College Grants & Sponsored Programs

Ogawa Awarded Samuel H. Kress Foundation Grant

Publication Date
David Ogawa

$21,177; The Samuel H. Kress Foundation; Digital Art History Grant Program

The Art Historical Image in the Digital Age
Principal Investigators: David Ogawa, Associate Professor of Art History and Emily Pugh, Digital Humanities Specialist (Getty Research Institute)

The Samuel H. Kress Foundation grant will advance an international, collaborative project led by David Ogawa, Associate Professor of Art History at Union College, and Emily Pugh, Digital Humanities Specialist for the Getty Research Institute. As co-conveners, Ogawa and Pugh will create The Art Historical Image in the Digital Age, an introductory-level seminar on Digital Art History with a particular focus on images. The seminar is designed to address a gap in current offerings with regard to digital humanities (DH) and/or digital art history (DAH) training. Specifically, while several institutions offer DH/DAH summer courses or “boot camps,” these are often focused on teaching specific tools or methods. Thus, while such short-term workshops in for example Natural Language Processing (NLP) are valuable and necessary, they are primarily useful for those scholars who already have some experience working with data and moreover have a sense of how NLP might apply to their research. By contrast, The Art Historical Image in the Digital Age does not require participants to have prior technical knowledge or experience; yet it does provide a framework for participants to contribute their scholarly expertise, through discussions designed to integrate art-historical discourse with tutorials on computational methods, tools, and technologies.

Emily Pugh

The goals of the seminar are: 1) to facilitate acquisition of literacy in DAH through tutorials on imaging technologies and metadata; 2) to explore first-hand the relationship between traditional photo-archival practice and new modes of digital access through site visits; 3) to expose points of entry for participants into data-driven research through critical discussion of current digital projects; 4) to promote new collaborations and professional relationships among participants and guest experts; and 5) to provide an intellectually grounded introduction to DAH that emerging and established scholars can integrate into their activities as researchers and teachers.

The Art Historical Image in the Digital Age, to be held in June 2023, will involve 12 participants in tutorials, discussions, and site visits. The selected participants' research fields will involve either European Art from antiquity to the early 19th century, or on European photo collections or image archives that include material from other cultural traditions. Hosted by the Kunsthistorisches Institut (KHI) in Florence, the seminar includes visits to other important image collections in Florence and Rome (e.g., the Alinari Archives, Villa I Tatti, the Bibliotheca Hertziana, the American Academy in Rome). Photo archivists and technical specialists will introduce collections and demonstrate the many methods and paths by which images become data.