Workshops

One of the Digital Art History Lab's (DAHL) key initiatives is a series of workshops that introduce researchers and students to digital art history. Each workshop features hands-on training in a method, analytical technique, and/or software currently in use by digital humanists and art historians.

All workshops are held from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Small Reading Room of the Frick Art Reference Library. They are free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, see the calendar. For any additional questions, please contact dahlprograms@frick.org.

Upcoming Workshops

Friday, February 1, 2019: "Florence As It Was: A Digital Reconstruction of the Renaissance City"

George R. Bent, Sidney Gause Childress Professor of the Arts, Washington and Lee University and Katherine Dau, Class of 2019, Washington and Lee University, will introduce "Florence As It Was," a Digital Art History project that aims to reconstruct the Renaissance city as it appeared in the year 1500. Through the formation and mixture of models created by way of laser scans and photogrammetry (achieved via ground and drone photography) merged with sound, archival information, and interpretative materials, a team of faculty and students at Washington and Lee University has begun to recreate environments from the past that can be accessed online and, someday soon, virtually. The objects that once decorated these structures—but that have since been removed to distant collections in museums around the world—are embedded into these environments to allow scholars and students to understand the visual world of early Modern Florentines.

More than a mere introduction to this digital project, the presentation will articulate some of the challenges that face its creators. Who can use this material and who benefits from it? How can the team deliver it efficiently? Is it sustainable for the foreseeable future? Is it translatable to other projects? Who creates and curates information, and how can the team guarantee a high level of quality? Who decides what’s added to buildings, where things go, and how they look? How can demographic and audio information create a richer experience? This presentation both summarizes our project and addresses these problematic issues through lenses philosophical and pragmatic.

Past Workshops

Photograph of the Library's small reading room during a workshop presentation; several people are looking at a screen.

On Wednesday, February 7, 2018, and Wednesday, September 19, 2018, Library staff Louisa Wood Ruby and Samantha Deutch introduced the ARt Exploration Space (ARIES), an interactive image manipulation system that allows for the exploration and organization of digital images in a virtual space.

On Wednesday, May 16 and May 23, 2018, the DAHL hosted a two-part workshop, "Data Transformation and Enrichment with OpenRefine." From basic but powerful data analysis and clean-up to reconciliation with open datasets like Wikidata and the Getty Vocabularies, OpenRefine is a powerful tool for a wide variety of researchers across the spectrum of disciplines. In this workshop series, Ryan Mendenhall, Metadata Librarian at Columbia University, Butler Library, and Assistant Cataloger at the Frick Art Reference Library, and Alex Provo, Project Manager & Digital Production Editor for the Enhanced Networked Monographs project at New York University covered the basic features and functionalities of OpenRefine with a focus on data cleaning and reconciliation. The workshop was designed to serve all levels of practitioners.

On Friday, November 17, 2017, Library staff Debbie Kempe and Sumitra Duncan introduced web archiving. Their presentation surveyed tools for preserving born-digital art research materials and outlined strategies for effectively managing permanent citations.

On Friday, October 27, 2017, Louisa Wood Ruby discussed the advantages of online catalogues raisonnés and introduced various platforms, both open source and proprietary.

On Friday, November 18, 2016, Henrietta Miers, a graduate of Duke University’s new MA in Historical and Cultural Visualization program, presented her thesis project "Sixteenth-Century Ceiling Painting in Venetian Churches at a Time of Religious Reform" and led an introductory workshop on Omeka, an open source web-publishing platform for the online exhibition of digital collections.

On April 8, 2016, Matthew Lincoln, Ph.D., a specialist in digitally-aided analysis, led a workshop on Palladio, a data visualization tool created by Stanford University. Working from a museum dataset, participants learned how to produce exploratory timelines, maps, and networks using this powerful tool.

On March 25, 2016, Andy Eschbacher and Stuart Lynn from Carto, a web-based mapping and data analysis tool, demonstrated how to create interactive, map-based data visualizations that could be easily integrated into digital humanities projects.

On December 11, 2015, Kimon Keramidas, Ph.D., introduced participants to Omeka, a collections management system and web publishing platform that allows one to organize object images and metadata, create digital exhibitions, and make the collection public.

On November 20, 2015, Titia Hulst, Ph.D., introduced Cytoscape, an open source software platform for visualizing networks, to Library researchers and staff. Dr. Hulst also discussed her research on Leo Castelli and the market for American contemporary art, which makes extensive use of this powerful tool.

On November 6, 2015, members of the DAHL presented a broad overview of several software programs currently in use by researchers interested in the field of digital art history. Topics included data scraping (Kimono, Diffbot, and others); network visualization (Cytoscape and Gephi); bibliographic management (Zotero); digital mapping (batchgeo, ArcGIS, and CartoDB); and online exhibitions (Omeka). To demonstrate how art historians can benefit from these tools, the presentation featured several case studies.

On September 24, 2015, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, invited the DAHL to discuss digital tools for research, exhibition design, and management with museum staff.

On April 9, 2015, the DAHL's first workshop was held at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts. The workshop, framed for a graduate student audience, surveyed software programs and analytical techniques useful for dissertation research.