cataloging

an amazing site – it takes a village

Fitz Henry Lane – Gloucester Harbor 1847 (detail)

A single website can make a significant contribution to the digital humanities

Fitz Henry Lane Online is a freely-accessible interactive and interdisciplinary online resource created by the Cape Ann Museum. The website is organized around a catalog of the paintings, drawings, and lithographs of nineteenth-century American painter Fitz Henry Lane (1804–1865). The Cape Ann Museum, located in Gloucester, Massachusetts (Lane’s birthplace and home for most of his life) has the world’s largest collection of Lane’s paintings, drawings, lithographs, and related archival material. The website is intended to provide information of interest to a broad audience, and to serve as a resource for study of Lane’s work. The website focuses on both the formal, aesthetic qualities and the historical context of Lane’s pictures.

“One of the advantages of an online resource is that new information can be added at any time. It is intended that this site will evolve as writers, historians, and art scholars pursue new research and use this site as a forum and important resource for the work of Fitz Henry Lane and the related art and history of mid-nineteenth-century New England.

“With funding from generous donors, early conservation and curatorial work by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and conservation work donated by the Cleveland Museum of Art, the website now includes hundreds of high-resolution images, including details and conservation (infrared, x-ray, and magnified) images; provenance records; selected exhibition and literature histories; annotated entries for key works; and extensive historical materials related to the subjects of Lane’s pictures. This project could not have been launched without the tireless contributions of project and Cape Ann Museum staff and the wide circle of advisors and volunteers who have so generously devoted their time and expertise, for which we are ever grateful.”

Sam Holdsworth
Fitz Henry Lane Online Project Director
“About the Project” (see the full article with list of staff, sponsors, and donors)

 

Above : Fitz Henry Lane. Gloucester Harbor (detail),1847. Oil on canvas, 28 1/2 x 41 in. (71.8 x 104.1 cm). Signed and dated lower right: F H Lane, 1847 [could have been FHL originally]. Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Mass., Gift of Estate of Samuel H. Mansfield, 1949 (1332.20). Photo: Cape Ann Museum

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we are pleased that the Fitz Henry Lane Catalogue Raisonné project
chose panOpticon to power its online catalogue

scholarship builds on reliable data

an exemplary catalogue raisonné takes off online

The research files that support the Catalogue Raisonné of the Canadian painter
Tom Thomson (1877–1917) are available for consultation by appointment
at the Edward P. Taylor Library & Archives, Art Gallery of Ontario

“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 Raison: 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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we are pleased that the Tom Thomson Catalogue Raisonné project
has chosen panOpticon to power its online catalogue

new Arthur Dove CR in print

(FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NEW YORK, NY — December 16, 2020)

Arthur Dove, Plant Forms, 1911–12

Sweeping new Arthur Dove catalogue raisonné sheds revelatory light
on the early 20th-century Modernist,
one of the foremost American abstract artists of his day 

The Arthur G. Dove Catalogue Raisonné Project today announced the publication of a complete and authoritative catalogue raisonné of the pioneering modernist’s work. Edited and written by scholar and curator Debra Bricker Balken, Arthur Dove: A Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings and Things sheds expansive new light on the artist’s work with an illustrated survey of the full corpus of his known paintings and assemblages (or “things”), along with a wealth of essays that draw on previously unpublished materials. Together, these add important context and texture to our understanding of the artist, his work, and the context in which it was created.

The first book on Dove to include color illustrations of all of his extant paintings, Arthur Dove: A Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings and Things is published by the Arthur Dove Catalogue Raisonné Project and distributed by Yale University Press. The nearly 400-page book will be of compelling interest to scholars, curators, collectors, gallerists, and more, including, of course, those who are simply fans of Dove’s work. It will be available for purchase on the Yale University Press website as of February 22, 2021, and at booksellers nationwide on its official publication date of March 23.

