CAA 2020 in Chicago! Come join us (in person)!

Hi folks! If you’re planning on attending College Art Association (CAA)’s annual conference in Chicago this week, please join the DAHS at the following sessions, meetings and events:

DAHS Business Meeting (our first!)
Thursday, February 13 at 12:30 –1:30 pm,  Hilton Chicago – 3rd Floor – Wilford C.

DAHS public panel
“Lost in Translation: Early Modern Global Art History and the Digital Humanities” Meredith J. Gill, University of Maryland; Paul B. Jaskot, Duke University, Thursday, Feb. 13th, 4:00 PM –5:30 PM, Hilton Chicago – 3rd Floor – Wilford C.

DAHS Workshops (you know you want to!)
“From Knowledge to Data in Art History”
  – Workshop Leaders: Nancy A. Um, Binghamton University; Stephen Whiteman, The Courtauld Institute of Art
Thursday, Feb. 13th, 2:00 – 3:00 pm, Hilton Chicago – Lower Level – Salon C-7

“Digital Art History and the Getty Vocabularies” – Workshop Leaders: Anne L. Helmreich, Getty Research Institute; Patricia A. Harpring, Getty Research Institute
Saturday, Feb. 15th, 9:30 – 10:30 am; Hilton Chicago – Lower Level – Salon C-8

Other DAH offerings include:

“Advanced Topics in Digital Art History: 3D (Geo)Spatial Networks” – Chair: Victoria E. Szabo, Duke University
Thursday, Feb. 13th, 8:30 AM –10:00 am, Hilton Chicago – 8th Floor – Lake Ontario

“Beyond the Algorithm: Art Historians, Librarians, and Archivists in Collaboration on Digital Humanities Initiatives” Chairs: Maggie Joe Mustard, The New Museum of Contemporary Art; Amye McCarther, New Museum, Art Libraries Society of North America
Thursday, Feb. 13th,  10:30 am –12:00 pm Hilton Chicago – 8th Floor – Lake Ontario

Upcoming lecture: “Artist Archives Initiative: New Research Models for Contemporary Artists”

On Thursday, May 2nd at 4 p.m., Deena Engel, Clinical Professor, Computer Science, New York University, and Glenn Wharton, Clinical Professor, Museum Studies, New York University, will present NYU’s Artist Archives Initiative at The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library, New York. This project responds to a growing need for art world professionals and academic researchers to work with artists in building information resources to aid in the future exhibition and re-activation of their work. The initiative also stimulates discussion about variability and authenticity in the display of contemporary art through symposia, workshops, and publications. This event is free, but online registration is required. Please visit to register. Meet at 1 East 70th Street, New York.

Mark your Calendars!

For those of you planning to attend CAA in New York City this February,  be sure to add two items on your agenda:

On Wednesday, February 13, from 4 to 6 pm, The Frick Collection will host Anne Helmreich, Associate Director for Digital Initiatives at the Getty Research Institute, in her talk, “Exploring the Gilded Age Art Market through a Digital Lens
When wealthy industrialists such as Henry Clay Frick ventured into the art market, they had access to unprecedented quantities of information thanks, in large part, to the boom in art publishing and increasingly dense networks of communication and transportation. In turn, today, as researchers seeking to investigate this market we have access to much more material than ever before, thanks to the advances of the digital age. This talk reveals how the digital turn allows us to advance our understanding of Frick’s Gilded Age art market in its many complexities.
Attendance is free, but sign up is requested.

And on Thursday, February 14, from 6 to 7:30 pm, the DAHS will be hosting the CAA panel, “Constructing Critically in Digital Art History,” chaired by Anne Collins Goodyear and Pamela Fletcher.  It promises some great presentations with discussion to follow.
Attendance is included with your CAA registration.

We hope to see you there!


ARt Image Exploration Space (ARIES) Is Now in Beta

ARIES is a digital initiative begun by members of The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library’s Digital Art History Lab (DAHL) in collaboration with teams from New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering and the Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil. This project addresses the inability of currently available software to manipulate images in a way that is intuitive and useful for art historians. Traditionally, art historians have used light boxes or tables on which they placed slides or other reproductive images. In the physical world, they were able to move these images around at will, organizing and reorganizing images as their projects developed. In this way, images from multiple sources were brought together and compared to identify similarities, differences, stylistic links, and relationships for further research. The transition from analog photographs and transparencies to digital image files has rendered this workflow obsolescent yet art historians still lack well-designed, unified computational tools that are able to replace what can be done in the analog world.

The system that has been designed, which is now in beta version, is called ARIES for ARt Image Exploration Space. ARIES is an interactive image manipulation system that allows for the exploration and organization of fine art images taken from multiple sources (e.g. websites, digital photographs, scans) in a virtual space. ARIES provides a novel, intuitive interface to explore, annotate, rearrange, and group art images freely in a single workspace environment, using organizational ontologies (collections, etc.) drawn from existing best practices in art history. The system allows for multiple ways to compare images, from using dynamic overlays analogous to a physical light box to advanced image analysis and feature–matching functions available only through computational image processing. Additionally, users may import and export data to and from ARIES.

To try ARIES, please click on the following link:, where you can view introductory videos and create your own account.

To access a recent press release on ARIES, please follow this link:

Re-viewing Digital Technologies and Art History

The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy recently published a special issue on digital art history (DAH), “Re-viewing Digital Technologies and Art History.” Seven peer-reviewed articles and two non-peer-reviewed pieces analyze the use of computational tools and techniques in art-historical research and teaching. From the automation of thread counting (an important tool of painting conservators that provides  important technical information) to introducing 3D modeling into the classroom as one way to help students better understand the built environment, this series of essays offers a road map for art historians, curators, and conservators interested in exploring the possibilities of DAH.
Screenshot of a 3D model of an ancient Zapotec vessel.

Above: Model of vessel from Tomb 118, Monte Albán, as modeled in Maxon Cinema4D software. Model by Ve’Amber Miller. Photograph by Ellen Hoobler. From Hoobler’s article, “Of Software and Sepulchers: Modeling Ancient Tombs from Oaxaca, Mexico,” included in the special issue.