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Children’s Books in the Digital Age

April 12, 2017 by Jack Dziamba. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday.

The Book in the New Media

We have never written before about books for children. Indeed, as has written for Open Culture, “For all of the free literature and essays available online, a surprisingly small amount is geared toward children. Even less is aimed at children who speak foreign languages.” The International Children’s Digital Library Offers Free eBooks for Kids in Over 40 Languages.”

This post will be the first in an ongoing series, As the Purpose of this site is to review Books and Fine Art in the New Media, we will begin with a straight- forward free digital collection.

The International Children’s Digital Library

As Ms. Rix has written in her post on Open Culture, ” The International Children’s Digital Library Offers Free eBooks for Kids in Over 40 Languages,

“The International Children’s Digital Library offers children ages 3-13 free access to the best available children’s literature in more than 40 languages. Librarians find and digitize books published around the world and present them in their original languages.

The site acts as a meta learning tool. It is designed to be easy for children to use by themselves—by simply clicking “Read Books,” a list of favorite titles pops up—but kids can learn how to search too, by their own age, types of characters, genre, book length, language and geographical region.

The homepage features recommended and popular titles, like Tyrone the Horrible, written in Spanish. Where translation rights exist, the library works with volunteer translators to provide additional language versions.”

Toward the bottom of this post is a video on how to use the Library. While, initially, the home page may appear crowded, the Library is easy to use. For the Alice book pictured above,

1) Find the book with the search tool,

2) Click on the book, which will bring up the book with all of its pages displayed in thumbnail,

3) Click on a page to begin reading.

Ms. Rix ‘s Post continues,

“The library is a project of the University of Maryland’s Human-Computer Interaction Lab and there is a research component to the project. Working with children in New Zealand, Honduras, Germany, and the United States, researchers are looking at how children perceive other cultures outside their own.

The library’s broader mission is to make it possible for children all over the world to learn to use a library system and read a range of quality literature. The interface aims as much at international children as it does immigrant children in American cities and rural areas.

Books are available for free and without an account. An account, however, allows a child to create their own bookshelf of favorites that can be shared with other users. A guide for teachers includes a training manual and tips for how to use the library to teach creative writing, library search skills and foreign languages.”





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Bosch “Garden of Earthy Delights,” Fine Art in the New Media – 500 Years Later

April 5, 2017. Books and Fine Art in the New Media. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday by Jack Dziamba.

Explore Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights in an Amazing, Annotated Interactive Video

“Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights” has bewitched and bewildered art fans and historians alike for centuries. It’s crowded, complicated, and in certain sections either enchanting or unsettling. And now, [those] who don’t live near the Museo del Prado can give it a closer look, thanks to a new interactive tool that allows users to zoom in and explore the work—either on their own, while listening to audio annotations, or through a pre-set “highlight tour.” The interactive documentary Jheronimus Bosch, the Garden of Earthly Delights provides an in-depth tour though The Garden of Earthly Delights. In a web interface the visitor will be taken on an audio-visual journey, including sound, music, video and images.” (Laura Bradley, Slate).

Documentary, Hieronymus Bosch, Touched by the Devil 

Open Culture notes that the tool comes as part of a “transmedia triptych,” which also includes a documentary titled Hieronymus Bosch, Touched by the Devil (trailer above), and a virtual reality documentary titled Hieronymus Bosch, the Eyes of the Owl (trailer below).

Hieronymus Bosch, The Eyes of the Owl

And an App

There’s also an app (designed for iPhoneiPad and Android) [below] that lets you take a virtual reality trip through the very same painting. Created as part of the 500th anniversary celebration of Bosch’s life, the app–previewed in the trailer above–lets you “ride on a flying fish into a Garden of Eden, be tempted by strange fruit and even stranger rituals in the Garden of Earthly Delights. And visit hell and hear the devil’s music.” (Open Culture).

