To put things into context: my mom is an art historian, and when I was a kid she'd regularly drag me to museums. I remember being bored out of my mind, with only the cool architecture of the museums themselves to mildly entertain me.
To this day I'm pretty uninterested in the classics
Years later, in my late 20s, I went to the National Gallery in London, and saw one of Van Gogh's "Wheatfield with Cypresses"  there, and for the first time a classical painting struck me as beautiful. Maybe it's the pastels, maybe it was the texture of the gouache (which no digital picture reproduces, you'd need a detailed 3D model), I just stood there entranced by this painting.
I bought a (stupidly overpriced) print of it at the gift shop, and to this day it's still the only classical painting I can recognize a love for.
Sadly, that particular painting isn't part of this digitized collection, since the collection is from the Amsterdam Museum, not from London's National Gallery.
It’s important for me as I need PD (or CC0, which is functionally equivalent) to pick decent cover art for Standard Ebooks works. As it is we usually spend hours hunting through pre-1923 art books on Hathi for the perfect piece, and CC0 collections make that much much easier.
What do you mean with the ability of the museums to choose a license for the paintings, and what is the "sub-A4" license you refer to?
Basically, the problem is that when you’re releasing a derivative work with CC0 you need to be 100% sure that your original licensing is correct. We’re probably being overly-cautious, but luckily the imprint style allows us to be.
(The A4 licence comes from their T&Cs PDF: “Images of the Van Gogh Museum collection up to and including A4 size in TIF format may be downloaded and distributed for non-commercial use”.)
The one our group made used this exact dataset (the museum website)! We called it VANGOGHORNO haha. We basically pulled the images from the collection and mixed them with non-Van Gogh paintings. It was surprisingly a very learnable dataset, the top two teams got around 97% accuracy and many teams got to 90%. We resized the images and included paintings from vaguely similar styles like impressionism so we were surprised people did that well. I think the top team used some kind of transfer learning to identify entities in the paintings and learned from that.
It also is a dataset where cheating is quite easy. A google search may quickly turn up items you left out of the training set.
Do you know whether any teams did this (could even have happened by accident, if people googled to find different views of paintings, and accidentally included pictures not in the training set)?
data and models are available for download.
You can also have a look at art500k which is essentially the same thing.
Their dataset is also available for download.
From memory it's gigapixel streaming textures with a normal map from dense photogrammetry data
They even 3D printed it!
In brief, human consciousness and artistic judgement isn't going away, for a couple of centuries at least.
Transferring? You are thinking small. What about expanding beyond your brain, so that it becomes a small part of a whole and by the time it starts failing it's just a peripheral input preprocessing device/local motion planner/unreliable redundant memory storage/small vote in global decision making and not you.
The possibility is still pretty far. Reliable biocompatible high throughput brain computer interfaces aren't there yet.
Sure I understand it's bit annoying that they do not provide the higher resolution as downloads, and that they don't have more liberal license. But it is still pretty nice service and reasonably well done imo. This could be the baby steps for more open collections, but egregious abuse probably will not help in getting them into right direction.
The Yellow House (The Street) | 6917 x 5366
Almond Blossom | 7149 x 5649
The Bedroom | 7187 x 5674
Anyway, I'm looking forward to throwing this batch in there. Hope somebody sticks them all in a torrent soon.
But, (I can't help myself), I am conflicted about the digitization of museums/artists/artworks. Seeing a work of art, let alone one of the greats, is something that should be experienced in person. Reducing it to pixels for instant digestion is a sub-optimal way to experience it.
Granted, this is amazing to research and exposure, and for distribution to those who wouldn't normally be able to see it - but I fear that it takes something away from the art.
If you are involved in the contemporary art scene at all, you may have noticed that works are beginning to become 'instagram' friendly - from paintings that look good on the internet but are ultimately shallow, 'installations' that generate a lot of hype and look good on your Story (a la Infinity Mirrors ), to hordes of people taking selfies with the Mona Lisa instead of appreciating it .
Maybe that's just the way things will progress in the Art world. But, imo, it is more important than ever to appreciate and continue creating the physical, tangible, beauty of art in an ever increasing digital world.
In any case, for most ordinary people it is totally unrealistic to travel to museums all over the world to enjoy the real paintings.
But for Van Gogh, they do a terrible job a capturing the heavy texture of the paint. On flat paper he's a decent artist, cool expressionist style. But the real things feel alive; they have physical depth and draw the viewer into the painting. It's like night and day.
To be honest, I have issues with the Museum/Gallery institution as it exists, but that's another story altogether.
My bigger point, which maybe wasn't clear from my post, is that Art is one of the greatest ways to express humanity, and by digitizing and industrializing, we will lose some of that human aspect.
>>In any case, for most ordinary people it is totally unrealistic to travel to museums all over the world to enjoy the real paintings.
Agreed. And I don't think that we should idolize the great works as much as we do. I strongly encourage a more local appreciation for artists who are currently creating ;)
Same with music, while recordings of Coltrane or Miles (or 50Cent or The Sex Pistols or Beyoncé, substitute whatever your musical tastes encompass) are great - it's still also great to go and see local live acs - who're potentially awful - but are often surprisingly enjoyable.