Debra Balken notes, “In our work to create a fully authoritative publication, every one of the 447 entries in the previous Dove catalogue raisonné has been updated, and a number of new works have been added, including some that had been presumed lost. I am deeply grateful to the Arthur Dove Catalogue Raisonné Project for enabling this work and to Jessie Sentivan, our researcher, in addition to the numerous archivists, librarians, art historians, collectors and dealers who, over the course of eight years, have enriched our view of Dove, his work, and the context in which it was created.”

Arthur Dove: A Catalogue Raisonné opens with an in-depth essay in which Ms. Balken assesses Dove’s critical reception, examining essays and reviews by a variety of writers, from Sherwood Anderson to Lewis Mumford, Alfred Barr, and Robert Goldwater, among others. In so doing, she also illuminates Dove’s position in the circle of young American artists, including John Marin, Marsden Hartley, Charles Demuth, Max Weber, and, later, Georgia O’Keeffe, that was cultivated by preeminent photographer and art dealer Alfred Stieglitz.

Twenty-four short essays woven into the catalogue of Dove’s work include an assessment of the radical formal traits of the artist’s painting, a new look at the ways in which his works surpassed the known languages of abstraction, and a reading of their evocations of the ephemeral aspects of nature, such as the sun, moon, rain, and wind—Dove’s core subject—among other topics. Together, these essays provide both a pictorial and biographical narrative that traces Dove’s role as a forerunner of midcentury movements including Abstract Expressionism and others.

In addition to the essays, all by Ms. Balken, the Arthur Dove Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings and Things includes an illustrated chronology, an extensive exhibition bibliography, and an exhibition history.

Above: Ferry Boat Wreck, 1931, oil on canvas, 18 x 30 in. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Purchase, with funds from Mr. and Mrs. Roy R. Neuberger, 56.21

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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. 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.

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

19th century life in living color

Boatmen on the Missouri 1846

the George Caleb Bingham Catalogue Raisonné is launched

“George Caleb Bingham (1811-1879) is recognized today as one of the most important 19th century American artists. He is distinguished among the first generation of painters of the early American West for his classic narrative scenes drawn from his actual observation and experience.

“The primary goal of this project is to strengthen public and scholarly access to Bingham’s authenticated paintings and to ensure the lasting heritage of Missouri’s greatest 19th century artist, an artist who holds a high place among the pantheon of America’s enduring Old Masters. Each of Bingham’s nearly 600 paintings will be documented by a high-resolution color photograph, combined with each painting’s physical description, provenance, history of exhibitions, and full bibliography; and in the case of his many portraits, biographical and genealogical data will be included. Image-wise, this is a significant improvement in presentation over the predominantly black & white reproductions in the previously published 1986 edition.

“This new online Catalogue Raisonné builds on and reproduces, and in some cases updates and revises, the masterful scholarship developed over four decades by Professor of Art History E. Maurice Bloch (1925-1989). The Paintings of George Caleb Bingham: A Catalogue Raisonné, published in 1986 by University of Missouri Press. Since 2005, under the direction of distinguished art historian and Bingham scholar, Fred R. Kline, and supported by an advisory board of scholars, some 30 previously unknown and unnoticed paintings have been added to Bingham’s works—including many new discoveries, notably his first river-themed painting from 1841, Baiting the Hook. As Bingham did not sign most of his paintings, it is expected that future works will rise to the surface and be identified and added to this catalogue.

“This project is undertaken by the Riverbank Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization created specifically to undertake the new Bingham Catalogue Raisonné and other future projects dealing with American art and art history.”

Above:
George Caleb Bingham
Boatmen on the Missouri
Oil on canvas
1846
25 x 30 in. (63.5 x 76.2 cm)
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco – The de Young Museum

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we are pleased that the George Caleb Bingham Catalogue Raisonné project
has chosen panOpticon to power its online catalogue

the ‘Painter of the National Parks’

Gunnar Widforss, Desert Vista, n.d.