Fine Art in the New Media

The tools of the New Media allow Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights not only to be seen as its never been seen before, but also to be seen as it never could be in a museum. Thus, these tools allow a 500 year old painting to be seen by everyone, everywhere and add significantly to an appreciation, understanding, and wonder to the work never possible before.

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Mega Book Deal for “Les Mis”

Les Misérables was born of one of the riskiest—and shrewdest—deals in publishing history.

In Hugo, Inc., The Paris Review March 23, 2017, Nina Martyris writes,

“In a new book, The Novel of the Century: The Extraordinary Adventure of ‘Les Misérables’, the professor and translator David Bellos condenses tranches of research into a gripping tale about Victor Hugo’s masterpiece. ”

“[This] record-shattering deal [is] widely regarded as the publishing coup of all time. Signed in 1861 on a sunny Atlantic island, it tied an exiled French genius to an upstart Belgian house, resulting in the printing of that perennial masterwork, Les Misérables.

The Deal

“The deal, Bellos points out, was pathbreaking on several levels. First, Hugo earned an unprecedented sum: 300,000 francs (roughly $3.8 million in today’s money) for an eight-year license. “’It was a tremendous amount of money, and since it entitled the publisher to own the work for only eight years, it remains the highest figure ever paid for a work of literature. The in toto amount of 300,000 francs that Lacroix agreed to pay in cash included 50,000 francs for translation rights—a new concept in publishing at the time.”


The Media

“Next came the gargantuan publicity campaign—designed to unleash such excitement that even an emperor with an axe to grind would think twice about depriving the masses of the sensational treat promised them. Press releases were distributed six months in advance, and the walls of Paris plastered with illustrations of Jean Valjean, Fantine, Cossette, Marius, and other characters from the novel. In a break with tradition, no advance review copies were sent out. The text was as fiercely embargoed as a Harry Potter novel—probably, Bello says, “the first work ever launched under embargo.” (Hugo, Inc.)

“By 1861, the publishing grapevine had begun to drip with the news that the exiled French poet had a big novel to sell. Naturally, there was plenty of interest. Hugo had inherited Goethe’s mantle of Europe’s preeminent literary seer, and he was a proven crowd-pleaser, with the blockbuster Notre Dame de Paris under his belt. But there was also unease at the dangling guillotine of censorship. Nevertheless, when Hugo was offered a handsome 150,000 francs by an established publisher-friend, he declined. How much did he want? It was quite simple, writes Bellos: “’He wanted more than had ever been paid for a book.’”  (Hugo, Inc.)

The Result

“On the morning of April 4, 1862, part 1 of Les Misérables, called “Fantine,” was released simultaneously in Brussels, Paris, Saint Petersburg, London, Leipzig, and several other European cities. No book had ever had an international launch on this scale … Within a day, the first Paris printing of six thousand copies sold out … forty-eight thousand copies of the “Cossette” and “Marius” volumes went on sale a month later …Hugo had produced a moral and commercial juggernaut, a piece of intellectual property that would launch both social reform as well as a plethora of movies, musicals and video games.”  (Hugo, Inc.)

The “New Media”

The implications, as exemplified by story of the deal for Les Mis Deal for the “New Media” are significant. The Media, and the New Media, portray everything as “New”, from laundry detergent to politicians. The message is that “This Has Never Happened Before,” (Tweet: “Sun Rises, Again!!”). This “news” is instantaneous, (Tweet: “World Has Ended. Bye”). Instagram:

However, the things we see in the Media, and in the New Media,  are usually devoid of perspective and president. Since everything is “New,” there is no need to clutter up things with “history.”  Thus, the book deal of today is described as a “Blockbuster Deal.” The amount of money paid in each Blockbuster Deal is always  described as “The Largest.”  In a Blockbuster Deal story, the story of the Les Mis Deal is never told. However #2, the “New Media” itself makes it possible to find this story virtually instantaneously, even by those writing “The News” …









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60 Free Film Noir Movies – “The Most American Film Genre” from Open Culture

Re Posted from Open Culture *

“During the 1940s and 50s, Hollywood entered a “noir” period, producing riveting films based on hard-boiled fiction. These films were set in dark locations and shot in a black & white aesthetic that fit like a glove. Hardened men wore fedoras and forever smoked cigarettes. Women played the femme fatale role brilliantly. Love was the surest way to death. All of these elements figured into what Roger Ebert calls “the most American film genre” in his short Guide to Film Noir. In this growing list, we gather together the noir films available online.In this growing list, we gather together the noir films available online. They all appear in our big collection 1,150 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc.. You might also enjoy perusing our list of 20+ Free Hitchcock Films.”

