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Met releases 400,000 high res images

History Blog - Sat, 2014-05-17 23:04

It seems the Met is feeling generous these days, not just in enhancing its collection but also in sharing it. As part of its new Open Access for Scholarly Content program, the museum is releasing 400,000 high resolution images that can be downloaded directly from its website and used for scholarly purposes without asking for permission or paying a fee.

In making the announcement, [Thomas Campbell, Director and CEO of the Metropolitan Museum of Art] said: “Through this new, open-access policy, we join a growing number of museums that provide free access to images of art in the public domain. I am delighted that digital technology can open the doors to this trove of images from our encyclopedic collection.”

OASC was developed as a resource for students, educators, researchers, curators, academic publishers, non-commercial documentary filmmakers, and others involved in scholarly or cultural work. Prior to the establishment of OASC, the Metropolitan Museum provided images upon request, for a fee, and authorization was subject to terms and conditions.

To access the images, click on the collection database and either search by keyword, browse the featured artists/topics or browse by material, geographic location, era or departments. For getting lost in beautiful things, I’m partial to browsing by era and culture. Look for the OASC in a little box underneath the picture the left of the My Met link. To download the image, click on the down arrow to the right and save the image to your hard drive in the usual way. They also seem to allow hotlinking but that’s rude and unreliable in the long term so I wouldn’t do that.

Apparently some images that are still under copyright or whose status is unclear are not yet available for free use, but I haven’t encountered any in my browsing thus far. If the photograph is not free for use, it will not have the OASC icon underneath them
The museum will be increasing the number of available photographs as copyrights expire and new digital files are uploaded.

On a tangentially related (at best) note, while enjoying a random browse today I came across this arresting bronze of Roman emperor Trebonianus Gallus (reigned 251–253 A.D.). Almost the entire statue is original, a very rare survival of a complete third century freestanding bronze. Is that tiny head on that large body not the weirdest thing? And that’s an idealized portrayal, or at least the body is. He’s posed like a famous statue of Alexander the Great carved by Lysippos that inspired many a fine figure for centuries. The face, on the other hand, appears to be realistic which makes for an eye-catchingly disproportionate combination. Still, there’s no question the head and body are of a piece. The museum X-rayed the statue and found the head is original to that body.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Seeking Howe's

SCAtoday.net - Sat, 2014-05-17 18:32

600 years ago, Howe's was a satellite community of Cambridge, England. Then it disappeared off the map. Now archaeologists have begun investigating Howe's, along with three other villages, that ringed the medieval university town.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Crown Tournament Results

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-05-17 16:22

Vivat Prince Edward !

Vivat Princess Þóra !

Vivant the Kingdom of the East!

The Gazette is especially grateful to Mistress Alys Mackyntoich for her diligent reporting from the fieid today.


Filed under: Events, Tidings Tagged: Crown Tournament, Crown Tourney

Crown Tournament Finals – Fifth Bout

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-05-17 16:22

The fifth and final bout of the Spring Crown Tournament was fought with sword & shield.

Victor: Duke Edward Grey of Lochleven


Filed under: Events, Heavy List, Tidings Tagged: Crown Tournament, Crown Tourney

Crown Tournament Finals – Fourth Bout

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-05-17 16:12

The fourth bout of the finals was fought with two swords.

Victor: Duke Edward Grey of Lochleven


Filed under: Events, Heavy List, Tidings Tagged: Crown Tournament, Crown Tourney

Crown Tournament Finals – Third Bout

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-05-17 16:09

The third bout of the finals was fought with axes.

Victor: Sir Thomas of Ravenhill


Filed under: Events, Heavy List, Tidings Tagged: Crown Tournament, Crown Tourney

Crown Tournament Finals – Second Bout

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-05-17 16:04

The second bout of the finals was fought with great sword.

Victor: Duke Edward Grey of Lochleven

 


Filed under: Events, Heavy List, Tidings Tagged: Crown Tournament, Crown Tourney

Latest techniques used to help conserve ancient bridges

SCAtoday.net - Sat, 2014-05-17 16:00

Researchers from the Applied Geotechnology Group at the University of Vigo in Spain are using the latest technology to study 80 Roman and medieval bridges to determine the original construction of the bridges and the best ways to conserve them.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Crown Tournament Finals – First Bout

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-05-17 15:59

The first bout of the finals was fought with sword & shield.

