort out the various different players.) When you’re done watching “World War I: Every Day” (above), you’ll perhaps want to spend time with EmperorTigerstar’s previous video, “World War II in Europe: Every Day,” which documents an even bloodier war unfolding at a dramatic pace.”


          Maroon = Central Powers and annexed lands.

          Burgundy = Areas militarily occupied by the Central Powers.

          Red = Central Power puppet or client states.

          Brown = Central Powers in an armistice.

          Pink = Central Power gains for that day.

                                Dark blue = Allied powers.

                                Blue = Central Powered lands militarily occupied by the Allies.

                               Blue-grey = Allied powers in an armistice.

                               Light blue = Allied gains for that day.”

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While many are on their summer holiday, many at the beach, few would choose to take alone James Joyce’s Ulysses, or Finnegan’s
Wake as light summer reading. You may not chose them to take along even on your e-reader. However, would you take along James Joyce himself?

Thanks to, Open Culture, one of the best sites on the internet, you can: James Joyce Reads From Ulysses and Finnegans Wake In His Only Two Recordings (1924/1929)

To quote from the Open Culture post by Josh Jones,**

As much as it is about every part of Dublin that ever passed by James Joyce’s once-young eyes, Ulysses is also a book about books, and about writing and speech—as mythic invocation, as seduction, chatter, and rhetoric, fulsome and empty. Words—two-faced, like open books—carry with them at least two senses, the meaning of their present utterance, and the verso shades of history.

This is at least partly the import of Joyce’s mythical method, as it is that of all expositors of ancient texts, from preachers and theologians to literary critics. It seems particularly significant, then, that the passage Joyce chose for the one and only recording of a reading from Ulysses comes from the “Aoelus” episode, which parodies Odysseus and his companions’ encounter with the god of wind.

Joyce sets the scene in the newspaper offices of the Freeman’s Journal, epitome of writing in the present tense, where reporters and editors give puffed-up speeches punctuated by reductive, pithy headlines. Amidst this business, erudite professor MacHugh and Stephen Dedalus wax literary and historical, making connections. MacHugh recites “the finest display of oratory” he ever heard—a defense of the revival of the Irish language that compares the Irish people to Moses and the ancient Hebrews spurning the seductions of an oppressive empire in the person of an Egyptian highpriest: Vagrants and daylabourers are you called: the world trembles at our name.

Joyce recorded the passage in 1924 at the urging of Shakespeare and Company founder Sylvia Beach, who persuaded the HMV gramophone studio in Paris to make the record, under the provision that she would finance it and that the studio’s name would appear nowhere on the product. Ulysses, recall, was in many places under a ban for obscenity (not lifted in the U.S. until 1933 by Judge John Woolsey).

Five years later, Joyce read from Finnegans Wake. As Open Culture writes,

Joyce chose to read from the “Anna Livia Plurabelle” section of the experimental text—a passage “overflowing,” writes Mental Floss, with “allusions to the world’s rivers.” He reads in the voice of an old washerwoman, and begins with a most succinct statement of the temporal dimensions of language: “I told you every telling has a tailing.” Where Ulysses foregrounds literary history, Finnegans Wake dives deep into geologic time, and privileges the oral over the written.

These are the only two recordings Joyce ever made, and they surely mark what were for him central locations in both books, though he also chose them for their ease of reading aloud (and, perhaps, memorizing).


James Joyce’s Ulysses: Download the Free Audio Book

Hear All of Finnegans Wake Read Aloud: A 35 Hour Reading

* H/T Laura Dziamba

*Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

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According to the Acropolis Museum website,

The area around the Erechtheion was considered the most sacred of the Acropolis. The Erechtheion was a complex marble building in the Ionic order, an exceptional artwork. The eastern part of the Temple was dedicated to Athena, whilst the western part was dedicated to local hero Boutes, Hephaistos and other gods and heroes. Thus, the Erechtheion was a temple with multiple functions, housing older and newer cults, and the site of the ‘Sacred Tokens’, the marks made by Poseidon’s trident and the olive tree, the gift of Athena to the city of Athens.


From Ancient Greece.org, a Greek Tragedy,

Erechtheion “While the Parthenon was the most impressive temple on the Acropolis, another building, the Erechtheion was built to accommodate the religious rituals that the old temple housed. Construction of the Erechtheion began in 420 while the Peloponnesian war was interrupted by the Peace of Nikias and continued through some of the most difficult times for the Athenians at war. During this time the Athenians suffered a devastating defeat at Syracuse, saw their empire unravel through consecutive revolts, had their cherished democracy replaced by a brief oligarchy, and endured major defeat. The Erechtheion construction was concluded in 406 BCE, and soon thereafter, in 403 BCE Athens fell to the Spartans.”

None of the dramatic events that marked the fall of Athens are present in the elegant Ionic lines of the Erechtheion. It seems that the cultural maturity of Athens as expressed through art was reaching a new apogee, just as the forces and institutions that made it possible were unraveling.