  • A Life at StakeFree – Directed by Paul Guilfoyle, this American noir film stars Angela Lansbury and Keith Andes. (1954)
  • Beat the Devil – Free – Directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart, the film is something of a comic and dramatic spoof of the film noir tradition. (1953)
  • Behind Green Lights – Free – Stars Carole Landis, John Ireland. Police lieutenant Sam Carson investigates a political murder after the victim is dumped at the door of police headquarters. (1946)
  • Big Bluff – Free – Directed by W. Lee Wilder. When a scheming fortune hunter finds his rich wife is not going to die as expected, he and his lover make other plans to get her millions. (1950)
  • Blonde Ice – Free – A society reporter keeps herself in the headlines by marrying a series of wealthy men. They all die mysteriously afterwards though. (1948)
  • Borderline – Free – Fred MacMurray and Claire Trevor are caught in Mexican dope-smuggling ring, fearing each other is involved, but both undercover agents. Alternate version. (1950)
  • Cause for Alarm!Free – Ellen (Loretta Young) narrates the tale of “the most terrifying day of my life”, how she was taking care of her bedridden husband George Z. Jones (Barry Sullivan) when he suddenly dropped dead. (1951)
  • Club ParadiseFree – The film, also known as Sensation Hunters, was directed by Christy Cabanne. The story: a touching story of girl who like many others makes the wrong choice in life – and pays for it. (1945)
  • Convict’s CodeFree – An ex-con is employed by the man who framed him for bank robbery. Directed by Lambert Hillyer. Starring Robert Kent and Anne Nage. (1939)
  • DementiaFree – Also called Daughter of Horror, this film by John Parker incorporated elements of horror film, film noir and expressionist film. About the film, Cahiers du cinema wrote “To what degree this film is a work of art, we are not certain but, in any case, it is strong stuff.” (1955)
  • Detour – Free – Edgar Ulmer’s cult classic noir film shot in 6 days. (1945)
  • D.O.A. – Free – Rudolph Maté’s classic noir film. Called “one of the most accomplished, innovative, and downright twisted entrants to the film noir genre.” You can also watch the movie here. (1950)
  • Fear in the NightFree – Low budget noir film directed by Maxwell Shane & starring Paul Kelly and DeForest Kelley. It is based on the Cornell Woolrich story “And So to Death”. (1947)
  • Five Minutes to Live – Free – Amazing bank heist movie stars Johnny Cash, Vic Tayback, Ron Howard, and country music great, Merle Travis. (1961)
  • Guest in the House – Free – Directed by John Brahm, the noir film stars Anne Baxter, Ralph Bellamy, Aline MacMahon. (1946)
  • He Walked by Night – Free – Film-noir drama, told in semi-documentary style, follows police on the hunt for a resourceful criminal. This move became the basis for “Dragnet,” and stars Jack Webb. Archive.org version here. (1948)
  • Impact – Free – Arthur Lubin’s well reviewed noir flic. Considered a little known classic you need to watch. (1940)
  • Inner Sanctum – Free –  A gripping noir film about “a murderer who is on the lam and hiding out in a small town. Unbeknownst to him, he is not only hiding in the same boarding house as the only witness to his crime, he is sharing the same room.” (1948)
  • Jigsaw Free – Directed by Fletcher Markle, and starring Franchot Tone, Jean Wallace and Marc Lawrence, the film features cameo appearances by Marlene Dietrich and Henry Fonda. (1949)
  • Johnny O’ClockFree – Directed by Robert Rossen, based on a story by Milton Holmes. The drama features Dick Powell, Evelyn Keyes, and Lee J. Cobb, with Jeff Chandler making his film debut in a small role. (1947)
  • Kansas City Confidential – Free – A film noir gem that inspired Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs.” (1953)