Victor: Sir Thomas of Ravenhill


Filed under: Events, Heavy List, Tidings Tagged: Crown Tournament, Crown Tourney

Crown Tourney – Second Finalist

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-05-17 15:41

The Gazette is pleased to report that Sir Thomas of Ravenhill has advanced to the finals of the Spring Tournament for the Crown of the East. He will face Duke Edward Grey of Lochleven,

 


Filed under: Events, Heavy List, Tidings Tagged: Crown Tournament, Crown Tourney

Crown Tourney – First Finalist

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-05-17 15:38

The Gazette is pleased to report that Duke Edward Grey of Lochleven has advanced to the finals of the Spring Tournament for the Crown of the East.

 


Filed under: Events, Heavy List, Tidings Tagged: Crown Tournament, Crown Tourney

Crown Tourney – Semifinals

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-05-17 15:07

The four combatants remaining in the tournament are:

Undefeated List:

  • Duke Edward Grey of Lochleven for Countess Þóra Eiríksdóttir
  • Sir Thomas of Ravenhill for Áine an Neamheaglach

Wounded List:

  • Master Ávaldr Valbjarnarson for Mistress Eva Woderose
  • Syr Culann mac Cianain for Baroness Edana inghean Aluinn mac Kinnon

All remaining matches in the tournament will be fought in a “Best 3 out of 5″ format with rotating weapons forms.

 


Filed under: Events, Heavy List, Tidings Tagged: Crown, Crown Tournament, Crown Tourney

Crown Tourney – Final Eight

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-05-17 14:26

The first few rounds of double-elimination fighting have seen the following combatants still remaining in the tournament:

Wounded list:

  • Master Ávaldr Valbjarnarson soon to face Tribune Darius Aurelius Serpentius, called Omega the Impact
  • Sir Wilhelm von Ostenbrücke soon to face Lord Wilham de Broc

Winner’s list:

  • Syr Culann mac Cianain soon to face Duke Edward Grey of Lochleven
  • Duke Konrad Der Lowe Von Ulm soon to face Sir Thomas of Ravenhill

Much gratitude to Mistress Alys Mackyntoich for keeping us up to date with events on the ground.

 

 


Filed under: Events, Heavy List, Tidings Tagged: Crown Tournament, Crown Tourney

Crown Tourney – Sweet Sixteen

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-05-17 13:40

Good gentles of the East, the Gazette is pleased to report that this Spring’s Crown Tournament to determine the Heirs of our esteemed Brennan Augustus and Caoilfhionn Augusta is well underway in the Barony of L’Ile du Dragon Dormant in the Crown Principality of Tir Mara.

Having completed the first round of combat, a round-robin in which every combatant in their pool fought every other combatant, the Gazette is now able to report on the individuals who have advanced to the double-elimination rounds of the tournament by being one of the top two combatants in their pool.

The Sweet Sixteen round (the first of the double eliminations rounds) has been paired up as follows:

  • Baron Matthias Grunwald vs. Sir Thomas of Ravenhill
  • Syr Culann mac Cianain vs. Baron Ivan Ivanov Syn Dimitriov vynuk Tzardikov
  • Sir Wilhelm von Ostenbrücke vs Master Ávaldr Valbjarnarson
  • Sir Antonio Patrasso vs. Sir Luis de Castilla
  • Tribune Darius Aurelius Serpentius , called Omega the Impact vs. Lord Ketilfastr Thorkilson
  • Lord Richard Crowe vs. Jarl Valgards Stonecleaver
  • Duke Konrad Der Lowe Von Ulm vs. Baron Matthew Moreaveous Avdenmork
  • Duke Edward Grey of Lochleven vs. Lord Wilham de Broc

The Gazette is very grateful to our reporting crew at the tournament.


