Digital Art History starts NOW!

Posted March 10th, 2013 under Art History, Digital Art, Talks, Videos

Digital Art History
“Within an hour you can do the work that took a scholar a lifetime of research 40 years ago.” – Susan Edwards (genius technologist at the Getty)

We got two interesting Goggle+ hangout talks on the beginning of analyzing digital art history here which sort give you an idea where the academic world is right now. Well… Have a look yourself.

“I work at the Getty Research Insititute [...] and we attend these very obstruse lectures by the various residential scholars [...] and the people that can understand the presentations might be five or ten other scholars throughout the world. So I think that art history, also because of its apparent hesitation at embracing digital technology, really risks being left behind, and becoming marginalised or obsolete. It’s also being dropped in a lot of academic programmes.’ (opening statement from Murtha Baca)

Getty Voices: Resuscitating Art History

In the digital age, where is art history headed? Three art historians—Murtha Baca (head of digital art history access at the Getty Research Institute), Anne Helmreich (senior program officer at the Getty Foundation), and Susan Edwards (technologist in the Getty’s web team) address questions about the state of art history, the emerging field of digital art history, and opportunities for using digital tools to make new discoveries.

Susan Edwards says: “The literature studies field was actually really early to adopt [digital means], by digitising texts and making it really easy to analyse vast quantities of data. And it really transformed the literature field, so in the past a scholar who would have to spend his entire career learning all of the classical texts, for example, in order to analyse and create meaningful analyses of the text, now, through something like the Perseus digital library [...] within hours can do the research today that it would take a scholar, forty years ago, his whole career [to do].”

Getty Voices: Digital Art History

Streamed live on Mar 7, 2013

Five participants in the Digital Art History Lab held March 5-7 at the Getty discuss the state of the field and the principles of networked scholarship.

• Hans Brandhorst, editor of the Iconclass system ( and the Arkyves Web catalogue (

• Johanna Drucker, Bernard and Martin Breslauer Professor Bibliography in the Department of Information Studies and founder of the Digital Humanities program at UCLA

• Emily Pugh, Smith Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) at the National Gallery of Art, and Web developer for the online journal Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide

• Nuria Rodríguez Ortega, chair of the Department of Art History at the University of Málaga, Spain

• Moderator: Susan Edwards, art historian and digital humanities technologist, J. Paul Getty Trust

Image from “Inspired by design“: A digital art work titled Did You Come Here to Find History? by Nusra Latif Qureshi.