An article, “Acropolis Maidens Glow Anew,” by Liz Alderman, in the July 7, 2014 issue of The New York Times reported that,

 For 2,500 years, the six sisters stood unflinching atop the Acropolis, as the fires of war blazed around them, bullets nicked their robes, and bombs scarred their curvaceous bodies. When one of them was kidnapped in the 19th century, legend had it that the other five could be heard weeping in the night.

For three and a half years, conservators at the Acropolis Museum have been cleaning the maidens, Ionic columns in female form believed to have been sculpted by Alkamenes, a student of ancient Greece’s greatest artist, Phidias. Their initial function was to prop up a part of the Erechtheion, the sacred temple near the Parthenon that paid homage to the first kings of Athens and the Greek gods Athena and Poseidon.


The Times article continues,

“Knots of people were glued to a video screen showing footage of the cleaning project, which was set up on the floor of the museum. Conservators wearing dark goggles wielded a dual-wavelength laser developed by the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas in Crete, a system that was also employed to restore the Parthenon’s west frieze and the high-relief metopes that adorned the east entrance. Beams of infrared and ultraviolet radiation pulsed across the hem of one Caryatid’s robes, burning soot millimeter by millimeter to reveal the apricot-tinted patina of the original marble.

Starting in 2011, a team of six Greek conservators focused on one Caryatid at a time, setting up fabric rooms around each statue and mapping its surface before attacking an ebony mantle of pollution that had thickened when Athens became a modern metropolis filled with car exhaust, factory fumes and acid rain. Along the way, the conservators found traces of an enormous fire set in the first century B.C. by the Roman general Sulla, and chunks of marble from clumsy repair jobs attempted centuries ago.


 It took six to eight months to transform each statue from night into day, with the crews rotating shifts to avoid fatigue. The in-house restoration costs were minimal and funded with income from ticket and museum shop sales, said Costas Vassiliadis, a conservator who heads the restoration team.”


 The Times,

 “To coincide with the museum’s fifth anniversary, the women — minus one — went on full display in June, gleaming from their modern makeover. The missing Caryatid is installed at the British Museum in London, which acquired it nearly a century ago after Lord Elgin, the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, had it sawed off the Erechtheion’s porch, along with shiploads of adornments from the Parthenon to decorate his mansion in Scotland before selling the pieces to pay debts.

 Greek and British authorities have long fought over the return of these so-called Elgin marbles, a dispute that heated up again recently when the actors George Clooney, Matt Damon and Bill Murray came out in support of the sculptures’ being returned home during an appearance in London for the movie ‘The Monuments Men.’”


Visit The Acropolis Museum in the Google Art Project, for a truly breathtaking tour of the Museum and its treasures.






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Chauvet reddots2

                                 A painting located near the entrance to the Chauvet Cave composed of a cluster of large dots, which may represent a mammoth.

Because of the Holiday in the US, this post will stay up until July 9, 2014.

New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday at 8:30pm ET.


The Bradshaw Foundation , whose purposes include “promoting the study of early mankind’s artistic achievements,” reported on World Heritage status recently granted to the Chauvet Cave.

The prehistoric Chauvet Cave in southern France has been granted World Heritage status by the UN cultural agency UNESCO on Sunday, the Chauvet cave contains the earliest known figurative drawings in the world. At a gathering the delegates at UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee voted to grant the status to the Grotte Chauvet after considering cultural and natural wonders for inclusion on the UN list.

Here are some more beautifully photographed IMAGES from the BRADSHAW FOUNDATION, and a desctiption of the significance of the Cave,

Located in the Arceche region of France, Chauvet cave survived for millennia before being discovered in 1994 and contains over 1,000 cave paintings dating to 36,000 years ago and thought to be the first human culture in Europe. French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti called the Chauvet cave ‘a major site for humanity‘ that provides an exceptional opportunity for study. It is ‘a jewel whose emotional power is as strong today as when it was conceived,’ she said in a statement. While a French lawmaker for the Ardeche, Pascal Terrasse, went on to describe the cave as ‘a first cultural act‘. ‘This artist has now been recognised,’ Terrasse said. ‘May he forgive us for waiting 36,000 years.’

And a longer video clip of the Cave,

You can also see a film of the Cave, in 3D, made by Werner Herzog called, “The Cave of Forgotten Dreams, and watch the Trailer here.


What more need be said once you’ve see these spectacular paintings? How about a Virtual Tour of the Cave, which demonstrates the power of the tolls of the New Media to make the Cave accessible to everyone.The  Cave’s website has a with simple and well done graphics that put you right there. The Cave’s website also has Tabs for  “Time and Space” , Geological, Archaeological, and Cultural Significance of the Cave, the story of the Discovery , Authentication, Preservation, and the Research of the Cave.To preserve the paintings, The Cave is sealed to most visitors, but a perfect Replica is under construction, expected to open at the end of 2014, where everyone can visit and see the paintings. The Replica “is made possible by a 3D technique developed using a high-prescision scanner to generate a full-scale digital reproduction of the Cave,” another innovative use of New Media technology.


