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Willard Metcalf Uses Our Tools

Willard Metcalf. Garden of Dreams, 1908

The Willard Metcalf catalogue raisonné project uses panOpticon tools

“Willard L. Metcalf (1858–1925), born of working-class parents in Lowell, Massachusetts, studied in Boston at age seventeen with landscapist George Loring Brown and later worked at the museum school. Financial success as a book and magazine illustrator enabled him to travel to Paris and study at the Académie Julian under the conservative tutelage of Boulanger. In 1886 he was the first American painter to spend time at Giverny within the aura of Monet impressionists, but the new style seems to have had little effect on him.

“Returning home he spent several years as a portraitist and illustrator and taught many seasons at the Cooper Institute in New York. During these years he led a fitful personal life, with broken marriages and a record of alcoholism. In 1904 he withdrew from society and spent a year in the Maine woods, thinking, painting, and ‘drying out’. The effect was revelatory and gave fresh direction and motivation to his efforts. He called it his “Impressionist Renaissance,” and he became dedicated to painting the New England landscape with more vibrant, expressive brushwork and a more colorful palette.

“Now one of the Ten American Painters, he joined Childe Hassam at Old Lyme, Connecticut, for several years, moving the participants in that community from a tonalist to a more impressionist style. Several seasons were spent with the Cornish, New Hampshire, colony but generally he roamed throughout the New England countryside painting its splendors winter and summer. The “poet laureate” of the New England hills became his popular cognomen. Working often within an unconventional square format, he painted broad, light-filled, delicately colored views of the hills and villages of New England.”

— Smithsonian American Art Museum

Above: Willard Metcalf. Garden of Dreams, 1908. Oil on canvas, 24 x 24 in. (61 x 61 cm). Signed and dated lower left: W. L Metcalf 1908. Private collection, Pennsylvania.


We at panOpticon are extremely proud that the Willard Metcalf catalogue raisonné project uses our content management system.

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.

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


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.

Protect the Legacy Now

The Artist Legacy

Artists should plan early on to protect their heirs along with their legacies

“Artists frequently die before having organized their work, creating both difficulty in ascertaining how to distribute the pieces (to heirs, museums, etc.) and also allowing for the possibility of authenticity disputes. Creating a catalogue [raisonné] is something artists should avoid leaving to their senior years, according to [Loretta] Würtenberger.* ‘The more specific thoughts an artist develops during their lifetime, the easier it is later,’ she says, citing a recent conversation she had with an artist in his late forties who is represented by a large gallery and produces very technical art. ‘He is asking us to structure the whole question of a database for his studio.’ That database will become a resource for questions of authenticity as well as serving as a repository for the artist’s technical know-how—something that’s useful even while the artist is alive. ‘It’s interesting how somebody of our generation is already thinking about the posthumous phase,” she says, “and how these thoughts have consequences for what he’s doing today.’”

— from an Artsy editorial: “What Artists Should Do to Protect Their Legacies before Dying.”

*Loretta Würtenberger, co-founder of the newly launched Institute for Artists’ Estates in Berlin, is a contributor to the book The Artist Estate: A Handbook for Artists, Executors, and Heirs.

“Adam Sheffer, president of the Art Dealers Association of America [ADAA], says that talking to artists about estate planning and archiving is now a ‘standard part of the dialogue’ at many galleries. ‘When you begin a career and you start to have work enter the market, you have to think about everything as specific as archiving, as keeping extremely careful records, because down the road when it comes to the value of your foundation and issues around authenticity, the earlier you start the better,’ he says.”

— from the Financial Times, “How an artist’s legacy became big business,” August 26, 2016.

Above : David Smith, Tanktotem IV, 1953, 7/29/53, 1953, and Tanktotem III, 1953, Bolton Landing Dock, Lake George, New York, photo by the artist, c. 1953. Gelatin silver print, sheet size: 8 x 10 in. (20.3 x 25.4 cm).
© Estate of David Smith / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY


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 needs. Contact us to schedule a demonstration.

