Database Spotlight: Artstor

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. While adding one to your presentation or paper won’t actually add a thousand words to your word count, they can help put your project over the top.

Artstor is a great resource featuring a growing collection of more than 2 million high-quality images for education and research uses. The digital library allows you to search for images in art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences and use them in your assignments for class. Artstor contains images from all parts of the world and of all different objects including a collection of old master drawings, African masks, medieval manuscripts, images of grottoes in the Gobi Desert, and archives of Islamic textiles.

The image viewer allows you to manipulate the images in a variety of ways including enlarging, panning, and rotating. Want to use an image in a project or paper? You can print them out with their descriptions or download and save them for later. You can even share images with classmates.

The free account that you can create offers even more features to help you maximize your Artstor experience. After you make your account, you can set viewing preferences, create folders to save images in, save citations, and even save your searches.

Speaking of searching, there are several ways you can find the images you need. There is a simple keyword search but when that won’t cut it, there is a robust advanced search that allows you to search by date or date range, geography, classification, or collection. This can really help you.

In addition to Artstor’s large digital collection, they also give us access to the Shared Shelf Commons. Shared Shelf is a place where institutions like Harvard, Cornell, Yale, and many art museums can upload and share their own collections.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Use * for truncation and _ for wildcards when searching.
  • Spelling matters on searches, so double check on how to spell that artist’s tough name.
  • Be sure to check out the copyright rules when using Artstor, their images are not to be put on the open web or used commercially. For a full list of what is permitted, please visit their page at http://www.artstor.org/content/permitted-prohibited-uses. If you have any questions, feel free to contact a librarian who will be able to help you out.
home Events and Exhibits, J. Otto Lottes Health Sciences Library New on display – The art of Audrey McFadden

New on display – The art of Audrey McFadden

Audrey McFadden brings a burst of sunshine to the library with cheerful blooms in bright colors. On small canvases and large, flowers and trees painted in acrylic, transform the west wall of the library into a garden. Audrey's paintings will be on display through the month of August. You will also find her work displayed at Art in the Park this June.

Puppen-Hand Colored Plates

Hand colored plates by Lotte Pritzel

Images taken from Puppen by Rainer Maria Rilke

Munich, 1921

 

Teaching Spotlight: Mark Langeneckert

For the next installment in our Teaching Spotlight feature, we're featuring Mark Langeneckert.  Mark and his students visit our reading room each semester to work with our bookplate collection.  His use of the collections in teaching is a model for those looking to historical collections for creative inspiration.

PhotoI’m an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Art Department. Drawing is my passion and the focus of my teaching. I’m responsible for coordinating the drawing area and leading the study abroad in art to the Netherlands (on even years) and Italy (on odd years).

One of the drawing courses I teach is Illustration. This course requires students to create an original work for a specific visual problem. One assignment is to create a bookplate design that incorporates the students name and the text, Ex Libris, into their work. The assignment is introduced by a visit to Special Collections to view their extensive assortment of historical bookplates. In many cases, this is their first visit to Special Collections.

The impact of this first-hand experience for students has resulted in some of their best work.

In the fall of 2014, I will be teaching a Drawing III course with an emphasis on the Graphic Novel. I look forward to accessing Special Collections resources in developing this new course.

The staff at Special Collections are extremely helpful with gathering materials, offering support and promoting their collection. I would encourage all faculty to consider using this resource in their classroom.

home Resources and Services, Special Collections, Archives, and Rare Books Monday manuscript: Weird and wonderful images from artist J.J. Grandville

Monday manuscript: Weird and wonderful images from artist J.J. Grandville

This Monday's manuscript offering is a scrapbook of original sketches and notes by French artist J. J. Grandville (1803-1847), a caricaturist and proto-Surrealist.  Grandville was the pseudonym of Jean Ignace Isidore Gérard. Along with cartoonists such as Honoré Daumier, Grandville lampooned the political and aristocratic rulers of France in the pages of Le Caricature and Le Charivari and became well known as a caricaturist.  Unlike Daumier, Grandville abandoned political caricature for book illustration after censorship laws were reinstated in 1835. His first book-length work was a satirical study of the class system called Les Metamorphoses du Jour.   Grandville’s book illustrations feature elements of the symbolic, dreamlike and incongruous, and they retain a sense of social commentary.   His art often blends human features with the characteristics of animals or inanimate objects in order to make a satirical point.  

The scrapbook in Special Collections was assembled from clippings and fragments of original notes and sketches; some appear to have been taken from a day planner.  A study of the sketchbook was recently published by Clive Getty: The diary of J.J. Grandville and the Missouri album : the life of an opposition caricaturist and romantic book illustrator in Paris under the July monarchy (2010). Special Collections also has several published titles by Grandville, including French and English editions of Les fleurs animéesUn autre monde, and Les métamorphoses du jour.

