Blog post written by Grace Diliberto.
Over the last few quarters I have been busy in the UCLA Arts Library ingesting thousands of high quality images and accompanying detailed metadata from Archivision into the UCLA Institutional Collections in the Artstor Digital Library using JSTOR Forum. The 78,000 or so images range in period from the 1340 BCE to 2016 and mainly cover works from Asia, Europe, and North America, thus students across a range of disciplines will find them useful.
The quality of the images in these modules allows for close-up and in-depth examination of architectural works, paintings, sculpture, and artifacts from around the world. Also, the detailed metadata associated with each image will enhance discoverability of these visual resources by students and other researchers.
While it is impossible to cover everything represented in these modules, following are some local and regional highlights that I picked out while working on this project. For a more in depth overview of the contents of each module, you can visit the Recent Acquisitions page of the Image Resources LibGuide on UCLA Library’s website.
Img. 1 (top) Queen Califia's Magical Circle Garden by Niki de Saint-Phalle
Img. 2 (bottom) Mosaic detail of Queen Califia's Magical Circle Garden by Niki de Saint-Phalle
In Module 5, I enjoyed some incredible details of mosaic work from Queen Califia’s Magical Circle Garden by Niki de Saint-Phalle in California. Later on, in Module 8, I was excited to see several Los Angeles area works, including the Watts Towers by Simon Rodia and multiple buildings by Greene & Greene.
Img. 3 (top) Simon Rodia's Watts Towers
Img. 4 (bottom) Detail of Simon Rodia's Watts Towers
Module 9 contains documentation of some of my personal Southern California modern architecture favorites, such as Palm Springs projects by Albert Frey, Richard Neutra, and William Krisel. Module 10 has some regional highlights from the Western and Southwestern United States, including the Taos Pueblo, the New Mexico Museum of Art by Isaac Rapp, the Theme Building LAX by Pereira & Luckman, and Union Station by the Parkinsons.
Img. 5 (top) William Krisel "Alexander" home detail in Palm Springs
Img. 6 (bottom) Pereira & Luckman Architects, Theme Building at LAX
Img. 7 Taos Pueblo, circa 1000-1450
Modules A, B, C, and D shift away from architecture to focus on painting, mosaic, costume, and sculptural works. While working on these modules I was drawn in by the numerous high quality details, which allow for a close up analysis of the works. Included are Ancient Roman frescoes, mosaics, and sculpture, Italian masterworks from the Medieval to Baroque periods, and art from France, North America, and Asia.
Img. 8 (top) Backdrop design for Paris Opera Ballet Production of "Daphnis and Chloe" by Marc Chagall
Img. 9 (bottom) Detail of backdrop design for Paris Opera Ballet Production of "Daphnis and Chloe" by Marc Chagall
Beyond getting to spend some time viewing images of my favorite architects (and discovering a few new favorites), this project was an invaluable professional development opportunity for me as a MLIS student. Working with visual resources in JSTOR Forum was a great opportunity to experience the back-end of a content management system. The knowledge I have gained concerning database design and metadata from this project will assist in my ability to provide reference assistance in the Arts Library by enabling me to teach students how to better craft search queries and make use of the images they have access to.
What’s more, gaining practical, hands on experience working with digital assets and databases is a useful compliment to the theory taught in the classroom. In the MLIS program at UCLA, we devote a lot of time to the theoretical underpinnings of information access and how metadata and systems design can enhance, or in other cases hinder, resource discovery. Working on this project with the Artstor Digital Library gave me additional perspective by viewing firsthand the work that goes into database management and discoverability for visual resources. One of the benefits of using JSTOR Forum as an asset management system is that we can share content with other authorized institutions, saving them the effort of ingesting and hosting these assets. Currently, we share select modules with UC Riverside, Santa Barbara, and Davis, and we will soon share the entire collection with UC Berkeley.
Img. 10 (top) Henri Matisse, Portrait with pink and blue face (1936-1937)
Img. 11 (bottom) Detail of Henri Matisse, Portrait with pink and blue face (1936-1937)
1. Niki de Saint-Phalle (French artist, 1930-2002). opened 2003 (creation), 3/13/2008 (creation). Queen Califia's Magical Circle Garden, Inner garden, view of the totems looking southeast. https://library.artstor.org/asset/24948631.
2. Niki de Saint-Phalle (French artist, 1930-2002). opened 2003 (creation), 3/13/2008 (creation). Queen Califia's Magical Circle Garden, Eagle Throne, inside of a leg, detail showing a painted ceramic plaque from the Tarot garden. https://library.artstor.org/asset/24948652.
3. Simon Rodia (American builder, 1879-1965). 1921-1954 (creation), 12/29/2012 (creation). Watts Towers, Smaller tower with dome cage base piercing though encrusted pergola, Towers of Simon Rodia. https://library.artstor.org/asset/25753009.
4. Simon Rodia (American builder, 1879-1965). 1921-1954 (creation), 12/29/2012 (creation). Watts Towers, Enclosure wall facing E. 107th Street, detail, encrusted tile and glass bottles. https://library.artstor.org/asset/25752904.
5. Alexander Construction Company (American real estate building and development firm, ca. 1950-1965); William Krisel (American architect, born 1924). 1957 (creation), 12/30/2012 (creation). 1070 E. Apache Road, "Alexander" home, Detail, V shape of butterfly roof placed asymetrically over living area, Floating Butterfly style "Alexander" home. https://library.artstor.org/asset/25460669.
6. Pereira and Luckman (American architectural firm, 1950-1958). 1961 (creation), 10/7/2014 (creation). Theme Building, LAX. https://library.artstor.org/asset/25574933.
7. unknown (Native American). ca. 1000 and 1450 (inclusive), 10/11/2014 (creation). Taos Pueblo, North side of the Pueblo, seen across the Rio Pueblo (creek); backed by the Taos Mountains of the Sangre de Cristo Range, Pueblo de Taos. https://library.artstor.org/asset/25578732.
8. Marc Chagall (Belorussian painter, 1887-1985). 1958 (creation), 6/5/2017 (creation). Backdrop Designs for Paris Opera Ballet Production, Daphnis and Chloe, Backdrop One for Act III, overall view. https://library.artstor.org/asset/26157687.
9. Marc Chagall (Belorussian painter, 1887-1985). 1958 (creation), 6/5/2017 (creation). Backdrop Designs for Paris Opera Ballet Production, Daphnis and Chloe, Backdrop One for Act III; detail of goat on hill overlooking what look like Greek ruins. https://library.artstor.org/asset/26157689.
10. Henri Matisse (French painter, 1869-1954). 1936-1937 (creation), 6/5/2017 (creation). Portrait with Pink and Blue Face, Overall view without frame. https://library.artstor.org/asset/26157883.
11. Henri Matisse (French painter, 1869-1954). 1936-1937 (creation), 6/5/2017 (creation). Portrait with Pink and Blue Face, Detail, neck and dress with contrasting background colors. https://library.artstor.org/asset/26157884.