Another Side of Lyonel Feininger

News Release: Lyonel Feininger’s Comic Strips Celebrated this Summer

NEW YORK – Moeller Fine Art Projects is pleased to announce “Pioneers of the Comic Strip: A Different Avant-Garde” at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt am Main from June 23 to September 18, 2016. The exhibition will present approximately 230 pages of rare comic strips and related works, created between 1905 and the 1940s, by the early masters of comic strip art including Winsor McCay, Lyonel Feininger, Charles Forbell, Cliff Sterrett, George Herriman, and Frank King. The show intends to provide an overview of the stylistic developments within the medium, as well as to explore its relationship with the fine arts.

While the two series The Kin-der-Kids and Wee Willie Winkie’s World—which Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956) began in 1906 for The Chicago Sunday Tribune—were published for less than one year, they contributed a new artistic perspective. Feininger’s works will be prominently featured in the exhibition, including more than thirty works lent by Achim Moeller.

Alongside this exhibition, Moeller Fine Art Projects is also pleased to announce the publication of Your Uncle Feininger: Comic Strips for The Chicago Sunday Tribune (Kerber Verlag) by Achim Moeller and Sebastian Ehlert, designed by Philippe Apeloig and Yannick James. The book will include the complete run of Feininger’s comic strips for the first time together with previously unpublished preliminary drawings, as well as nature studies. Printed in German and English with a comprehensive introduction based on original sources and related newspaper articles, it will offer an in-depth look into the artist’s practice.

For further details, please contact The Lyonel Feininger Project or call (212) 644-2133.

Above: Lyonel Feininger, The Kin-der Kids in the Family Bathtub, 1906. Color crayons, ink, and pencil on paper,
9 3/8 x 17 5/16 in (23.8 x 44 cm)


We at panOpticon are honored that Moeller Fine Art Projects uses our innovative software to manage the Lyonel Feininger catalogue raisonné.

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.

Strategy for Foundation Leaders

László Moholy-Nagy and Lucia Moholy Untitled 1925

panOpticon pays tribute to the next generation of Artist Heritage Stewards

“Bearing names such as Frankenthaler, Haring, Lichtenstein, Mapplethorpe, Mitchell, Pollock-Krasner, Rauschenberg, and Warhol, private foundations created by visual artists are a rapidly emerging force in cultural philanthropy and in artistic heritage stewardship. The Seminar on Strategy for New Artist-Endowed Foundation Leaders, presented collaboratively by The Aspen Institute Artist-Endowed Foundations Initiative (AEFI) and University of Miami School of Law (UMSL), supports the professional development of individuals who currently have, or will have, new policy-setting and leadership responsibilities for artist-endowed foundations—directors, officers, trustees, board members, senior staff—and orients them to the characteristics of these distinctive organizations.

“AEFI aims to strengthen the next generation of artist-endowed foundations by increasing the capacity of these new entities to fulfill their founders’ charitable intentions. AEFI’s strategy is to address the significant information gap facing foundation creators as well as those who lead, govern and advise foundations. This strategy is grounded in the findings of the National Study of Artist-Endowed Foundations, AEFI’s principal research component, and implemented through ongoing programs of research, publications, leadership education, and events to share knowledge with key audiences.

“Site visits and sessions with seasoned foundation leaders are central to the curriculum. By building the capacity of new leaders, the Seminar advances AEFI’s mission to strengthen the charitable impact of the emerging artist-endowed foundation field.”
Click here to read more.

This year’s Seminar was held June 6–10, 2016 in New York City and was hosted by the Dedalus Foundation, the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, and the Isamu Noguchi Foundation & Garden Museum. The Art Dealers Association of America Foundation (ADAA) sponsored the welcoming reception and panOpticon sponsored the closing celebration.

The AEFI Lead Underwriters are ARIS, DeWitt Stern, and U.S. Trust.

