archiving

scholarship depends on good data

researchers curate data so that
scholars may address the challenges that face us all

The leading Tom Thomson scholar, Joan Murray was responsible for bringing the paintings of this visionary Canadian painter to world’s attention through a series of exhibitions and books, including a biography. She has prepared a full-scale catalogue raisonné of his work, a project which took her close to forty years. (read more about Joan)

“In 1970, I began this catalogue raisonné of Thomson’s work and I have continued it until 2009. As I worked, I became convinced that Thomson’s achievement had the almost too classic prerequisites of greatness: an indelible yet flexible visual style that extended the past, reflected its own time, and stayed fresh and relevant as it moved into the future. During these decades, I found that what I considered the value of his work changed for me. At times Thomson’s enormous gifts for colour and composition, bolstered by an underlying urgency, seemed most pertinent to the triumphant progress of Abstraction, and to Expressionism, as it once again became part of the stylistic mix of younger artists. Later, the life he lived in nature came to seem of importance: I noticed that many contemporary artists embraced the landscape almost as part of their calling.

“From 1970 on, I had the work of Thomson in private collections brought into the Art Gallery of Ontario to be photographed. In examining this material, and the Gallery collection of works by Thomson, I found myself fascinated with the inscriptions (often written by Dr. J.M. MacCallum, Thomson’s great patron and friend), on the backs of works and I began to believe they were important to the record. After I left the Gallery and became Director of The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa from 1974 to 2000, and afterwards, I continued to record Thomson inscriptions and labels wherever I could, especially in works as they appeared at auction and in private collections. Even in 2009, incredibly it seemed to me, genuine Thomsons came my way to be recorded. Like every cataloguer who attempts omnipotence, the discovery of this work helped me realize my shortcomings. I would like to believe that I have included all the works by Tom Thomson that exist, but I realize that the field is open. New material will show up with time.”

Tom Thomson Catalogue Raisonné, Researched and written by Joan Murray

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Above: Tom Thomson
Round Lake, Mud Bay
Fall 1915
Alternate titles: Geese, Round Lake, Mud Bay
Oil on wood
8 7/16 x 10 5/16 in. (21.5 x 26.2 cm)
Inscription recto: l.r., Tom Thomson / 15 (incised) Inscription verso: u.l., in ink, by Mrs. Frank Cooper, Round Lake, Mud Bay / Painted as the First Flock of of [sic] / Geese flew back from the South [crossed out] North / Painting By The World’s Best Artist / Tom Thomson “1915″ He was Drowned at / Algonquin park July 8th 1916 [sic]; incised on frame (in 1970); Cat. 86; label, Art Gallery of Toronto, J.S. McLean
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (L69.51)

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NYARC reaches across the globe


archiving websites for research communities across the globe

NYARC (the New York Art Resources Consortium) unites the collections of the Frick Art Reference Library, the Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives, and the Museum of Modern Art Library. With funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Consortium was formed in 2006 to facilitate collaboration that results in enhanced resources to research communities.

Launched in 2009, ARCADE unites the collections of the three libraries under a single search. Containing more than 1 million records, ARCADE provides access to research collections spanning the spectrum of art history, from ancient Egypt to contemporary art. These resources, many uniquely held, include exhibition and art collection catalogs, monographs and periodicals, rare books, photograph collections, artists’ books, files on artists, auction catalogs, archives (textual and visual), digital resources and specialized databases.

ARCADE also links outside to The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s online catalog Watsonline, and to the International Art Discovery Group Catalogue.

