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The first phase of Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide’s Digital Humanities and Art History (DHAH) initiative will end with the last Mellon-funded article to be published in fall 2015. Although we will look for additional funding, at this point we are no longer accepting applications for grants to develop research tools and articles, However, we encourage authors to submit completed articles and digital resources to be considered for publication in the journal. In doing so, authors should consult the submission guidelines for these articles.
From 2012 to 2015, Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide published six articles in its “Digital Humanities and Art History” series, supported by a grant from the Mellon Foundation. In this article, Petra Chu, Emily Pugh, and Elizabeth Buhe review the series and share their experiences working on these articles. They discuss the goals of NCAW’s DHAH initiative, present lessons learned, and share their insights into the influence of digital humanities methods and techniques in the field of art history.
The digital tool Tracing Transformations in a Digital Age uses mapping and time-aware tools to visually reconstitute the spatial history of Civil War– and Reconstruction-era Hilton Head, one of the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina. In our own time, Hilton Head Island is known as a vacation paradise with pristine white-sand beaches and manicured golf courses. The history of the spatial transformation of the island and its direct connection with the local transition from slavery to freedom is important yet infrequently told, let alone shared in an open-source format. Changes in the island’s use, coupled with the natural ravages of time (including a severe hurricane in 1893), have effaced many of the material traces of Hilton Head’s past, leading researchers to rely more heavily on other evidence of the area’s history. Tracing Transformations mines extant archival sources and uses that information to reconstruct the region’s visual transformation between the years 1860 and 1865.
This study focuses on a collection of photographs taken between 1864 and 1879 under the direction of John Henry Parker, a British editor and dilettante archaeologist, to provide a multi-perspective panorama of Rome around the time the city became capital of Italy in 1870. Emblematic of the nineteenth-century impulse to collect, document, and catalogue information about contemporary society as well as the past, the Parker Collection has long been praised as a “valuable” illustration of the early history of Rome. Yet the value of this imagery as an illustration of Rome’s modernity—the construction, demolition, beliefs, and ideals that accompanied the city’s emergence as the Italian capital—has yet to be discovered. This interactive research platform and essay use digital technology to investigate the Parker Collection as a set of data about late nineteenth-century Italy, revealing not only the interests and ideologies that shaped Rome into a modern, capital city, but also how digital media can spark new approaches to art history.
This article and the associated maps and timeline use Anne Whitney’s letters as the framework for an examination of the art and life of an American artist abroad. It illustrates Whitney’s first sixteen months of travel through these and other contemporary sources to visualize her movement and activities through space and time. This project seeks to revise the impression of Henry James’s “white, marmorean flock” as a collective and look at Whitney as an individual with unique reactions to Italy, informed not only by the celebrated works of art and architecture around her but also by the experience of life abroad in all of its complexity.
This article proposes that the linguist Jean-François Champollion posited a new theory of Egyptian art in the mid-1820s and takes his theory as a means for interpreting France's first museum of Egyptian antiquities, the Musée Charles X, of which he was curator. This interpretation is made possible through the unprecedented use of digital tools to visualize a historic museum display. In addition to a scholarly essay and downloadable primary source material, this article invites readers to explore a fully-navigable, three-dimensional model of the Musée Charles X.
This study of Lewis Miller’s “Guide to Central Park” has taken several approaches in order to create a context for the album as well as to better understand the reception of Central Park in its opening years. In addition to two scholarly essays, this digital publication makes it possible to include a facsimile of the whole album accompanied by transcriptions and descriptions and links to notes, sources, and other relevant material.
This article analyzes the local and global networks of the commercial art trade that dialectically informed the conditions of the art market in London over the course of the second half of the nineteenth century. This analysis is achieved through a ground-breaking application of digital humanities tools: spatial mapping and network visualization. The article intends to advance both revisionary studies of the rise of the art dealer in nineteenth-century Europe and the application of modes of inquiry associated with the digital humanities to art history.