Gunnar Widforss Catalogue Raisonné Launched

“Although Gunnar Widforss (1879–1934) was known as the ‘Painter of the National Parks’ in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s, very little art-historical writing or scholarship has been focused on the artist. His extraordinary paintings of western national parks in the United States and scenes of European and Swedish landscapes have suffered from decades of obscurity following his death in 1934. Throughout his career (1904–1934), Widforss swam against the powerful tide of modernism as tastes in art focused on the European avant-garde. His first significant exhibition in Stockholm in 1913, featuring landscape scenes of southern France and Capri, took place shortly after Picasso and Braque’s early period of experimental Cubism peaked, and it coincided with the intense artistic dialogue spawned by the 1913 Armory Show in New York.

“The Museum of Northern Arizona, located in Flagstaff, Arizona, currently has the largest collection of Widforss paintings, drawings, and related archival material, with twenty-two works of art in the fine art collection. The Museum’s relationship with the artist dates back to the late 1920s.

“The catalogue raisonné is a comprehensive catalogue of all of Widforss’ work known at this time. At the date of publication (September 2020), the catalogue includes over 1,200 works from private and public collections, and many for which the present location is unknown. As research continues, works will be added and information updated.”

Above:
Gunnar Widforss, Desert Vistan.d.
Watercolor
13 1/4 x 20 3/4 in. (33.7 x 52.7 cm)
Signed lower left: Widforss
Northern Arizona University Art Museum, Flagstaff, Arizona

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we are pleased that the Gunnar Widforss Catalogue Raisonné project
has chosen panOpticon to power its online catalogue

art in the time of pandemic

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the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester, Massachusetts is currently closed due to the COVID-19 emergency

in the meantime, CAM invites you to discover Fitz Henry Lane Online
a freely-accessible, interactive, and interdisciplinary online resource created with the help of panOpticon

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Above: Fitz Henry Lane. Brace’s Rock. 1864. Oil on canvas. 10 x 15 in. (25.4 x 38.1 cm). No inscription found. Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Mass., Gift of Harold and Betty Bell, 2007 (2007.10).

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Sam Francis Online CR Launched

A new “living catalogue raisonné” embraces the creative spirit of Sam Francis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 18, 2018
MEDIA CONTACT
Brianna Smyk Reder
BriannaSmykReder@gmail.com
415.214.4144

On April 18th the Sam Francis Foundation released the inaugural stage of Sam Francis: Online Catalogue Raisonné Project – Unique Works on Paper and Expanded Version of Canvas and Panel Paintings 1945–1949.

“One of the twentieth century’s leading interpreters of light and color, American artist Sam Francis (1923–1994) was one of the first post-World War II painters to develop an international reputation. A truly international artist, he maintained studios in Bern, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, and Tokyo, and his work references New York Abstract Expressionism, Color Field Painting, Chinese and Japanese art, French Impressionism, and his own Bay Area roots. Francis created thousands of paintings as well as works on paper, prints, and monotypes, which are housed in major museum collections and institutions around the world.”

“SFCR is an interactive digital platform that presents for the first time unique works on paper and new information compiled by Editor Debra Burchett-Lere, Project Manager Beth Ann Whittaker, Contributors Leila Elliott and Stephanie Velazquez, and a team of photography editors, who have conducted extensive research with the Sam Francis Foundation’s in-house archives as well as the Getty Research Institute’s holdings. Embracing the artist’s creative and innovative spirit, the “living catalogue raisonné” will be amended regularly, both with new entries and with updates to existing pages, which will be time-stamped as they are modified.”

“We are thrilled to launch this first volume of Sam Francis’s digital catalogue raisonné, SFCR, which highlights the latest and most exhaustive research on the artist available to anyone, anywhere,” says Debra Burchett-Lere, Director of the Sam Francis Foundation. “It furthers the Foundation’s mission as it enables the international audience, to whom Francis was so significant, to access his vast oeuvre and learn new information about him as it is being discovered.”