  • Key Lime Pie – Free – A zany animated film in the noir tradition. (2007)
  • Lady GangsterFree – Warner Bros. B picture directed by Robert Florey based on the play Gangstress, or Women in Prison, by Dorothy Mackaye, Stars: Faye Emerson, Julie Bishop, Frank Wilcox, Roland Drew, and Jackie C. Gleason. (1942)
  • Man in the Attic – Free – Jack Palance as Jack the Ripper! (1954)
  • Parole, Inc.Free – Parole officers fight against gangsters trying to infiltrate the parole system. (1948)
  • Please Murder Me – Free – Lawyer Raymond Burr  brilliantly defends Angela Lansbury in 1950s noir film. (1956)
  • Port of New York – Free – Two narcotics agents go after a gang of murderous drug dealers who use ships docking at the New York harbor to smuggle in their contraband. First film in which Yul Brynner appeared. (1949)
  • Quicksand – Free – Peter Lorre and Mickey Rooney star in a story about a garage mechanic’s descent into crime. (1950)
  • Scarlet Street – Free – Directed by Fritz Lang with Edward G. Robinson. A film noir great. (1945)
  • Shock – Free –This film noir tells the story of psychiatrist Dr. Cross (Vincent Price), who is treating Janet Stewart (Anabel Shaw), a young woman who is in a catatonic state. The coma was brought on when she heard loud arguing, went to her window, and saw a man strike his wife with a candlestick and kill her. Alternate version found here. (1946)
  • Shoot to KillFree – Gangster framed by crooked DA. Wife and newspaper reporter team up. (1947)
  • Strange Illusion – Free – B-movie update of “Hamlet” has troubled teen Jimmy Lydon doubting smooth-talker Warren Williams who is wooing his mother. (1945)
  • Suddenly – Free – Buy DVD – Noir film with Frank Sinatra and James Gleason. The story line influenced The Manchurian Candidate, which again starred Sinatra. (1954)
  • The Amazing Mr. X – Free – Noir film directed by Bernard Vorhaus with cinematography by John Alton. The film tells the story of a phony spiritualist racket. (1948).
  • The Basketball FixFree – A college basketball star collaborates with organized crime and becomes involved in ‘point shaving.’ A sportswriter tries to get him back on the right track. (1951)
  • The Big Combo – Free – Directed by Joseph Lewis, this film is today considered a noir classic. Critics like to focus on cinematography of John Alton, a noir icon. (1955)
  • The Capture – Free – Lew Ayres is an oil man who guns down a thief who may have been innocent. (1950)
  • The Chase – Free – An American noir film directed by Arthur Ripley, based on the Cornell Woolrich novel The Black Path of Fear.
  • The File on Thelma Jordan – Free – This noir directed by Robert Siodmak features Barbara Stanwyck and Wendell Corey.  At the time Variety said, “Thelma Jordon unfolds as an interesting, femme-slanted melodrama, told with a lot of restrained excitement.” (1950)
  • The Great Flamarion – Free – Vaudeville star Erich von Stroheim entangled with married assistant. Directed by Anthony Mann. (1945)
  • The Green Glove – Free – A World War II veteran in France, played by Glen Ford, gets mixed up in murder while investigating a stolen treasure. Directed by Rudolph Maté. Alternate version on YouTube available here. (1952)
  • The Hitch-Hiker – Free – Buy DVD – The first noir film made by a woman noir director, Ida Lupino. (1953)
  • The Hoodlum – Free – Lawrence Tierney (“Reservoir Dogs”) plays an unreformed, hardened criminal who has just been released from prison. While working at his brother’s gas station, he becomes very interested in the armored car that makes regular stops at the bank across the street. (1951)
  • The Limping Man – Free – Stars Lloyd Bridges and Moira Lister. A WWII veteran goes back to England after the war only to discover that his wartime sweetheart has got mixed up with a dangerous spy ring. (1953)