For people who don't live close to huge cities with big museums, the diversity and availability of art could be very low. Digitizing art and making it publicly available is a step forward for those people.
Yes, digitization is inherently a transformation and remediation of the work. This means that yes, something is taken away. But the value add, in my opinion, is so great that it's very well worth the money and time that goes into it.
My favorite work of art ever is Friedrich's The Monk by the Sea : it fills me with emotion every time I see its digital facsimile. I hope one day that I'll be able to see it in person, but for now, it's accessible to me and billions of others to appreciate and enjoy.
> works are beginning to become 'instagram' friendly
Respectfully, I highly disagree with this sentiment. In my personal experience, I'm seeing just as many artists pushing back on reproducibility and the "prettiness" of art as there are folks trying to create works that look good on office walls or on Instagram stories.
> to hordes of people taking selfies with the Mona Lisa instead of appreciating it
Finally, again, I respectfully disagree. Who's to say that I can't enjoy art and take a selfie with it too? Many people like to add some sort of lens, most frequently their phone camera, to their experiences at concerts, museums, and galleries. I don't think anyone's qualified to tell those folks that they're doing it wrong.
Nevertheless, I still see such an amazing hope in having these works digitized at least to give people some perspective at the range of many great artists and to allow the art to inhabit a person's life in the way they want which is what the artist would want. And hopefully if they love it enough and it impacts them then they can go see it in person.
As far as the contemporary scene, it will change and evolve, as it always does. It you don't like the current trends, start something new. After all, the last hundred years have seen a decent collection of deliberate art movements where a group of people consciously came together to make statements with their arts and acts. There is no reason to let digital trends stop that.
Sure. But actually seeing a work of art in person requires that you can afford to travel there, and that you can actually watch the work in peace. I am not sure what the best way to view a work like the Mona Lisa (to name an extreme example) is, but being jostled along in a crowd of Chinese surely isn't it.
One of the critical arguments that many are making here was access. Copies allow many people to access art opposed to the privileged. Benjamin also makes a huge case about the value of the original.
To go even deeper, I also studied video game history and preservation, and what happens when the "original" is electronic? Many people today are making electronic art whether books, photos, illustrations, music, films, video games, but we may also be losing much because there isn't much being done for preservation. Like how we lost hundreds of films because Hollywood studios did not care about preservation until too late, it's even worse for video games. On the plus side, it means anyone who cares enough will be able to preserve and write history how they want.
I think thats true to a point. But when I first got a digital SLR, I went to MOMA and took pictures of a lot of art. I was able to go back and look through them. I actually really enjoy looking back through art. I often take pictures of the descriptive label at art museums and historic places.
Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but in the crowded place of the museum with everyone about, I enjoy the art, but I sometimes have a hard time processing everything. I enjoy a little downtime in the evening with my computer reading and re-experiencing.
I do enjoy interactive installation art, and that doesn't lend itself to photos.
Unfortunately, getting to Glasgow is not free for me, and I probably will never do so again in my life. Sure, great art is better in person. There's more great art than I have money to get to, though, so (at least for us non-filthy-rich types), digital copies are far better than nothing.
Think of it as a backup, rather than a replacement or a dilution.
If you like Doctor Who, there's an episode on Van Gogh with Bill Nighy that's sweet and sci-fi silly but they have an incredible scene where they animate one of Van Gogh's paintings. Sort of like the 360 degree VR animation of Starry Sky that is floating around Facebook.
You can find places that make sell actual oil paintings that reproduce originals - i.e., they hire an artist to reproduce the original. It's not a scam; I don't think they put the original signature on. I haven't tried one and, as you might surmise, I'm not optimistic. Maybe I'll try something technically simple, such as a Miro. It's the only way I'll ever get to see a Miro in my living room.
It is 30,000 × 23,756 pixels (file size: 205.1 MB) .
While incomparable to seeing it up close, a lot of brush details can be seen up close. If there was such as thing as a favorite jpg, for me this is it! :-)
The long, aligned strokes give the painting a feeling of motion and gravity, like bits of ferrous metal revealing a magnetic field. And the fact he put green in his beard -- and pulled it off flawlessly -- never ceases to amaze me. It's almost psychedelic.
https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/palace-of-versaill... look at the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hall_of_Mirrors
There's a Daydream app for looking at paintings scanned by Google https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.vr..... You'll need the $100 headset and a Pixel or some other compatible phone.
Google's collection is large but nowhere near exhaustive. I think some paintings are over 100,000 pixels across. In my opinion virtual reality doesn't add much. It's blurry. If you have a good monitor the website is better
Wikimedia Commons has hundreds of scans for some artists
I really hope some galleries are digitising their collections via 3D scanning. Viewing something like a Van Gogh in VR without some real texture and depth is not convincing. Some of that paint is 5mm off the canvas. You can see that from a fair distance.