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Wednesday, May 31 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
060. (Collection Care) Conservation and Art Historical Data goes Digital at the Art Institute of Chicago

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The 244 photographs that make up a portion of the Alfred Stieglitz Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago are among the treasures of the museum's collection. Yet, unlike the equivalent collections at the National Gallery of Art or the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this collection of photographs had never been systematically researched or presented as a whole. This changed in 2016, with the launch of the Alfred Stieglitz Collection: Photographs website (http://media.artic.edu/stieglitz), an innovative approach to presenting a sub-section of the museum's holdings. Collaboration between digital, conservation and curatorial departments resulted in a user-friendly website that presents information at levels meant to appeal to multiple audiences. For the casual browser, quick but scholarly definitions of relevant artists, processes, journals, and galleries related to the photographs provide basic context. For researchers, and those interested in learning more, links to exhibition catalogues, similar prints, and even prints from the same negatives in other institution's collections offer art historical resources. Detailed material and elemental analysis of 44 prints presented in specially designed PDFs (including results of XRF spectrometry, IR photography, FTIR spectrometry and UV radiation induced visible fluorescence) offers an invaluable resource for conservators and conservation scientists interested in Pictorialist photography. All of this was built using a modified Wordpress template, utilizing that platform's intuitive content management system to allow for easy uploading and updating of the data and images. As a poster, this presentation will address the unique intersection of art history, conservation and digital experience that this project demonstrates, and hopefully inspire others to think closely about how to make technical and art historical research about institutional collections public in a user-friendly way.

avatar for Kaslyne O'Connor

Kaslyne O'Connor

Paper Conservator
Kaslyne O’Connor is paper conservator in private practice. She was previously the Assistant Conservator at the Provincial Archives of Alberta, where she focused on the treatment and rehousing of damaged archival maps, prints, and records. She came to Edmonton directly from Chicago... Read More →

avatar for Sylvie Pénichon, [PA]

Sylvie Pénichon, [PA]

Director, Paper, Photography and Media Conservation, The Art Institute of Chicago
Sylvie Pénichon is the Director of Paper, Photography and Media Conservation in the Department of Conservation and Science at The Art Institute of Chicago. Her most recent contributions to the museum’s publications include essays in André Kertész: Postcards from Paris (2021... Read More →
avatar for Ariel Pate

Ariel Pate

Assistant Curator of Photography, Milwaukee Art Museum
Ariel Pate is Assistant Curator of Photography at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Previously, she was a curatorial assistant in the department of photography at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was responsible for the creation of The Alfred Stieglitz Collection: Photographs site... Read More →

Wednesday May 31, 2017 3:30pm - 4:00pm CDT
Riverside West Exhibit Hall Exhibit Level, East Tower
  9. Poster, Collection Care