The Bigger Picture: Visual Archives and the Smithsonian
Posts tagged with: Film/Video
Last week I caught an interesting and moving documentary on HBO, Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro, Sr. By coincidence, just a few days earlier I was looking through our finding aid to the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Papers in the Smithsonian Archives collection. Hirshhorn had gained his fortune in the mining and oil industries, and also amassed a large art collection - the core of which became the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden that opened in 1974 as part of the Smithsonian Institution. The finding aid to Hirshhorn's papers listed a folder containing correspondence with Robert De Niro, and I wondered at the time, why would actor Robert De Niro be writing Joseph Hirshhorn?
As I started watching the documentary, it finally clicked that Hirshhorn's relationship was with Robert De Niro, Sr., part of the New York School of artists who had success in the 1940s and 1950s, but whose fortunes would soon fade in the 1960s and 1970s when Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism began to take center stage, and De Niro refused to change his artistic style and point of view.
The documentary is a son's tribute to his father and his father's art.
The De Niro/Hirshhorn correspondence echoes themes in the documentary and sheds additional light on De Niro Senior's financial struggles and his sometimes tumultuous relationship with art dealers and patrons.
- Record Unit 7449, Joseph H. Hirshhorn Papers, c. 1926-1982 and undated, Smithsonian Institution Archives
- Robert De Niro, Sr., artwork at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
- True history with a little dramatization thrown in: Abraham Lincoln, Thaddeus S. C. Lowe, and the Union Army's balloon corps in comic book form. [via AirSpace blog, National Air and Space Museum]
- In honor of Chinese New Year, which for 2014 is the year of the Horse, the Archives of American Art highlights some equine materials from their collections. [via Smithsonian Collections Blog]
- Getting an intimate look - British World War I diaries are being digitized and made available online. [via Parallels blog, NPR]
- Where were you when I was a undergraduate studying art history? The Getty has made available over 250 artbooks for free download from their virtual library. [via The Getty Iris]
- Coming soon, in March the National Air and Space Museum will be displaying its latest restored aircraft, a "Battling Beast," the Curstiss SB2C-5 Helldiver. [via AirSpace blog, National Air and Space Museum]
- A new tool to promote reading is available from the Library of Congress, "Readers to the Rescue" is an interactive game where readers are asked to help save book characters. [via InfoDocket]
- Currently in production is the first feature-length animated film made only through hand-painted canvases, Loving Vincent, explores the life of Vincent Van Gogh. [via Colossal]
- Blank on Blank creatively animates selected the interviews from the Joe Smith Collection at the Library of Congress. [via Library of Congress blog]
- In case you missed it, this past Wednesday was Museum Selfie Day! [via The Guardian]
- Better watch out TIFF, the JPEG standard will now support 12-bit color depth and loseless compression. [via PetaPixel]
- Got some ancestors from New York City? Well you're in luck as Ancestry.com and the New York City Municipal Archives have partnered to make 10 million birth, marriage and death records available online. [via InfoDocket]
- Another great resource to tap into if you have audiovisual materials in your collections, the AV Artifact Atlas, a community-based project that identifies and documents the technical issues and anomalies that can affect audio and video signals. [via The Signal: Digital Preservation, LOC]
- Congratulations! The Biodiversity Heritage Library releases their first ibook, Every Week is Shark Week. [via Unbound, SIL]
- A video comparison of London in 1927 to London in 2013. [via Colossal]
- The gauntlet has been thrown, who wore it best comes to life at the Archives of American Art. [via Archives of American Art blog]
- Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious to say the least. The discovery of an interview of P. L. Travers, author of a series of novels featuring Mary Poppins. [via Library of Congress blog]
- Who knew what would come of some little seeds? The story of the Guinea Bean plant, its 50 foot journey to the top of the Arts and Industries Building, and 5 foot long gourds. [via Smithsonian Gardens blog]
- Just a little off . . . A news assistant discovered that The New York Times issue numbers had been off by 500 since 1898. [via The Atlantic]
- My how far we've come, 50 years ago the Library of Congress installed their first computer in the newly established Data Processing Office. [via Library of Congress blog]
- Animation rare book style, check out this fore-edge painted book from the Special Collections and Archives at the University of Iowa. [via Special Collections and Archives, University of Iowa tumblr]
- Engage with staff at the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of American History next Wednesday for Ask a Curator Day where museums around the world invite you to engage directly with curators and other staff.
- To kick off American Archives month, AOTUS (Archivists of the United States) David S. Ferriero, asks you to join him on Google+ for an Ask the Archivist Hangout where he'll be answering your questions on Tuesday, September 24, from 2–2:30 pm, ET. [via AOTUS, NARA]
- Your vote counts! The Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum invites you to vote for winner of the 2013 People's Design Award. [via Smithsonian Magazine]
- Coming up next weekend in Washington, D.C. is the Library of Congress' National Festival of the Book. [via LOC Blog]
- This weekend Bibilotech, the first all-digital public library in the United States will open in Texas. [via InfoDocket]
- Handwriting samples, birthdays, and grants - The mysterious authorship of a travelog in the Archives is solved! [via Smithsonian Collections Blog]
- In the theaters recently was the movie Lee Daniel's The Butler - A historical drama that follows the experience of an African American butler in the White House during eight presidential terms from 1952 to 1986. Eugene Allen, the subject of that movie, was interviewed in the 1990s by Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage curator Dr. Marjorie Hunt. [via Courtney Bellizzi, SIA]
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