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Kelli Hansen

Kelli Hansen is a librarian in the Special Collections and Rare Books department. She teaches information sessions in Special Collections, does reference work, and maintains the department's digital presences. Contact Kelli

God’s Trombones by James Weldon Johnson

This month's final post in our series celebrating African-American artists and writers brings together two greats of the Harlem Renaissance: James Weldon Johnson and Aaron Douglas.  Johnson was multi-talented: an educator, writer, attorney and musician, he was the author of "Lift Every Voice and Sing," a leader of the NAACP, and the first African-American professor at New York University.  God's Trombones is considered one of his most important works.  Douglas was one of the leading artists of the Harlem Renaissance.  He developed a distinctive style that blended modernism with African influences and was highly influential in the development of later African-American artists.

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Kelli Hansen

Kelli Hansen is a librarian in the Special Collections and Rare Books department. She teaches information sessions in Special Collections, does reference work, and maintains the department's digital presences. Contact Kelli

home Resources and Services, Special Collections, Archives, and Rare Books The Black Christ by Countee Cullen with illustrations by Charles Cullen

The Black Christ by Countee Cullen with illustrations by Charles Cullen

This post is the third in our series highlighting the work of African-American artists and authors in Special Collections.  Countee Cullen was one of the leading poets and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance.  This book of poetry, published at the height of his career, examines the relationships between faith and injustice.  Cullen draws parallels between the suffering of the crucified Christ and the suffering of African Americans in the climate of racial violence that characterized the 1920s. The copy in Special Collections is inscribed by Cullen to Frank Luther Mott, who was Dean of the School of Journalism from 1942 to 1951.

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Kelli Hansen

Kelli Hansen is a librarian in the Special Collections and Rare Books department. She teaches information sessions in Special Collections, does reference work, and maintains the department's digital presences. Contact Kelli

home Resources and Services, Special Collections, Archives, and Rare Books King’s Letter from Birmingham City Jail with Prints by Faith Ringgold

King’s Letter from Birmingham City Jail with Prints by Faith Ringgold

This week we're highlighting Faith Ringgold's illustrations for Letter from Birmingham City Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr.  Produced in 2007 for the Limited Editions Club, the book contains eight original serigraphs by Ringgold alongside a beautifully printed text by King. Special Collections has copies 119 and 132 from an edition of 400.

Title page and frontispiece

Faith Ringgold illustration from Letter from Birmingham City Jail by Martin Luther King

Faith Ringgold illustration from Letter from Birmingham City Jail by Martin Luther King

Faith Ringgold illustration from Letter from Birmingham City Jail by Martin Luther King

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Kelli Hansen

Kelli Hansen is a librarian in the Special Collections and Rare Books department. She teaches information sessions in Special Collections, does reference work, and maintains the department's digital presences. Contact Kelli

home Resources and Services, Special Collections, Archives, and Rare Books The Caribbean Poetry of Derek Walcott and the Art of Romare Bearden

The Caribbean Poetry of Derek Walcott and the Art of Romare Bearden

In honor of Black History Month, we're highlighting the work of African-American artists and authors in Special Collections.  Artist Romare Bearden and poet Derek Walcott participated in this beautiful collaboration for the Limited Editions Club in 1983.  We've selected a few of our favorite images to share here, including the gorgeous decorated cloth binding, which is the first image below.

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Romare Bearden illustration

Derek Walcott poem

Romare Bearden illustration

Romare Bearden illustration

Romare Bearden illustration

Romare Bearden illustration

Colphon.  We have #257, signed by the author and illustrator.

Find it in the MERLIN catalog

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Kelli Hansen

Kelli Hansen is a librarian in the Special Collections and Rare Books department. She teaches information sessions in Special Collections, does reference work, and maintains the department's digital presences. Contact Kelli

Ten Etchings on the Theme of Mothers

In honor of Mother’s Day, we’re highlighting a portfolio of prints and poetry by artist Michel Fingesten.  This collection, 10 Radierungen über das Thema Mütter (10 Etchings on the Theme of Mothers) was released in 1920 in an edition of 100 copies.  The Libraries’ copy is one of ten that also included an original pen and ink drawing by Fingesten, and each page is signed by the artist.  The etchings depict the tenderness and sweetness of motherhood, but at the same time, Fingesten’s figures tend to be solid, monumental and immovable. 

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Although he is virtually unknown today, Fingesten was a prominent graphic artist and bookplate designer in Germany during the interwar period.  He studied art briefly in Vienna and Munich, but was largely self-taught.  Known for the Cubist and surrealist currents in his work, he was a member of the Berlin Secession, produced several well-received portfolios of prints, contributed to numerous art publications, and was himself the subject of a scholarly monograph.

During World War I, Fingesten explored the nature of violence and peace through his work, themes that would stay with him for the rest of his life.  He was persecuted by the Nazis in the early 1930s, both for his Jewish ancestry and for practicing “degenerate” modern art.  He died in an internment camp in Italy in 1943.

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Kelli Hansen

Kelli Hansen is a librarian in the Special Collections and Rare Books department. She teaches information sessions in Special Collections, does reference work, and maintains the department's digital presences. Contact Kelli