Above: This year’s AEFI Certificate recipients at the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation. Photo ©2016 Scott Rudd

Moholy-Nagy at Guggenheim

László Moholy-Nagy and Lucia Moholy Untitled 1925

Moholy-Nagy: Future Present

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum    New York    May 27 – September 7, 2016

The first comprehensive retrospective of the work of László Moholy-Nagy (1895–1946) to appear in the United States in nearly fifty years, this long overdue presentation reveals a utopian artist who believed that art could work hand-in-hand with technology for the betterment of humanity. The exhibition presents an unparalleled opportunity to examine the career of this pioneering painter, photographer, sculptor, and filmmaker as well as graphic, exhibition, and stage designer, who was also an influential teacher at the Bauhaus, a prolific writer, and later the founder of Chicago’s Institute of Design. Among his radical innovations were experimentation with cameraless photography; the use of industrial materials in painting and sculpture; research with light, transparency, and movement; work at the forefront of abstraction; and the fluidity with which he moved between the fine and applied arts. The exhibition includes more than 300 collages, drawings, ephemera, films, paintings, photograms, photographs, photomontages, and sculptures, including works from public and private collections across Europe and the United States, some of which have never before been shown publicly in the U.S. Also on display is the ‘Room of the Present,’ a contemporary fabrication of an exhibition space originally conceived by Moholy-Nagy in 1930. It includes photographic reproductions, films, slides, and replicas of architecture, theater and industrial design including a 2006 replica of his kinetic ‘Light Prop for an Electric Stage’ (1930). Though never realized during his lifetime, ‘The Room of the Present’ illustrates Moholy’s belief in the power of images and various means by which to view them—a highly relevant paradigm in today’s constantly shifting and evolving technological world.

Above: László Moholy-Nagy and Lucia Moholy Untitled (detail) 1925
Gelatin silver print, 3 11/16 x 2 1/2″ (9.3 x 6.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, NY. Thomas Walther Collection. The Family of Man Fund (1791. 2001). © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.


We at panOpticon are extremely proud that the Moholy-Nagy catalogue raisonné project uses our content management system.

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.

Toys and Torres-García

toy elephant Joaquín Torres-García

News Release: Toys in the JTG Catalogue Raisonné

NEW YORK, NY — To celebrate the first anniversary of the launch of the Joaquín Torres-García Catalogue Raisonné, CECILIA DE TORRES LTD is pleased to announce that the artist’s toy production is now available online.

Combining play with pedagogy, Torres-García designed toys for children throughout much of his career. Over two hundred models ranging from locomotives to circus animals to a multi-figure café scene have been identified as belonging to his oeuvre.

The toys have been classified within the catalogue raisonné with a “T” number that reflects their period of production, such that works beginning with “T1.” date to the artist’s Barcelona years, c. 1917-1919; “T2.” date to his years in New York, c.1920-1922; “T3.” date to his period in Italy, c. 1924-1926; and “T4.” his years in Paris, c. 1927-1932.

When available, photographs of the toys positioned in multiple arrangements demonstrate their flexibility and interactivity. Supplemental diagrams, designed by Torres-García for the packaging of his toys, illustrate the various combinations that he envisioned, and are included within the catalogue raisonné records. Such characteristics reveal Torres-García’s aim for his toys as educational and developmental tools. Additionally, many of the toys are cross-referenced with catalogues, published and distributed by the toy companies Francisco Rambla (1919) and Aladdin (1922-1923).

As with the paintings and sculptures recorded in the catalogue raisonné, the provenance, exhibition history, and literature references are recorded for each toy, and further research remains ongoing. Research on the toy production has been led by Cecilia de Torres assisted by Madeline Murphy Turner, with Susanna V. Temkin.

In addition to the toys, in the one year that the catalogue raisonné has been available, research on the paintings and sculptures has remained ongoing. Numerous supplementary references have been added, including:

  • The identification of a new painting
  • Over one hundred new exhibition references
  • Approximately four hundred new literature sources
  • Thus far over 1,000 users have accessed the site, with new registrants added every day.

Access to the catalogue raisonné is free and available to the public at the website — Joaquín Torres-García Catalogue Raisonné

We continue to invite owners of works by Joaquín Torres-García to submit paintings and sculptures for inclusion in the catalogue raisonné of his oeuvre. Please contact info@torresgarcia.com

Hugh Steers CR Uses Our Tools

Hugh Steers

The Hugh Steers Catalogue Raisonné Project Uses panOpticon Tools

Hugh Steers (1962–1995) was celebrated for his allegorical painting that captured the emotional and political tenor of New York in the late 1980s and early 1990s, particularly the impact of queer identity and the AIDS crisis. Born in Washington, D.C., Steers studied painting at Yale University, and pursued a commitment to figuration throughout his career, cut dramatically short by AIDS at the age of 32. Influenced by historical figures of art, including Thomas Eakins, Edward Hopper, Paul Cadmus, Pierre Bonnard, and Edouard Vuillard, among others, he embraced representational painting and figuration at a time when such approaches were especially unfashionable.