Filed under: Events, Heavy List, Tidings Tagged: Crown Tournament, Crown Tourney, spring crown

Met acquires monumental Le Brun portrait

History Blog - Fri, 2014-05-16 23:04

A year ago the Metropolitan Museum of Art only had a few drawings by French baroque master Charles Le Brun, a major hole in their collection since Le Brun was First Painter of King Louis XIV (the king said Le Brun was “the greatest French painter of all time”) and enormously influential for centuries after his death. The gap was filled in April 2013 when the Met purchased The Sacrifice of Polyxena, the 1647 painting by Charles Le Brun that was discovered in the Coco Chanel Suite of the Paris Ritz during renovations in 2012, for $1,885,194. That price set a new world record for a work by Le Brun.

It’s not a record anymore. The Met just broke its own record and broke it hard, acquiring the monumental portrait Everhard Jabach and His Family for an unprecedented $12.3 million. The reason the price is so high this time is that while Polyxena is an early work of a historical theme, Jabach is a group portrait painted around 1660 at the peak of Le Brun’s powers and popularity. It’s a massive work — 7.6 feet by 10.6 feet — of massive artistic and historical significance.

Jabach was one of the great personalities of his age. He was portrayed twice by Van Dyck (1636, private collection; 1641, Hermitage, Saint Petersburg), by Peter Lely and possibly Sébastien Bourdon (both ca. 1650, Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne), and by Hyacinthe Rigaud (1688, Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne). Le Brun was one of the sitter’s favorite artists and the two were united—in the words of Claude Nivelon, Le Brun’s earliest biographer—by “friendship and shared interests” (‘il était uni d’amitié et d’inclination’). The family group was one of the few pictures Jabach did not sell to the King of France, and therefore one of the few that did not enter the collection of the Louvre.

The picture is at once a portrait of family relations and of a painter’s relationship to a key patron. The assemblage of objects lying on the floor at the feet of Jabach symbolizes his cultural interests: a Bible, an open copy of Sebastiano Serlio’s architectural treatise, a compass (architecture and geometry), a porte crayon and drawn sheet (drawing), an ancient marble head (sculpture), a book (literature and poetry), and a celestial globe (astronomy). Most prominent among these objects is a bust of Minerva, goddess of wisdom and the arts. She is identified by her distinctive helmet and the Medusa on her chest. Behind Jabach is the mirror in which we see Le Brun at work.

Le Brun made two copies of the portrait. This one is the first. The second was acquired by the Kaiser Friedrich Museum (now the Bode Museum) in Berlin in 1836 but was destroyed in May of 1945 when the Friedrichshain flak tower, where it had ironically been sent for safekeeping along with more than 400 of the museum’s most prized paintings, caught fire at least twice. This was after of Berlin had fallen, by the way, not the result of shelling or bombing. All we have left of it today is an old black and white photograph.

The primary copy was thought lost, but it turns out to have been part of the furniture of the stately home of Olantigh Towers in Kent for almost two centuries. It was brought to the UK by Henry Hope, a wealthy Boston-born, Rotterdam-based Scot who purchased the painting in 1792 from Johann Matthias von Bors, a descendant of Jabach’s. Hope installed it in his Harley Street home after fleeing the continent and the chaos of the French Revolution in 1794. It moved to Olantigh Towers in 1832 when it was bought by John Samuel Wanley Sawbridge Erle-Drax.

In 1913, Olantigh Towers was sold to one J. H. Loudon who then sold to his son, F. W. H. Loudon in 1935. The painting was just sold along with the house. No particular mention was made of it. It was rediscovered last year when experts from Christie’s were called in to assess the contents of the home. Christie’s contacted the Metropolitan Museum and negotiated the sale.

Because of the complex composition representing prominent subjects and their relationship to the artist, this portrait has been called “a French Las Meninas,” after the iconic masterpiece painted by Diego Velázquez in 1656. It’s no wonder, then, that the UK didn’t want to let it go. It’s the only Le Brun portrait in the country and in February the government’s Export Reviewing Committee placed a temporary three-month export ban on the painting, giving British museums the chance to raise the $12.3 million necessary to keep it in the country. The ban expired on May 6th with no institutions stepping up to the plate or even raising enough money to make it remotely plausible that they might be able to acquire it should the ban be extended.

