Art Historians, Rebuilding their Portfolios

RRCNHM hosted an enthusiastic group of 22 art historians, librarians, and museum professionals for “Rebuilding the Portfolio,” a digital art history institute sponsored by the Getty Foundation. The self-identified novice participants began the institute on July 8, 2014 nervous and worried about the workload, but emerged two weeks later as confident, digital ambassadors.

During the institute, nicknamed “bootcamp” by some of the participants, Sheila Brennan and Sharon Leon led the cohort through an intense course designed to introduce art historians to digital humanities scholarship, methods, and tools, while also directly connecting with their own work in art history. Readings and discussions were coupled with demonstrations and hands-on work. Megan Brett, Stephanie Grimes, Celeste Sharpe, and Spencer Roberts drew on their own digital work as graduate students in the history and art history program by leading demonstrations and supporting the participants in countless ways.


Rebuilding the Portfolio cohort, annotated in ThingLink by participant, Gina Tarver

Each participant registered a new web domain of their own; installed Zotero, WordPress, and Omeka; and learned to annotate, plot maps, tidy data, and visualize that data in different forms. Personal reflections of Rebuilding the Portfolio participants were aggregated and are available on the course site, with help of RRCHNM’s PressForward plugin.

We were impressed by the ways that each participant began to re-think their research projects and teaching over the course of the institute. Everyone reconsidered the ways that digital techniques might help them analyze art history sources and teach core concepts in new ways, while also thinking concretely about reaching new audiences with their scholarship.

Rebuilding the Portfolio is one of three pilot projects, supported by the Getty Foundation this summer to increase the number of professional development opportunities for training art histories in digital humanities methods.

Follow #doingdah to read Rebuilding the Portfolio’s conversation, and to follow UCLA’s Beyond the Digitized Slide Library institute running this week and next.

(cross-posted on the RRCHNM blog: http://chnm.gmu.edu/news/art-historians-rebuilding-the-portfolio/

Rebuilding in Progress

As Day Two comes to an end, the work has definitely begun. All of the participants now have their own web spaces thanks to Reclaim Hosting, where they are blogging their experiences and daily responses. We have installed the PressForward Plugin to aggregate their posts. You can find most of the latest posts in the Participant Posts category linked from the navigation menu.

In addition to the posts, you can follow our daily conversations on twitter with the hashtag #doingdah14. We have also linked our working glossary from the navigation menu, under Schedule.

Getting Ready to Rebuild that Portfolio

The Rebuilding the Portfolio team is busy preparing for the arrival of our cohort that includes 22 art historians, librarians, and museum professionals. Our schedule is now available with readings for the institute, while we continue to refine the daily activities and resources. Feel free to follow along with our progress in July.

We are excited to be working together in one of Mason’s active learning classrooms. Institute Co-Director, Sharon Leon, is a member of the inaugural faculty team working in this new classroom environment and assessing how learning spaces influence pedagogy. If you wish to learn more about the teaching and learning experiences of faculty and students in the past academic year, watch this short video .

Applications Open

Join us July 7-18, 2014 for Rebuilding the Portfolio: DH for Art Historians, a summer institute at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History in New Media, George Mason University, supported by the Getty Foundation.

Rebuilding the Portfolio: DH for Art Historians is designed for 20 art historians, from different stages of their careers and from varied backgrounds, including faculty, curators, art librarians, and archivists who are eager to explore the digital turn in the humanities.

We seek applications from individuals who have had very limited or no training in using digital methods and tools, or in computing.

Take a peek at our proposed schedule, and apply today. Applications will be open until March 15, 2014.