While researching for potential ideas for this proposal, I stumbled upon an interesting WordPress website titled “Artists’ Studio Archives: Practical Strategies for Artists, Archivists, Librarians, and Museum Curators to Collect and Preserve Artists’ Archives.” One particular piece posted on the site led me to the Getty Scholar’s Workspace, which not only provides tools that make art history accessible online but also serves as a platform to view and interact with current and past digital art history projects.
This initiative—and the subfield of digital art history in and of itself—are relatively new undertakings. So, for this project, I would be interested in analyzing how the Getty Research Institute supports the ongoing work of art history scholars through digital means, and, by extension, how this work is contributing to an increased, diversified presence of art history online.
In the Institute’s own words, “The Digital Art History team at the Getty Research Institute sponsors and advises collaborative art-historical research and publication projects that facilitate access to and analysis of digitized objects, particularly those in the Institute’s collections…Critical to these projects is the development of innovative working methods and technological tools that can be adopted by the broader art-historical and cultural heritage communities.”
Current and past projects on the Institute’s site demonstrate incredible breadth, ranging from a study of Latin American modern artist Alfredo Boulton to an examination of the origins of the Bauhaus school of art and design. The Institute provides links to specific “outcomes” of each project, which are typically workshops, exhibitions, programs, and/or publications. My print project would take advantage of this unique aspect of the site through targeted analyses of projects and the perceived impact of their “outcomes.”
Additionally (per Dr. Owens’ recommendation), these analyses would incorporate relevant reports and papers to compare GRI’s projects to the current standards/expectations of the field. The Getty Foundation & Samuel H. Kress Foundation’s “Art History in Digital Dimensions: The White Paper,” for example, lays out some of the key issues Digital Art History faces and proposes recommendations to address them. These major concerns include: sustainability, diversity, valuing translators, training, and audience, among others. Each and every project listed on GRI’s site can be evaluated on the basis of at least one or two of these terms; thus providing critical context to answer the question: how do the Getty Research Institute’s Digital Art History projects and initiatives contribute to the growth and continued salience of the field?