  • The Man Who Cheated Himself – Free – Some call it “an under-appreciated and little known gem.”  Stars Lee J. Cobb, John Dall, Jane Wyatt, and Lisa Howard.  YouTube version here. (1951)
  • The Naked Kiss – Free – Constance Towers is a prostitute trying to start a new life in a small town. Directed by Sam Fuller. (1964)
  • The PayoffFree – Directed by Robert Florey. James Dunn (known for his role in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn) plays a newspaper reporter promoted to the sports desk, but saddled with a wife whose spending habits drive her into a relationship with a blackmailing racketeer. (1935)
  • The Red HouseFree – A noir psychological thriller starring Edward G. Robinson. Here’s the gist of the plot: “An old man and his sister are concealing a terrible secret from their adopted teen daughter, concerning a hidden abandon farmhouse, located deep in the woods.” (1947)
  • The Saint Louis Bank Robbery – Free – Steve McQueen stars in a “gritty, downbeat, and sometimes savage heist movie.” (1959)
  • The Scar (aka Hollow Triumph)Free – Just released from prison, John Muller (Paul Henreid) masterminds a holdup at an illegal casino run by Rocky Stansyck. The robbery goes bad, and the mobsters captured some of Muller’s men and force them to identify the rest before killing them.
  • The Second Woman – Free – Directed by James Kern and starring Betsy Drake, this lesser known noir film gets some good reviews. (1951)
  • The Strange Love of Martha Ivers – Free – Noir film starting Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin and Kirk Douglas. Entered into 1947 Cannes Film Festival. (1946)
  • The Strange Woman – Free – Edgar G. Ulmer’s femme fatale film starring Hedy Lamarr. (1946)
  • The Stranger – Free – Buy DVD – Directed by Orson Welles with Edward G. Robinson. One of Welles’s major commercial successes. (1946)
  • They Made Me a Criminal – Free – Boxer John Garfield flees believing he has committed a murder while he was drunk. Pursued by Claude Rains, he meets up with the Dead End Kids. (1939)
  • They Made Me a Killer – Free – A fugitive receives help from a victim’s sister (Barbara Britton) as he tries to clear his name of robbery and murder charges. (1946)
  • Three Steps NorthFree – After a prison sentence an American GI stationed in Italy (Lloyd Bridges) discovers that his hidden loot has disappeared and goes searching for it. Directed by W. Lee Wilder. (1951)
  • Time Table – Free – After the theft of $500,000 in a carefully executed train robbery, an insurance investigator (Mark Stevens, who also doubled as director and producer) is forced to cancel a planned vacation with his wife to assist a railroad detective in identifying the culprits and recovering the money. Alternate version here. (1956)
  • Too Late for Tears – Free – Directed by Byron Haskin and based on a novel by Roy Huggins, Too Late for Tears is pure noir. (1949)
  • Trapped – Free – Starring Lloyd Bridges and Barbara Payton, the plot of this B noir film turns around a counterfeiting ring. (1949)
  • Walk The Dark StreetFree – An Army officer and a hunter engage in a simulated manhunt with one using real bullets in Los Angeles. (1956)
  • Whispering CityFree – A Canadian noir, directed by Fyodor Otsep, starring Paul Lukas and Mary Anderson. (1947)
  • Whistle Stop – Free – Buy DVD – A noir flic with Ava Gardner. Love triangle leads to murder. (1946)
  • Woman on the Run – Free – After Frank Johnson (Ross Elliott) is the sole witness to a gangland murder, he goes into hiding and is trailed by Police Inspector Ferris (Robert Keith), his wife, Eleanor (Ann Sheridan), and newspaperman, Danny Leggett (Dennis O’Keefe). YouTube version here. (1950)
  • * The best cultural site on the web.

