Some June material culture

June 25th, 2014 karyn hinkle Comments off

Ken Price at Mattew Marks

There are a few days left to see two beautiful exhibitions of the ceramicist Ken Price’s work at Matthew Marks — Large Sculptures and Specimen Rocks are up through Saturday, June 28.

Fun read: “Fatal Victorian Fashion and the Allure of the Poison Garment” by Allison Meier [hyperallergic]

Up for discussion: are you following this spring’s spate of digital humanities opinion? Here are several pieces, pro and con, in venues scholarly and popular:
Worthey, Glen. “Why are such terrible things written about DH? Kirsch v. Kirschenbaum” on the Stanford Digital Humanities blog (May 7, 2014).
Kirsch, Adam. “Technology Is Taking Over English Departments: The False Promise of the Digital Humanities.” The New Republic (May 2, 2014).
Kirschenbaum, Matthew. “What is ‘Digital Humanities,’ and Why AreThey Saying Such TerribleThings about It?” differences 25.1 (2014): 46-63. [PDF]
Schaffner, Jennifer, and Ricky Erway. Does Every Research Library Need a Digital Humanities Center? OCLC Research, 2014. [PDF]

And here’s a fun project from a few years back that I’ve seen resurface online recently: the artist Jesse England’s “E-Book Backup” (it involves a photocopier).

Preserving modern and contemporary materials

June 25th, 2014 karyn hinkle Comments off

From the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts:

Meant to Last?

Preserving the Modern & Contemporary

Presented by the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts

Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities

Hosted and co-sponsored by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Save The Date

October 27 – 28, 2014

8:30 – 9:00am  Registration & Refreshments

9:00 – 5:00pm    Program

Interested in receiving more information more about Meant to Last? Complete this form and we’ll send you an update when registration opens!

About the Program:

The twentieth and twenty-first centuries introduced a bewildering array of new materials, used to design a broad range of objects now collected in museums, libraries, and archives.   Many artifacts were designed to last the centuries, while others that were once innovative show signs of deterioration.  Colors change and fade, structures lose their integrity in unanticipated ways, or material components become obsolete.  Cultural institutions must understand the long-term preservation needs of these items in order to determine appropriate priorities for conservation, storage, exhibition, documentation, and digitization.  This two day conference will explore the guiding principles of collecting and caring for artifacts of key historic importance from the recent past. Participants will attend general sessions in the morning and then have the option to select from concurrent sessions in the afternoon.

This program is intended for collections care staff responsible for documenting, curating, conserving, and archiving modern and contemporary materials.

Topics to be covered include:

• Thinking about Collecting

• Working with Living Artists: The Artist/Conservator Relationship

• Collecting Materials with Inherent Vice

• Interpreting Collections from the Recent Past

• Legal and Copyright Issues

• Collecting the Controversial

• Where Do We Go From Here?

Speakers to date include:

Barbara Fahs Charles, Staples & Charles, Ltd.

Anna Dhody, Curator, Mütter Museum

Jon-Paul C. Dyson, PhD, Director, International Center for the History of Electronic Games, The Strong National Museum of Play

Charles Hardy, Professor of History, West Chester University

William Davies King, author, Collections of Nothing, University of California, Santa Barbara

Amber Morgan, Collections Manager, The Andy Warhol Museum

Linda Norris, author, The Uncatalogued Museum, Norris Museum Consulting

Sarah Pharaon, Program Director for North America, International Coalition of Sites of Conscience

Gwynne Ryan, Sculpture Conservator, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Samantha Sheesley, Paper Conservator, Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts

Gregory Dale Smith PhD, Otto N. Frenzel III Senior Conservation Scientist, Indianapolis Museum of Art

Interested in receiving more information more about Meant to Last? Complete this form and we’ll send you an update when registration opens!

Major funding for this program was generously provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, with additional funding from The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and the Independence Foundation.

Questions?  Call Preservation Services at 215-545-0613 or email us at

The Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) is the largest nonprofit conservation laboratory in the United States, serving other nonprofit cultural, education, and research institutions, as well as private individuals and organizations.  Founded in 1977, CCAHA specializes in the treatment of works of art and historic artifacts on paper, photographs, and books, as well as works on parchment and papyrus.  CCAHA’s conservation and preservation services staff develop and present educational programs; conduct preservation assessments; provide assistance with preservation planning; and develop emergency preparedness plans.  Its development department provides fundraising and grant writing support to nonprofit institutions seeking assistance for preservation and conservation projects.  CCAHA also offers digital imaging services, fellowships, and disaster assistance.