Steers described his artistic perspective in an interview in September 1992: “I think I’m in the tradition of a certain kind of American artist—artists whose work embodies a certain gorgeous bleakness. Edward Hopper, Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline—they all had this austere beauty to them. They found beauty in the most brutal forms. I think that’s what characterizes America, the atmosphere, its culture, its cities and landscape. They all have that soft glow of brutality.”

While embracing the polemics of identity politics through his visual content, Steers’ emotionally charged painting took a departure from the more didactic work of his peers. The last five years of his artistic practice focused on AIDS as a subject matter, drawing on community experience and mixing dreamlike allegory with figurative realism. The resulting images amplify issues of mortality and isolation, defiance and compassion. Hugh Steers’ artwork is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Denver Art Museum.

An online catalogue raisonné of Hugh Steers paintings is currently in production under the direction of Visual AIDS. The project is part of Visual AIDS mission to preserve and honor the work of under-recognized artists lost to AIDS and cultural contributions of the AIDS movement.

We at panOpticon are pleased that Visual AIDS chose our innovative content management system for this important undertaking.

Above: Hugh Steers, Bath Curtain, 1992. Oil on canvas, 64 x 71 3/4 in. (162.6 x 182.2 cm), Estate of Hugh Steers.


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.

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:

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:

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)


Eugen Schönebeck + panOpticon


The Eugen Schönebeck Catalogue Raisonné Project Uses panOpticon Tools

Eugen Schönebeck occupies a crucial position in the trajectory of post-1945 art. He not only pioneered a unique manner of integrating historical content into his work but almost singularly reinvigorated the genre of portraiture in Germany. Schönebeck, who was born in 1936 in the outskirts of Dresden, began to draw at about thirteen years of age. In 1954 he received a scholarship to continue his training as a decorative wall painter at the Fachschule für Grafik, Druck und Werbung in Oberschöneweide in Berlin’s East sector. Convinced that he couldn’t develop his artistry further in East Germany, he successfully applied for admission to the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in West Berlin, where he began to take classes in October 1955. Two years later, his first mature drawings emerged. These Tachist-style works and those that followed during the next four years, retained figurative elements absent from the abstract paintings he was also making at the time. He also developed a close friendship and artistic coöperation with fellow student Georg Baselitz later leading to their two Pandemonium Manifestos (1961/62)

It was not until late in 1961, the year he graduated the Hochschule that Schönebeck decided in favor of a more figurative mode of working. At times strangely humorous, the subsequent drawings that flowed from his hand also abounded with a good dose of the grotesque. Later Schönebeck stated his primary aim had been “to try . . . to let a certain tenor rise to the surface . . . a consciousness of crisis, pervasive sadness, gruesomeness, and even perverseness that I found missing in the work of my colleagues.”

In 1964 Schönebeck broke through to a new monumental style of painting. That year he began to transform mass media photographs of politicians, poets, and artists who sympathized with vari­ants of socialism into quasi-religious emblems. These likenesses and the few large scale drawings that fo­lowed them attest to Schönebeck’s struggle to find a mid­dle way between art made for the cap­ital­ist mar­ket and work harnessed to polit­ical ends. Disinclined to turn his back on either of these aes­thetic traditions and unwill­ing to compromise the moralistic edge of his art, Schönebeck decided to stop painting in the 1970s. Nevertheless, since the early 1980s curators, aware of the significance of his work, have included his work in almost every important survey exhibition of post­war German art presented internationally. His art was ahead of its time, and its meaning continues to endure, especially for a younger generation of artists.

We at panOpticon are pleased that the Eugen Schönebeck Catalogue Raisonné Project, edited by Juerg Judin and Pay Matthis Karstens, chose our innovative content management system for this important undertaking. More information about the project and contact details can be found at eugenschoenebeck.org.

Above: Eugen Schönebeck, Baum (Tree), 1957, ink on paper, 5 3/8 x 8 3/8 inches. Photo courtesy, Galerie Judin, Berlin.


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.