A 2012 pilot study, also funded by The Mellon Foundation, demonstrated that the types of materials the NYARC libraries had been collecting in printed form were increasingly migrating to online versions available exclusively on the web. It concluded that there was an urgent need to document the dynamic web-based versions of auction catalogues, catalogues raisonnés, and scholarly research projects, as well as artist, gallery, and museum websites, because otherwise there is a real and imminent danger of a “digital black hole” in the art historical record.

panOpticon is proud to participate in this important documentation project. To date NYARC has archived six sites that use our software to power their catalogues raisonnés:

Paul Cézanne

Edwin Dickinson

John F. Folinsbee

Fitz Henry Lane

Joaquín Torres-Garcia

Jack Tworkov

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Whether you are starting a catalogue raisonné from scratch, or looking for a more robust product for your current data, panOpticon has a software package that will meet your needs. Contact us to schedule a demonstration.

Fitz Henry Lane Launched


Fitz Henry Lane

News Release: Fitz Henry Lane Online

GLOUCESTER, MA – The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to announce the public launch of its
interactive website, Fitz Henry Lane Online, on February 15, 2016. Fitz Henry Lane (1804-1865) is regarded as one of the masters of 19th century American painting. This innovative online resource is comprised of several components including: a catalog of Lane’s paintings, drawings, and lithographs; an extensive database of historical information, images, and materials related to the subjects within Lane’s pictures; new scholarly essays; and a bibliography and archive of publications. The rich historical material is connected to the relevant paintings through easily clickable links. The 319 works currently on the site include all known Lane pictures in public collections. The Cape Ann Museum holds the single largest collection of Lane’s works, and the Museum hopes that this website will function as a central repository for information about Lane and a key resource for anyone (student, scholar, or museum visitor) interested in 19th century American art or history.

According to Project Director Sam Holdsworth:

A primary goal of the site is to highlight the marriage of Lane’s extraordinary attention to the details of the scenes he depicted with the formal aesthetics and sheer beauty of his artistic accomplishment. Almost every work tells a multi-layered story about the evolution of the maritime world of coastal New England as well as tracks his progression as an artist from the specific to the ephemeral as his work matured.

The project will continue to expand to include Lane paintings from private collections and additional scholarly essays and historical materials. Owners of Lane pictures, and individuals with information about Lane works, are encouraged to contact the project using the online form or completing the object information and submission agreement forms:
www.fitzhenrylaneonline.org/submission/

In conjunction with the website, the Museum is organizing a special exhibition of Lane’s lithographs featuring works from its permanent collection and those borrowed from other institutions. This wiil be the first time many of Lane’s lithographs will be shown together. Drawn on Stone: The Lithographs of Fitz Henry Lane will open on October 7, 2017 and run through March 4,2018. An illustrated catalog will accompany the exhibition and a symposium is scheduled for October 27-28, 2017.

The Cape Ann Museum, located in the heart of Gloucester, MA, celebrates the art, history and culture of Cape Ann—a region with a rich and varied culture of nationally significant historical,
industrial and artistic achievement. The Museum’s collections include fine art from the 19th century to the present, artifacts from the fishing & maritime and granite quarrying industries, textiles, furniture, a library/archives, and two historic houses. For more information visit:
www.capeannmuseum.org.

This project has been produced by the Cape Ann Museum with funds raised in its recent capital campaign and with major support provided by the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, the
National Endowment for the Arts, and the Institute ofMuseum and Library Services. Additional funding was received from the Danversbank Charitable Foundation and the John H. and H. Naomi Tomfohrde Foundation. The Cleveland Museum of Art contributed conservation studies
and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston provided curatorial and conservation assistance.

The website design and database software are by panOpticon.

Above : Fitz Henry Lane, Gloucester Harbor from Rocky Neck, 1844. Oil on canvas 34 x 45 3/4 in. (86.4 x 116.2 cm) Signed and dated lower right: “F H Lane, 1844.” Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Mass., Gift of Mrs. Jane Parker Stacy (Mrs. George O. Stacy), 1948 (1289.1a)

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Joaquín Torres-García at MoMA


Construction in White and Black, 1938. Torres-García in his Montevideo studio, c.1939

Joaquín Torres-García: The Arcadian Modern

The Museum of Modern Art New York October 25, 2015 – February 15, 2016

This major retrospective of Joaquín Torres-García (Uruguayan, 1874–1949) features works ranging from the late 19th century to the 1940s, including drawings, paintings, objects, sculptures, and original artist notebooks and rare publications. The exhibition combines a chronological display with a thematic approach, structured in a series of major chapters in the artist’s career, with emphasis on two key moments: the period from 1923 to 1933, when Torres-García participated in various European early modern avant-garde movements while establishing his own signature pictographic/Constructivist style; and 1935 to 1943, when, having returned to Uruguay, he produced one of the most striking repertoires of synthetic abstraction.