Photoshop Before Photoshop: Ansel Adams and James Dean

March 8, 2017 by Jack Dziamba. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday.


“James Dean in Times Square,” with printing notations. Image printed by Pablo Inirio. Photograph by Dennis Stock .

Photoshop Before Photoshop

Our post, ANSEL ADAMS, AND PHOTOGRAPHY BEFORE PHOTOSHOP ,(2013), has been a perennial favorite since its publication in February, 2013. The popularity of the post is epitomized by the Before and After prints of Adams’ iconic image, “Moonrise,” which demonstrates his masterful skill in the darkroom to make the spectacular finished print. Adams made no secret of the skills he used in producing the finished print. Indeed, his book, The Print , details, step by step, how such a dramatic print is made.

It seems though that certain “purists” have a view that before photoshop, prints were exhibited as they came “straight out of the camera.” Alas, such was never true. In the time of film, the darkroom was photoshop.  To further illustrate this point, we have reproduced, below, our post, WHERE HAVE ALL THE DARKROOMS GONE? (2016).  Whether the darkroom or photoshop, neither is a substitute for the skill of the artist.

                                 Pictured below, is Ansel Adams with the straight print side-by-side with the finished print of “Moonrise.”


How Iconic Images Were Made in the Darkroom

“Want to see what kind of work goes into turning a masterful photograph into an iconic print? Pablo Inirio, the master darkroom printer who works at Magnum Photos‘ New York headquarters, has personally worked on some of the cooperative’s best-known images. A number of his marked-up darkroom prints have appeared online, revealing the enormous amount of attention Inirio gives photos in the darkroom.

Before Photoshop There Was The Darkroom

The comparison images above show photographer Dennis Stock’s iconic portrait of James Dean in Times Square. The test print on the left shows all the work Inirio put into making the final photo look the way it does. The lines and circles you see reveal Inirio’s strategies for dodging and burning the image under the enlarger, with numbers scattered throughout the image to note different exposure times. “(Source: Peta Pixel Sept. 12, 2013, Marked Up Photographs Show How Iconic Prints Were Edited in the Darkroom.)

Ansel Adams – in the Darkroom – Before and After

How Did He Do That?

In the darkroom. Adams, in his book, The Print describes the work that he did in the darkroom on another of his famous images, Mount McKinley and Wonder Lake, Alaska (1948),

“The sky was of such low saturation blue that no filter would have had much effect… Considerable burning [darkening] and dodging [lightening] are required. I hold back the shadowed lake and foreground for about three-fourths of the exposure time, using a constantly moving card held relatively close to the lens…The lake surface is burned in later to balance the amount of dodging of the surrounding hills and foreground.” -Ansel Adams, The Print, Little Brown (1983), p. 166 from “ANSEL ADAMS, AND PHOTOGRAPHY BEFORE PHOTOSHOP.”

The Darkroom Preserved

“At the time of the transition to digital photography, the Canadian photographer Michel Campeau initiates “The Dark Room” series in honor of photographic laboratories.Thanks to Pascal Beausse, head of the photographic collections, and to the teams of the Centre National des Arts Plastiques who have produced the above video.  The video is is registered in the inventory of the National Collection of Contemporary Art. (Source:l’Oedil de la Photographie.com, In the Collection of the Cnap : Michel Campeau 30/03/2016 by Pascal Beausse .)

More: Sarah Coleman of The Literate Lens , “Magnum and the Dying Art of Darkroom Printing.”

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The Paris Review Video: Karl Ove Knausgaard Discusses His First Book, … and What It Did To Him

March 1, 2017 by Jack Dziamba. New Posr Goes Up Every Wednesday


The Paris Review has launched a video series, “My First Time,” where artists discuss their “First Work,”and the effect it has had on them as artists.  In the video above Karl Ove Knausgaard talks about writing his first book, Ute av verden (Out of the World).

The video is unique because of the way it is filmed and presented.  It a very personal close up of the artist talking, directly, talking as if we were there in the same room.  Not only does Knausgarrd talk about his book, but about the intensity of what writing means to him, “I can’t imagine a life without writing.” Beginning at 5.00 he says, “It destroyed me completely… after that I couldn’t write for five years …”

Whither the Book?

