Photoarchive

Art and Advertising

An advertisement for a painting of a landscape featuring a settlement of Native Americans.

Perhaps one third of Photoarchive reproductions are cut from publications, including catalogs, books, newspapers, and magazines. This advertisement sheet for a painting possibly by Ralph Albert Blakelock (see illustration) was printed in 1942. As the sheet describes, the dealer Americana Arts is offering a landscape with teepees that might or might not be a good deal:

Know Your Meme

Painting of the corner of an apartment featuring a blue sofa, a side table with a lamp, and walls covered with framed paintings.

Interior of the Artist’s Apartment, made sometime after 1910 by the American painter and watercolorist Walter Gay, shows a narrow view of a sitting area in Walter and his wife Matilda’s Paris apartment at 11 Rue de l'Université, where the couple had moved in May 1909.

Visualizing the Spanish Artists Dictionary

A painted portrait of an old man in red robes standing at a desk upon which a large book lies opened.

Photoarchive intern Alexandra Provo and her collaborator Diana Sapanaro discuss their projects to use visualization technologies and Python scripts to make one of the Library's research tools, Spanish Artists from the Fourth to the Twentieth Century: A Critical Dictionary, accessible to the public in new ways.

Intimate Sketches of New York

Drawing of a massive, multi-family townhouse with turrets, gables and round arches standing on the corner of a busy intersection in mid-century Manhattan.

One of the most popular series completed by the American illustrator Vernon Howe Bailey was his "Intimate Sketches of New York," which records the city during a period of dramatic growth — and change.

The Lost Bride

Half-length portrait of a young woman wearing an embroidered dress, veil and gloves standing next to a bouquet of flowers.

Lost or destroyed paintings are perhaps the most painful reminder of the importance of photoarchives and similar repositories of images and accompanying metadata. An unfortunate example is this portrait of a young bride.

Analog Facial Recognition

A black-and-white photograph of a Renaissance wall tomb set in a Venetian church.

Beginning in 1925, Helen Clay Frick hired the Italian photographers Mario Sansoni and Oreste Nesti to traverse Italy documenting in situ sculptures, paintings, and frescoes that other firms such as Anderson, Alinari, and Brogi had neglected to capture. On several occasions, staff of the Frick Art Reference Library requested photography of objects specifically related to works in The Frick Collection. See more at frick.org/blogs/photoarchive/analog_facial_recognition

Kress Foundation Grant for Image Analysis Toolkit

Two photographs representing two different views of a small devotional altarpiece of the Madonna and Child, which is attributed to the thirteenth-century Italo-Byzantine School.

The Frick Art Reference Library Photoarchive recently received a $25,000 grant from the Kress Foundation to support the creation of a toolkit that will perform computer vision analysis on digitized art historical photo archives. This toolkit will be a groundbreaking application of technology that will transform the way photo archives are used.

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