And so the Met gets its prize Le Brun, doubling the number of paintings by the artist in the museum, and more than doubling the importance of their 17th century French collection. The portrait will be conserved and framed, a process that will take the rest of this year at least. It will go on display in the Met’s European Paintings Galleries in 2015. They already have the portrait’s entry uploaded to the museum website, however, and it has lots of details about the imagery and significance of the piece.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Hellsgate Commander's Crucible photos online

SCAtoday.net - Fri, 2014-05-16 17:00

Master Caelin on Andrede reports that he has created two albums of photos from Commander's Crucible 2014 which took place recently in the Kingdom of Ansteorra. The photos are available to view on Flickr.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Registration for the 17th Pennsic Arts & Sciences Display now open

SCAtoday.net - Fri, 2014-05-16 14:26

Rowena reports that registration for the 17th Annual Pennsic A&S Display is now available online.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Watch How European Borders Changed since the Middle Ages

Medievalists.net - Fri, 2014-05-16 09:16
This very cool video was found by @BeautifulMaps. It shows how the rise and fall of various states in Europe since the mid-twelfth century

Watch as 1000 years of European borders change (timelapse map) from Nick Mironenko on Vimeo.

Categories: History, SCA news sites

Early 17th c. telescope found in Delft

History Blog - Thu, 2014-05-15 23:33

The oldest telescope in the Netherlands was discovered during digging for a new subway tunnel in Delft. Just four inches long and heavily corroded, the device was first thought to be an old shell casing, but the city archaeologist saw what looked like glass pieces at both ends and forwarded it to the Boerhaave Museum in Leiden for their experts to examine.

Conservators cleaned the instrument and found under all the layers of corrosion that it was made of tin, the metal used in the earliest telescopes. Its original cap was still attached. Both lenses were removed and cleaned. They’re 12 millimeters in diameter with an irregular shard-shaped perimeter. The eyepiece is flat on one side and concave on the other. while the lens is flat on one side and convex on the other, construction typical of the first generations of telescopes. The quality of the glass is abysmal, full of bubbles with uneven grinding. Only the middle five millimeters of the lenses are ground well enough to function.

Despite their inherent limitations, once cleaned the lenses actually worked. Conservators put the telescope back together and were able to see through it at five times magnification. That would not have been sufficient for military use or for astronomy (in any case it took Galileo for the first looking glasses to be pointed up to the sky). It was a wealthy person’s plaything, basically, used to get a better view at public gatherings, perhaps, or to get a better view of the stage at the theater.

The shapes of the lenses, the bubbles in the glass, the uneven grinding and the use of tin strongly suggest it was manufactured before 1650. After that, tin was replaced by brass and other more durable metals and the quality of glass and grinding were vastly improved. The general appearance of the telescope is also in keeping with prints from the first half of the 17th century. Neither is it likely that the telescope was made later but on the cheap. There are remnants of gilding on the tin, which means when first produced, this piece was an expensive luxury item. Nobody would spend money on a gilded telescope but use primitive lenses in it unless those were the only kinds of lenses available.

The telescope was invented in Middelburg in 1608, but until this find, the oldest one in the Netherlands dates to 1669 (it’s at the Boerhaave Museum along with the next oldest from 1683). Because tin corrodes so easily, none of the earlier ones were known to have survived. This one was found in an old canal where the low oxygen environment kept it from rusting into nothingness. There’s even a very slim chance that it’s the oldest telescope in the world, but it’s highly unlikely. There’s only a tiny window of possibility since Galileo started making his in 1609, the year after the first patents applications were filed in the Netherlands and the Museo Galileo in Florence has two of his from 1609-1610.

The telescope is going on display at the newly renovated De Prinsenhof Museum in Delft for it’s grand reopening on May 23rd.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Polling Responses due May19

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2014-05-15 15:57

Their Majesties, Brennan & Caoilfionn, issued Their second round of Award Order Pollings on April 25, and responses are due back to Them by May 19.

If you are a member of a polled Order and are not subscribed to the polling distribution or the discussion list, you may sign up here: Polling Lists

And if you are subscribed to the polling distribution but did not receive the most recent polls, please contact the Clerk of the Polling Lists, (currently Duchess Katherine Stanhope).


Filed under: Official Notices Tagged: awards, pollings