The Art Historian's Macroscope
Museum Data and the Academy
PhD Candidate, University of Maryland
Joël de Rosnay, Macroscope, 1979
Roger de Piles, Cours de peinture par principes, 1708, p. 494
Tension between close looking...
Rembrandt van Rijn, detail of Abraham Francen, c. 1657. Etching. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
...and the scale of collections
Artworks in the British Museum by type
Museum data is structured knowledge
The BM has published their collection metadata as Linked Open Data, with detailed info on artist roles.
Jan van der Straet, Engraving on copper from New inventions of the modern era, c. 1590. British Museum, London.
How centralized/dencentralized were different networks in different periods?
Vast majority of actors have 1-2 connections; only a few have more than a dozen
Most recent dedicated scholarship: 1861!
What can museums do?
- Document more knowledge
- Digital != Website only
- Collaborate beyond exhibitions
National Building Museum by Phil Roeder, on Flickr
2014 Sawyer Library Dedication by Williams College, on Flickr
What can universities do?
- Remember our data-driven roots
- Test hypotheses creatively
- Remember "DH" has been in museums for some time
Art History & Archaeology
University of Maryland, College Park