Torres-García is one of the most complex and important artists of the first half of the 20th century, and his work opened up transformational paths for modern art on both sides of the Atlantic. His personal involvement with a significant number of early avant-garde movements—from Catalan Noucentismo to Cubism, Ultraism-Vibrationism, and Neo-Plasticism—makes him an unparalleled figure whose work is ripe for a fresh critical reappraisal in the U.S.

Find out more about this remarkable artist through the Joaquín Torres-García Catalogue Raisonné. Designed by panOpticon, the online catalogue represents the culmination of over forty years of study led by Cecilia de Torres. The visually stunning and fully integrated site includes innovative features such as links between the works, the collections, the exhibitions and the published references; advanced filtering and search capabilities; the capacity to look at the works in sizes relative one to the other; as well as the ability for the user to see early exhibitions virtually recreated. Gathered together for the first time, the information in this unique website affords scholars, collectors, and the general public never-before access to Torres-García’s expansive artistic production.

Watch MoMA’s press remarks “Joaquín Torres-Garcia: The Arcadian Modern” on youTube.

Above left: Joaquín Torres-García. Construction in White and Black. 1938. Oil on paper mounted on wood, 31 3/4 x 40 1/8″ (80.7 x 102 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros in honor of David Rockefeller. Photograph by Thomas Griesel. © Sucesión Joaquín Torres-García, Montevideo 2015

Above right: Joaquín Torres-García in his Montevideo studio, c.1939.

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panOpticon has developed innovative digital cataloging tools and a range of effective ways to make cultural content available for use online. Whether you are starting a catalogue from scratch, or looking for a more robust product for your current data, we have a software package that will meet your needs. Contact us to schedule a demonstration.

Check out our blog — catalog(ue) — a forum whose purpose is to help close the gap between traditional cataloging practices and the challenges we face when we use developing digital technologies to publish online.

Craig Kauffman Uses Our Tools


Tom Thomson. Woodland Interior-Fall, 1914

The Craig Kauffman catalogue raisonné project uses panOpticon tools

Craig Kauffman (1932-2010) was an artist internationally recognized for his sensuous use of color and new materials. Often cited as a seminal figure in the Los Angeles art world during the 1950s and 1960s, Kauffman rose to the attention of critics and collectors with his first major one-man show of paintings at Felix Landau Gallery in 1953. His exhibitions at the legendary Ferus gallery, from 1958 through 1967, inspired the clean, cool abstraction that defines the period in modern art from Los Angeles.

However, it was Kauffman’s paintings on the substrate of acrylic plastic that gained him international attention and fame. After an initial group of works with flat plastic, Kauffman discovered the industrial process of vacuum forming, and proceeded to translate his sensuous forms to wall reliefs, painted on the reverse with sprayed acrylic lacquer.

Kauffman traveled and lived in Paris and New York during subsequent years, and also taught painting at the University of California from 1967 to the early 1990s. Eventually, he took up residence in the Philippines, where he continued to work in a home and studio that he designed until his passing in May of 2010. His work is in the collections of over 25 museums worldwide.

We at panOpticon are pleased that the Estate of Craig Kauffman chose our innovative content management system for this important undertaking.

Above left: Craig Kauffman in 1998. Photo: Rob Gauthier, Los Angeles Times.

Above right: Craig Kauffman, Untitled Wall Relief, 1967–2008. Acrylic lacquer on vacuum-formed plastic. 52 x 72 x 15 inches. Photo courtesy the Estate of Craig Kauffman.

