Over the past eighteen months, generous donations have enabled the High to embark on a critical building block for sharing the Museum's over 15,000 works of art with our public; we have started to digitize the collection using the latest technology and techniques. We are experimenting with 360 degree imaging and taking updated high resolution photographs that include relevant details. Our goal is to continue to expand the visual representation of our vast holdings to engage you our public in the wonders of exploring our collection, providing access to our works of art online and in new ways in the galleries.
Please continue to check this page regularly as we update it with our latest efforts.
Original photography compared to latest high resolution photography.
The High Museum of Art has received a $150,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to digitize the Museum's American Art collection, allowing for greater access to the collection for the general public, scholars and researchers. The grant also enables the High to enhance existing digital access initiatives and make new strides in developing digital technology for an enriched visitor experience in the galleries, on mobile devices and on the web.
Approximately one-half of the funds will be utilized to secure photography for a significant number of the more than 1,100 objects in the American Art department, to include 360-degree photography of key works. The High will also dedicate funds toward integrating the photography and supporting content into a searchable online database, as well as into future in-gallery and mobile interpretive platforms planned for a major reinstallation of the High's permanent collection.
Key American Art works already identified for 360-degree photography as part of the initiative include Modernist sculptures by Theodore Rozak, Man Ray, Robert Laurent, and Berta Margoulies, as well as strengths from the Neoclassical marble collections, including works by Harriet Hosmer, Edmonia Lewis, Randolph Rogers and Hiram Powers. The High will also take detailed photographs of collection masterworks by Romare Bearden, John Marin, Marsden Hartley, Milton Avery, George Inness, Francis Criss, Robert Henri, Martin Johnson Heade, John Singer Sargent, Joseph Decamp and Joseph Stella. Photography of selected period frames, including a hand-painted frame by John Marin, will also be a focus.
In 2013, the Wish Foundation generously donated funds to digitize the Decorative Arts and Design department's contemporary design collection. This includes professional, high resolution photography of over 130 collection holdings, as well as interactive, high-resolution 360° spherical panoramic photography and 3-D object photography of over 40 of our most complex and multidimensional objects. These objects were documented utilizing state of the art equipment at our off-site storage facility for most of two weeks. These 40 works are the first to be digitized with this innovative new technology as part of the Museum’s larger effort to activate its collection. This multi-dimensional digital documentation is a particularly exciting tool, as it will allow dynamic interaction with the works' multiple facets online and in the galleries, including aerial views, views of hidden compartments or features otherwise unseen while on display, and 360˚ viewing. All of these experiences are on-going challenges to demonstrate with static 3-D works in situ and we feel this will strongly enrich the public’s gallery experience. By allowing this access online, we further the accessibility and understanding of decorative arts and design to the public in even broader ways and generate more enthusiasm for the field in people of all ages. Our web team is currently in the process of developing a web platform to support this experience, intended to launch later this year.