264 South 23rd Street

Philadelphia, PA 19103

To learn more about CCAHA and its programs, please visit our website at

The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, founded in 1787, is the oldest professional society in the country.  Throughout its 224-year history, the College has provided a place for medical professionals, community leaders, and the general public to learn about medicine as a science and as an art.  Through its museums, library, and programs, the College continues to advance the cause of health while upholding the ideals and heritage of medicine.

19 South 22nd Street

Philadelphia, PA 19103

The Academy of Certified Archivists will award Archival Recertification Credits to eligible Certified Archivists attending this program.  For more information, go to

A Heath exhibit on the West Coast

May 21st, 2014 karyn hinkle Comments off

A Handful of Clay: The Legacy of Edith Heath

An exhibit on one of my favorite designers opens tomorrow at Berkeley’s Environmental Design Library, and I can’t resist urging you to see it if you’ll be in the Bay Area this summer. A Handful of Clay: The Legacy of Edith Heath runs from May 22 to September 19, 2014.

A few more material culture news items for the month follow:

Warhols on a floppy disk

May 19th, 2014 karyn hinkle Comments off

Warhol Amiga image

I loved seeing the news all over the web last month about the re-discovery on floppy disk of the images Andy Warhol created using the old Amiga personal computer in 1985. The images are cool, and the story, which involves the Warhol Museum where the disks were stored, the artist Cory Arcangel, and the Computer Club at Carnegie Mellon University, is fun.

The project also brought to mind Kimon Keramidas’s planned Focus Gallery exhibition for the BGC, “The Interface Experience: Thirty Years of Personal Computer Use“. It is amazing to think about what can be created, stored, lost, and found with electronic media.

Categories: Blogstream Tags: , ,

3-D printing and conservation

April 9th, 2014 karyn hinkle Comments off
Factum Arte Piranesi

Image: Alicia Guirao, Factum Arte; via

NewScientist took a look at the work that Factum Arte, a “design company that straddles the worlds of museum conservation and contemporary art,” did for the Piranesi exhibit at Sir John Soane’s Museum in London this spring. The article, “How 3D printers forge new art from old etchings,” is a fun introduction to the exhibit (“Diverse Maniere: Piranesi, Fantasy and Excess,” good BGC themes), and it gave me a great reason to learn more about Factum Arte in Madrid.  Very interesting work is happening there!

via Above the Fold

New web projects

March 12th, 2014 karyn hinkle Comments off


I don’t know if more email is what any of us needs, but if that’s the Met’s chosen way to share information on its curators’ favorite new works recently added to the collection, I’ll probably sign up with interest: MetCollects aims to send subscribers a monthly email with links to a multimedia web series introduced by the curators on different works of art. The director calls it “ambitious,” so I bet they have some good content planned.

Mackintosh Architecture

image: Mackintosh Architecture

Speaking of ambitious art world web projects, I am counting the months until the Charles Rennie Mackintosh architecture catalogue raisonne debuts online:

In July 2014 The Hunterian, University of Glasgow, will launch a major new online resource: Mackintosh Architecture: Context, Making and Meaning. This website is the culmination of a four-year project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, which has developed the first catalogue raisonné of Mackintosh’s architecture and that of the practice of John Honeyman & Keppie /  Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh.

The sample entries currently on the site are great; I really can’t wait to see it all :)

Dec arts, research, academia links to start the week

February 24th, 2014 karyn hinkle Comments off
Brooklyn Based Brooklyn Museum

image: Brooklyn Based

This Kiss to the Whole World: Klimt and the Vienna Secession, an online exhibition featuring rare materials from the special collections of the New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC), launches as part of the Vienna, City of Dreams festival currently happening in New York. [NYARC]

Paul Hiebert considers the history of humans loving inanimate objects. [Pacific Standard Magazine]

An interview with Barry Harwood, curator of decorative arts at the Brooklyn Museum, as he walks through the museum’s decorative arts and design collection. [Brooklyn Based, image above]

The Frick Collection has collaborated with the William Randolph Hearst Archive at LIU Post to present “Gilding the Gilded Age: Interior Decoration Tastes and Trends in New York City,” an Omeka exhibit funded by METRO. [Frick]

Archnet, for the study of Islamic material and visual culture, has been restructured as an online portal rich with websites, publications, images, etc. for architecture, urbanism, environmental and landscape design, visual culture, and conservation issues related to the Muslim world. [archnet]

On the New Yorker‘s book blog, Joshua Rothman argues “Why Is Academic Writing So Academic?“, reminding me of Clay Shirkey’s recent blog post, “The End of Higher Education’s Golden Age,” and interesting to think about regardless. [Page-Turner /]