Above:
SFF4.61 (Francis Archive SF48-002)
Untitled [Berkeley] 1948
Watercolor on paper
48.26 x 65.41 cm (19 x 25 3/4 in.)
INSCRIPTIONS: Reported to be signed, dated and inscribed in pencil on verso: Sam Francis 1948 Berkeley
ADDITIONAL NOTATIONS: Notated by studio assistant with the Litho Shop identification number and
an inventory number on blond wood frame verso: SF48-002 S4-33G
Stamped with the Sam Francis Estate logo stamp on verso
CREATION LOCATION: San Francisco Bay Area (Berkeley)
COLLECTION: Collection of Judith Ann Corrente, New York

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We at panOpticon are extremely proud that the Sam Francis Online Catalogue Raisonné Project uses our unique information management system to power it’s online project.

Starting a catalogue raisonné project? Already have data and wondering what to do next? Simply have a question? Email us at enquire@panopticondesign.net.

The best way to fully grasp what our product can do is to see it in action. Fill out a form to request a demonstration. We can come to you if you are in New York City. If not, we can demonstrate our software online. We’ll show it to you wherever you are.

Paul Cézanne in his studio at Les Lauves

How to keep an artist’s work alive? — choose the right online tool

The Artist Estate: A Handbook for Artists, Executors, and Heirs, is a must read for artists, their family members and their heirs, artist’s studio managers, artist’s estate executives, artist-endowed foundation managers and board members, gallerists, and gallery/artist liaison managers, service providers for artists’ estates, art lawyers & tax advisors, and all those who have a stake in the industry.

Edited by Loretta Würtenberger, co-founder of The Institute for Artists’ Estates in Berlin, this invaluable book offers “appropriate financial models, possible legal frameworks, as well as advice on how to properly handle the art market, museums, and academia.” A whole chapter entitled “How to Keep an Artist’s Work Alive?” is devoted to the catalogue raisonné enterprise.

“Whether it provides an overview of the artist’s oeuvre in digital or print form, a catalogue raisonné establishes the fundamental categories of the art in the catalogue, as well as influences the way we discuss the art. Because it creates value, the originators and editors also carry a great ethical responsibility. In order to maintain the integrity of the artist and the authenticity of his or her work, the meticulous scholarly assessment must be carried out independent of any financial interests. As a ‘register of reason,’ the work on the catalogue raisonné requires diligence more than intellectual brilliance,” remarks the art historian Anette Tietenberg, who works in Braunschweig. Yet the catalogue raisonné also requires more than organizational abilities, as it must harness ‘the power of facts to ensure its future relevance.’

“Today, a catalogue raisonné should be digitized; it almost goes without saying that online databases can be expanded and updated easily. Moreover, the scope of the online catalogue raisonné should encompass the following:

1. Links to internal archival material
2. Links to documentation such as checklists and exhibition photographs
3. The integration of video and audio materials
4. The possibility of incorporating negative or inconclusive results, so that the limits of previous research are well understood
5. Links to external sources such as archival holdings and press articles or other publications, as well as public search engines and databases.

“… it is also imperative to select a database that can be used internally, but also provides a module for web publishing. Among other things, this module then helps determine which sets of information developed for internal use should be published online and for whom. [The New York archivist Caroline] Gabrielli recommends asking at the outset: Who should have full access to the catalogue raisonne? Should access only be local or should it be published on the web? Does the technology allow necessary information to be linked? How much does this particular solution cost? Does it necessitate ongoing technical support, or must separate IT providers be brought on?”

Now, take a look at the best example out there, bar none: The The Paintings, Watercolors and Drawings of Paul Cezanne: An online catalogue raisonné under the direction of Walter Feilchenfeldt, Jayne Warman and David Nash.

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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 package that will meet your exact needs.

   ”The Estate of David Smith is currently using panOpticon for our catalogue raisonné and archives databases and for more general inventory purposes.
“Although we don’t plan to publish the David Smith Sculpture catalogue raisonné online (it will be published as a three-volume book, by Yale University Press), we may decide post-publication to turn on the public-facing features of our panOpticon database in order to share updates and new finds.
“We’ve found panOpticon to be a remarkably good partner, working with us to migrate the data from our old system, and willing to add features and customize aspects of the basic panOpticon system so we could make it work well for our particular needs.”