Imagine this video incorporated into a e version of the book.  Now, whether in print or electronic version, the reader has to consult other sources to find about the author, what he thought, what he looked like, and unless finding this video, one would never be able to judge for themselves the sincerity, intensity, and humility of a great writer.

Why are Publishers Not Doing This?

There is nothing new happening in the world of book publishing, since the e-book. The book is going nowhere. There is no use being made of new media tools which would bring “the Book” into the twenty first century. Indeed, as e-book prices have continued to rise to nearly the price of a hard bound book, sales of e-books and e-readers have declined, Majority of Americans are still reading print books | Pew Research Center Report. The expected “revolution” of the e-book is still yet to happen. Customers are now questioning the value of the e-book itself.

What we wrote on our Purpose Page in 2012, is still true today.

“THE BOOK, both print and even current versions of the electronic reader, are already near artifacts. Book publishing is in the death throes of the last century, bound up in static, linear publications.

At the same time, the technology of the new media has developed to such a degree of creativity and innovation that Alice Rawsthorn commented 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.””

What Can Be Done?

Here are a few suggestions:






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Is this our Chauvet Cave, is this our Lascaux? The Metropolitan Museum of Art Makes 375,000 Images of Fine Art Available Under a Creative Commons License

met-harvestersThe Metropolitan Museum of Art Makes 375,000 Images of Fine Art Available Under a Creative Commons License*

On February 7, 2017, The Met announced,

“As of today, all images of public-domain works in The Met collection are available under Creative Commons Zero (CC0). So whether you’re an artist or a designer, an educator or a student, a professional or a hobbyist, you now have more than 375,000 images of artworks from our collection to use, share, and remix—without restriction.”

The Museum’s Mission: To Make Art Accessible to Everyone, Everywhere

“This policy change to Open Access is an exciting milestone in The Met’s digital evolution, and a strong statement about increasing access to the collection and how to best fulfill the Museum’s mission in a digital age.”

“Since our audience is really the three billion internet-connected individuals around the world, we need to think big about how to reach these viewers, and increase our focus on those digital tactics that have the greatest impact. Open Access is one of those tactics.”

How it Works

“Alongside the images, we’re also making available under CC0 each artwork’s key information, otherwise known as tombstone data—title, maker, date, culture, medium, and dimensions—on all 440,000 artworks that the Museum has digitized to date; this data is now available as a downloadable file on GitHub. By making this information available in a clear, machine-readable format, we are making it easier for the world to search for, play with, and explore the breadth and depth of the Museum’s collection.”

The Numbers: 30 Million, 300 Billion …

“We’re privileged to serve over 30 million visitors on our website each year, which we see as the canonical source for information about the collection; but if we want to connect the collection to three billion individuals around the world, we know that they’re never all going to come to metmuseum.org.

If one we to publish these 370,000 in volumes of 600 pages each, it would total 625 volumes. If one were to look at the 375,000 at the rate of  50 per day, it would take 7,500 days, or 20.54 years.

The Significance: “After the War”, “Après la Guerre”

The phrase “After the War,” ( “Après la Guerre”) is used metaphorically to describe a period after the destruction. For example, history has seen the destruction of the art and cultures of Greece, Rome, Egypt, and early humans. What if ours is destroyed?

The discoverers of the Chauvet Cave - Jean-Marie Chauvet, Eliette Brunel and Christian Hilaire

The discoverers of the Chauvet Cave – Jean-Marie Chauvet, Eliette Brunel and Christian Hilaire

The Chuavet Cave and the Lascaux Cave in France served as the gateways to the culture and art that existed 35,000 year ago. Where will those who come after us look?  It may be that the digital record is all that will still exist. It is there that the whole culture and art of the human race will be found. Thus, the significance of the digital record being created by the Met and other institutions is that our art and culture will be enduring, even after we are gone.


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