Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Completed Library Project Documents New York City's Gilded Age

At the turn of the 20th century, New York City emerged as a cultural hub for artists and a lucrative international art market boomed. The ephemera left over from this epoch in American art history and now archived by the Frick Art Reference Library and Brooklyn Museum Libraries is made up of exhibition catalogues, checklists and pamphlets from the period. These items which document the artistic movements and artists of the day as well as the economic markets, and some social history have now been made digital by the New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC), an association of libraries and archives in the city.

The digital collection spans the period from 1875 to 1922 and has just been completed to include 363 new documents and an online exhibition chronicling the role that New York institutions had in forming the history of the city's 'Gilded Age' art scene. The exhibition is useful for providing easily-digested amounts of information about the featured artists, including the final section, "1922: One year in the Galleries in New York City" which contains a flip-book of the exhibition catalogues from that year and a Google map function showing the locations of the related art galleries.

Read on at NYARC's website and follow the links to the resources below:

Monday, February 18, 2013

Ying Sheng Yang Lecture at Strathclyde University

Chairman Mao once said, "where there is compression, there will be a resistance." 

So forms the theme of a lecture to be given  by Chinese artist Ying Sheng Yang on Thursday 21st February between 18:00 and 19:30 at Strathclyde University. SCILT, Scotland's National Centre for Languages are hosting the event in room LH104A of the Lord Hope Building, next to the library. 

Born in 1961, Ying Sheng Yang sprung from the period of Cultural Revolution in China- a time when the Communist Party’s stranglehold on creative expression meant art was used solely as a tool for political propaganda. Penal consequences threatened anyone with the valour to denounce the government, be that through political action or artistic expression. The compression of individuality has gradually abated since the mid-twentieth century with the 1989 seminal art-show 'China /Avant-Garde' finally helping to showcase contemporary Chinese art. From the hostile environment of his origins, Ying Sheng Yang was one of the 186 Avant-Garde artists to feature at the show, claiming his schooling was influential in changing his views about art.

Thursday's event promises to be an interesting articulation of a reclusive culture by an individual who has lived through a cultural renaissance of sorts. The indelible marks of China’s harsh background are beginning to be discussed in its new art: learn more about the history of Chinese art, consider its future direction and join in the debate. Following on from Mao's observation, is it true to argue that where there is freedom, there will be a proliferation...?

To book a place, email SCILT's contact, Grant McLean: grant.mclean@strath.ac.uk .

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Art Nouveau Digital Campaign for Valentine's!

Those of you with a love for Art Nouveau could be left all aquiver at the launch of a new digital campaign by the Collections Trust. 'Love Art Nouveau' is a crowd-sourced site which from today, is encouraging contributors from across the UK to find examples of local Art Nouveau architecture and 'digitise' them for submission to 'Europeana', an online cultural heritage portal. The romantically-conceived idea is to bring the UK's Art Nouveau heritage culture closer to a wider, international audience. With ornaments of the art movement visible all across GSA, why not join in the antics on the Love Art Nouveau Facebook page (link below) and start falling in love with the decorative arts all over again.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tangled Up In Blue - Glasgow's 'Blueprint 2013'

A themed series of exhibitions and lectures analysing the concept of the blueprint (the term commonly applied to cyanotype prints in engineering and technical drawings) is currently ongoing at cultural venues in and around Glasgow. How much we know of the technical photography process and its impact on print are put under the lens as part of the 'Blueprint 2013' programme, a collaboration between a number of Glasgow galleries, archives and museums.

Mike Ware from the Scottish Society for the History of Photography will be presenting a lecture entitled 'Cyanotype: a blueprint for visual vandalism?' this Thursday 14th February at 6pm in the Mitchell Library. Subsequent presentations will also be given by GSA's Frances Robertson and Bruce Peter at later dates in the programme.

The lecture series ties-in with Blueprint 2013 exhibitions currently being held at Trongate 103 in the Glasgow Print Studio and Street Level Photoworks until 17th March. The print studio are exhibiting works which have been produced by manipulating original camera images through the use of traditional print-making processes in ink while Anna Atkins' cyanotypes of British Algae feature in the foyer alongside the engineering blueprints for Glasgow-built ships: 'Big Loco' and the Queen Mary.

All events are free and promise to explore the links between alternative photographic processes and fine art photographic printmaking in detail. You might call it a 'once in a blue moon' opportunity...

Thursday, February 07, 2013

'Reely' good fun - BFI Mediatheque to Open in Bridgeton

The British Film Institute (BFI) have announced that Scotland's first BFI Mediatheque will open on 22nd February at Glasgow's Bridgeton Library. The Mediatheque is a space in which members of the public can log onto a viewing station to access highlights from the BFI National Archive. Over 2,500 complete films and television programmes drawn from the BFI National Archive and partner collections will be accessible to anyone, and for free!

The BFI Mediatheque in Glasgow is remarkable in that it will showcase a specially commissioned collection of Scottish film and television, entitled 'Scottish Reels.' The collection is drawn from the BFI National Archive and Scottish Screen Archive, and encapsulates more than a century of Scottish life and culture. Some of the offerings include early colour footage of tartans from 1906, a political strain of television dramas, as well as some of the big screen classics, from Whiskey Galore! (1949) through to Gregory's Girl (1980) and Red Road (2006). New titles will be added regularly.

The Mediatheque is a permanent addition to the city and the resources available at Bridgeton Library's newly redeveloped Olympia building. Use it as a time capsule for exploring British film heritage from the advent of the moving screen image to the present day.