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Whether you are starting a catalogue from scratch, or looking for a more robust product for your current data, panOpticon has a software package that will meet your needs. Contact us to schedule a demonstration.

And check out our blog — catalog(ue) — a forum whose purpose is to help close the gap between traditional cataloging practices and the challenges we face when we use developing digital technologies to publish online.

FHLane Project in NYTimes


Fitz Henry Lane, Portrait of the Bark

“Catalogues Raisonnés Go Digital” — the New York Times, August 14, 2015

[The full article by Eve M. Kahn appeared in print on August 14, 2015, under 'Antiques' in the Art & Design Section on page C24 of the New York edition of the Times with the headline: "For Fitz Henry Lane and Other 19th-Century Painters, Catalogues Raisonnés Go Digital."]

“New technology and fresh perspectives are jumpstarting efforts to assemble exhaustive lists of works by 19th-century American painters, sometimes in progress for decades. Next month a consortium of museums interested in the Massachusetts maritime painter Fitz Henry Lane (1804–65) will introduce a website, fitzhenrylaneonline.org, documenting about 320 paintings, drawings and prints at various institutions. Much of the material is being drawn from the Cape Ann Museum, in Mr. Lane’s hometown, Gloucester, Mass., and images on the website will be linked to infrared paint analyses, biographies of Mr. Lane’s clients, newspaper ads for his suppliers, maps of harbors where he sketched and portraits of owners of the ships moored there.

“Mr. Lane’s recently rediscovered tableau of an 1840s sailing ship, scheduled to be added to the site, will be offered for auction (with an estimate of $150,000 to $250,000) on Aug. 26 at James D. Julia in Fairfield, Me.

“The Lane consortium is working with panOpticon, a Manhattan supplier of technology for comprehensive artist databases, known in the trade as catalogues raisonnés. Roger Shepherd, the company’s founder, said that the sites can link artworks to diary entries, restorers’ reports, photos of gallery installations and collectors’ homes, descriptions of related works that have been destroyed and more.

“Crowdsourcing would bring in more data, and persistent errors could be corrected. (Mr. Lane, for instance, is often erroneously called Fitz Hugh Lane.) Past owners could be identified as they emerge, which is increasingly crucial in an art market riddled with forgeries.

“’You don’t want holes in your provenance,’ Mr. Shepherd said.”

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Above: Fitz Henry Lane. Portrait of the Bark “Mary.” Photo courtesy Christie’s and James D. Julia, Inc.

Lyonel Feininger Uses Our Tools


Portrait of Lyonel Feininger 1932

The Lyonel Feininger Project Puts panOpticon to Good Use

The Lyonel Feininger Project LLC, established in 1985 by Achim Moeller, is in the process of preparing the Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings by Lyonel Feininger (1871–1956). The completed catalogue will be made available online in 2016 on the occasion of the 145th anniversary of the artist’s birth and the 60th anniversary of his death. With its in-depth provenance, literature and exhibition information, the Catalogue Raisonné will provide an extensive resource on the life and work of Lyonel Feininger.

The Lyonel Feininger Project also maintains the archive of watercolors, drawings, and prints by the artist. All works determined to be authentic are certified and recorded with individual numbers in the archive.

For more information on the Catalogue Raisonné, or to submit works for authentication, please visit The Lyonel Feininger Project website at www.feiningerproject.org or contact Achim Moeller, Editor of the Catalogue Raisonné and Managing Principal of The Lyonel Feininger Project, or Sebastian Ehlert, Project Manager, at mail@feiningerproject.org. All information will be kept strictly confidential.

We at panOpticon are pleased that the Lyonel Feininger Project chose our innovative content management system for this most important undertaking.

Above: Portrait of Lyonel Feininger, inscribed on verso: Taken in my studio at Dessau, in front of a painting on the easel, 1932.