 — Susan Cooke
Associate Director / The Estate of David Smith
David Smith Catalogue Raisonné

Contact us to schedule a demonstration.

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Above: Paul Cézanne in his studio at Les Lauves, in front of the Large Bathers now at the Barnes Foundation. Photo by Émile Bernard, 1904.

Knowledge derives from evidence, interpretation, and argument

panOpticon is architected to help professionals process data derived from various sources, so they obtain meaning and remain available for distribution.

Now, everywhere in the art industry, shareholders are able to exchange credible information and give feedback to one another.

The results are no longer static collections of records and documents to be occasionally referenced by a few, but are instead, organic processes that play a dynamic and public role in both the appreciation and the business of art.

Starting a project of your own? Already have data and wondering what to do next?
Simply have a question? Contact us.

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Above: Paul Cézanne. La Corbeille de pommes, c. 1893. Oil on canvas, 25 5/8 x 31 1/2 in. (65 x 80 cm). Signed lower left in red-brown: P. Cezanne. The Art Institute of Chicago (The Helen Birch-Bartlett Memorial Collection).

Thomas Hart Benton + panOpticon

Thomas Hart Benton. Instruments of Power, 1908

the Thomas Hart Benton catalogue raisonné project uses panOpticon tools

Born in 1889 in Neosho, Missouri, Thomas Hart Benton chose to follow a career in art, rather than politics, where his father and great-uncle, for whom he was named, had achieved prominence. Benton went to Chicago at age 19, studying at the Art Institute of Chicago for two years before going to Paris. There he encountered the work of artists such as Cézanne and Matisse, and the work of the cubists and synchronists, a group of painters who emphasized color as the means of creating form and energetic movement in their canvases. Moving to New York in 1913, Benton was producing paintings that displayed the principles of modernism he absorbed in Paris.

Benton continued to paint in a modernist mode until 1918, when he served as a draftsman in the U.S. Navy during World War I. Spending two years drawing realistic sketches and illustrations affected his style so profoundly that Benton abandoned modernism in favor of a more naturalistic depiction of his subjects, primarily American scenes. Between 1920 and 1924, he journeyed through the South and Midwest, drawing and painting the scenes he observed. By the end of the decade, his art was focused entirely on America and its people, and Benton became a leading American Regionalist artist, rejecting modernism as “foreign.” Using dramatic contrasts of dark and light and strong, mobile forms, his canvases burst with energy. These vigorous works mainly celebrate regional, small-town life, but his subjects also include Biblical and mythological scenes, often populated by what were regarded as typical American figures.

In 1935, Benton moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where he spent the rest of his life, painting and teaching for many years at the Kansas City Art Institute. Benton’s art was well known for both its power and populist viewpoint, and he received numerous commissions for murals for public buildings, ranging from museums, to the Missouri State Capitol, to the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri. He had just completed a mural for the Country Music Foundation in Nashville, Tennessee, at the time of his death in 1975.

— Biography © American Art @ The Phillips Collection

Above: Thomas Hart Benton. Instruments of Power, one of ten panels from America Today, 1930–31. Egg tempera with oil glazing over Permalba on a gesso ground on linen mounted to wood with a honeycomb interior. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Gift of AXA Equitable, 2012 (2012.478a). Photo courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 909.

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We at panOpticon are extremely proud that the Thomas Hart Benton catalogue raisonné project uses our information management system.

Starting a catalogue raisonné project? Already have data and wondering what to do next? Simply have a question? Email us at enquire@panopticondesign.net.

The best way to fully grasp what our product can do is to see it in action. Fill out a form to request a demonstration. We can come to you if you are in New York City. If not, we can demonstrate our software online. We’ll show it to you wherever you are.

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