This site, Don’s Maps, ( a true find) has an extensive article on the Chauvet, alond with ariel phptos and, maps of the Cave and surrounding area.






While you’re  deciding whether Abstract Art existed 35, 000 years ago, you might also like to consider

whether Picasso might have been inspired by the same spirit as the painter of the prehistoric

“The Venus and Sorcerer or Man-Bison.”  Indeed, if you study the panoply of art in the Chauvet Cave, you come to the conclusion that the major “Art Movements,” such as Realism, Expressionism, Naturalism, Impressionism, Abstract, and the major “Art Principles,” such as Perspective, Shading, Dimension, and Movement all existed 35,000 years ago.

The question is, “Where did they come from?”





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New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday at 8:30pm ET.
The new MET Interactive, One Met. Many Worlds,  is a beautiful use of New Media technology. As ArtDaily , said,

NEW YORK, NY.- Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced the launch of One Met. Many Worlds., a new interactive feature that is presented in 11 languages on the Museum’s website.One Met. Many Worlds. allows visitors to explore more than 500 highlights from the Museum’s encyclopedic collection in English,   Arabic,   Chinese,   French,   German, Italian,  Japanese,   Korean,   Portuguese,   Russian, and  Spanish. Through details of individual works of art linked to universal themes and concepts, One Met. Many Worlds. also invites visitors to respond by pairing images playfully, poetically, and creatively.

In his Introduction, Introduction Mr. Campbell states,

“This completely reconceived and rewritten guide to the Metropolitan’s encyclopedic holdings—the first new edition of the guidebook in nearly thirty years —provides the ideal introduction to almost 600 essential masterpieces from one of the world’s most popular and beloved museums. It features a compelling and accessible design, beautiful color reproductions, and up-to-date descriptions written by the Museum’s own experts. More than a simple souvenir book, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide provides a comprehensive view of art history spanning more than five millennia and the entire globe, beginning with the Ancient World and ending in contemporary times. It includes media as varied as painting, photography, costume, sculpture, decorative arts, musical instruments, arms and armor, works on paper, and many more. Presenting works ranging from the ancient Egyptian Temple of Dendur to Canova’s Perseus with the Head of Medusa to Sargent’s Madame X, this is an indispensable volume for lovers of art and art history, and for anyone who has ever dreamed of lingering over the most iconic works in the Metropolitan Museum’s unparalleled collection”.



Mr. Campbell said, in making the announcement: “One Met. Many Worlds. is another groundbreaking digital tool for experiencing the Museum’s collection. Its foundation is our exceptional scholarship, but it also encourages our audiences to play and explore. This is the first of what I hope will be many multi-lingual approaches to the Met as we strive to reflect the cultures represented in our collection.”

One Met. Many Worlds. takes an innovative approach to the collection. By presenting individual works of art with curatorial descriptions alongside thematic groupings of image details, the web feature incorporates the voices of both the Met’s experts and its audiences. Visitors can leave their mark by offering witty, smart, and thoughtful pairings of images, sharing their creations, and posting them on the One Met. Many Worlds. visitor gallery. They can engage with this content equally in English and in 10 additional languages.




  “The new feature builds on a series of award-winning Metropolitan Museum initiatives online that are inspired by the Museum’s vast collection. The Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, launched in 2000, continues to evolve and expand, and receives more than one million visits per month. Connections (2011) offers personal perspectives on works of art in the collection by 100 members of the Museum’s staff. 82nd & Fifth (2013) features 100 curators from across the Met who talk about 100 works of art from the collection that changed the way they see the world—one work, one curator, two minutes at a time. And MetCollects (2014) offers first looks at works of art acquired recently by the Museum. One Met. Many Worlds. is the fifth of these collection-inspired Metropolitan Museum online features.”

  “One Met. Many Worlds. is based on and inspired by The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide, first published by the Museum in English in 2012. Other print editions in Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish followed in 2013, and they can be ordered—as well as new editions to be printed in Arabic, German, Korean, and Russian in late June—at the Museum Store”.

“Also forthcoming in late June is the Kindle edition of the Guide, which can be pre-ordered on Amazon.One Met. Many Worlds. is produced by the Metropolitan Museum’s Digital Media Department in collaboration with CHIPS, the Editorial Department, The Photograph Studio, and curatorial staff of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.”



One Met. Many Worlds is a truly excellent example of museums using the tools of the New Media to make Art  accessible to all, everywhere. It also is demonstrates that the use of New Media tools does not have to be a display of “bells and whistles,” but should result in an easy to use, clean interface, with no barriers between the viewer and the Art. The though and diligence that went into presenting One Met. Many Worlds in 10 languages is a sophisticated and added plus. You really should try it out.



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