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Whether you are starting a catalogue from scratch, or looking for a more robust product for your current data, panOpticon has a software package that will meet your needs. Contact us to schedule a demonstration.

And check out our blog — catalog(ue) — a forum whose purpose is to help close the gap between traditional cataloging practices and the challenges we face when we use developing digital technologies to publish online.

Cézanne Catalogue in ARTnews


Kay Sage, I Have No Shadow (detail), 1940

“Online is the way to go,” say the producers of the
Paul Cézanne Catalogue Raisonné

“David Nash’s brainchild, about eight years ago, was to publish Cézanne’s paintings in color,” explains catalogue raisonné co-author Jayne Warman. “So he started to gather images from wherever he could get them, and he had planned to publish a picture book, as far as I could tell. Then Walter [Feilchenfeldt] and I became involved and convinced him that, really, online is the way to go.” Nash adds, “The advantages of doing it as a website were so immediately apparent.”

These and other observations from the producers of the Paul Cézanne Catalogue Raisonné can be found in the March issue of ARTnews.[1] The article enumerates more than a few good reasons to publish a catalogue such as this one online, not the least of which is perpetual timeliness. “Any catalogue raisonné in book form is out of date the moment it is published, because there is always nearly immediately new information available,” says Feilchenfeldt. “The big advantage is that a catalogue online can be constantly upgraded.”

Read the article online.

We at panOpticon are extremely proud that our content management system is at the heart of the Paul Cézanne Catalogue Raisonné and that they have commissioned us to build the online site.

[1] Trent Morse. “Cézanne in Cyberspace.” ARTnews (March 2014), pp. 48–49.

Above: Cézanne’s The Aqueduct at Écluse, 1890–94 (left), was renamed The Burned-Out Mill at Charentonneau when the site, seen in an old postcard on the right, was recently rediscovered.

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Whether you are an individual starting a catalogue from scratch, or an institution looking for a more robust product for your current data, we have a software package that will meet your needs.

The best way to understand what our tools can do is to see them at work — contact us to schedule a demonstration.

Check out our blog — catalog(ue) — a forum whose purpose is to help close the gap between traditional cataloging practices
and the challenges we face when we use developing digital technologies to publish online.

Fitz Henry Lane in Progress


The Fitz Henry Lane Online Catalogue Project Continues to Garner Grants

panopticon is very pleased to play a role in The Fitz Henry Lane Online Catalogue Raisonné Project under the direction of the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The Project is at the heart of a $5M Capital Campaign—Reaching Out, Strengthening Within.

The Museum has already reached 70% of its goal in contributions and pledges and hopes to launch the Lane website in early 2014.

Funding for the Lane Project is provided by the Cape Ann Museum, the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, the Danversbank Charitable Foundation, and the John H. and H. Naomi Tomfohrde Foundation.

“We have had nothing but positive experiences with the panOpticon team. They have been very easy to work with, prompt and responsible in follow-through on all levels. The training is straightforward and the software itself can answer most questions going forward. Most importantly, the team understands the field of art scholarship as only insiders can. The amount of time and effort we have saved in the start-up phase alone is incalculable and the ongoing efficiency of the data input and organization continues to allow us to focus our resources on the core research.”

— Sam Holdsworth, Project Director, Fitz Henry Lane Catalogue Project

Learn more about this fascinating project.

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panopticon has developed an innovative content management system and a variety of effective ways to make cultural content available online — and thanks to our unique user interface you can manage and publish everything yourself.

Whether you are an individual starting a catalogue from scratch, or an institution looking for a more robust product for your current data, we have a software package that will meet your needs.

Contact us and schedule a demonstration — the best way to understand what our tools can do is to see them at work.

Above: Fitz Henry Lane, Brace’s Rock (detail),1864, oil on canvas, 10 x 15 in. (25.4 x 38.1 cm),
Cape Ann Historical Museum, Gloucester, Gift of Harold and Betty Bell, 2007.