Birmingham Museum of Art
Founded in 1951, the Birmingham Museum of Art in Birmingham, today has one of the finest collections in the Southeastern United States, with more than 24,000 paintings, prints and decorative arts representing a numerous diverse cultures, including Asian, American, Pre-Columbian, Native American. Among other highlights, the Museum’s collection of Asian art is considered the finest and most comprehensive in the Southeast, its Vietnamese ceramics one of the finest in the U. S; the Museum is home to a remarkable Kress Collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings and decorative arts from the late 13th century to c.1750, the 18th-century European decorative arts include superior examples of English ceramics and French furniture. The Birmingham Museum of Art is owned by the City of Birmingham and encompasses 3.9 acres in the heart of the city’s cultural district. Erected in 1959, the present building was designed by architects Warren and Davis, a major renovation and expansion by Edward Larrabee Barnes of New York was completed in 1993.
The facility encompasses 180,000 square feet, including an outdoor sculpture garden. The Museum’s growing collection of nearly 2,000 objects is derived from the major culture groups of sub-Saharan Africa and dates from the 12th century to the present; the collection features fine examples of figure sculpture, ritual objects and household and utilitarian objects, textiles and metal arts, with an Egyptian false door, Yoruba mask, Benin bronze hip pendant, a divination portrait of a king from Dahomey. Spanning the late 18th through mid-20th century, the Museum’s collection of American painting, works on paper, decorative arts features paintings by Gilbert Stuart, Childe Hassam, Georgia O'Keeffe. Considered one of the three most important American landscape paintings, the Museum’s Looking Down Yosemite Valley, California by Bierstadt was chosen by The National Endowment for the Humanities as one of 40 American masterpieces that best depict the people and events that have shaped our country and tell America’s story.
Since its doors opened to the public in 1951, the Birmingham Museum of Art has collected and exhibited the art of Alabama. Among the earliest works to enter the collection were paintings by significant Alabama artists including the miniaturist Hannah Elliott and the landscapist Carrie Hill. Throughout its history, the Museum has continued its commitment to the arts of Alabama. In 1995, it organized Made in Alabama, a groundbreaking survey of artistic production in the state during the 19th century. In addition to collecting the works of academically trained native artists, the Museum has built an impressive collection of folk art, including painting, sculpture and pottery. Thanks to the generosity of Robert and Helen Cargo, the Museum possesses one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Southern quilts in the country. Several major private collectors are helping the Museum build the most significant repository of Alabama pottery in the State; the Museum’s Asian art collection started with a gift of Chinese textiles in 1951 and today, with more than 4,000 objects, is the largest and most comprehensive in the Southeast.
The collection hails from China, Japan and Southeast Asia, featuring the finest collection of Vietnamese ceramics in the U. S. as well as outstanding examples of Buddhist and Hindu art, lacquer ware, paintings and sculpture. Highlights include Tang dynasty tomb figures from China. On long-term loan from The Smithsonian Institution is the Vetlesen Jade Collection of 16th- to 19th-century pieces, one of the most important jade collections in the U. S; the Museum has the only gallery for Korean art in the Southeast. The collection features painting, video, works on paper, installation art that illuminate movements and trends from the 1960s to the present, by renowned artists such as Joan Mitchell, Andy Warhol, Bill Viola, Lynda Benglis, Cham Hendon, Kerry James Marshall, Callum Innes, Grace Hartigan, Larry Rivers, Louise Nevelson, Frank Fleming and Philip Guston, as well as works by a younger generation who are defining the new century. Since 2009 a permanent display of Folk art will feature works by Bill Traylor, Thornton Dial, Alabama’s outstanding quilters, other self-taught artists.
Among the highlights of the European art holdings is the Kress Collection of Renaissance Art, featuring Renaissance and Baroque paintings and decorative arts dating from the late 13th century to c.1750, with works by Pietro Perugino, Antonio Canaletto, Paris Bordone. Other strengths include 17th-century Dutch paintings by Jacob van Ruisdael, Ferdinand Bol, Balthasar van der Ast. One of the foundations of the Museum’s permanent collection, the European decorative arts comprise more than 12,000 objects including ceramics and furniture dating from the Renaissance to present day. Notable holdings include the only public collection of late 19th-century European cast iron items in the U. S. and the Eugenia Woodward Hitt Collection of 18th-century French art, including furniture of the Louis
A still life is a work of art depicting inanimate subject matter commonplace objects which are either natural or man-made. With origins in the Middle Ages and Ancient Greco-Roman art, still-life painting emerged as a distinct genre and professional specialization in Western painting by the late 16th century, has remained significant since then. One advantage of the still-life artform is that it allows an artist a lot of freedom to experiment with the arrangement of elements within a composition of a painting. Still life, as a particular genre, began with Netherlandish painting of the 16th and 17th centuries, the English term still life derives from the Dutch word stilleven. Early still-life paintings before 1700 contained religious and allegorical symbolism relating to the objects depicted. Still-life works are produced with a variety of media and technology, such as found objects, computer graphics, as well as video and sound; the term includes the painting of dead animals game. Live ones are considered animal art, although in practice they were painted from dead models.
Because of the use of plants and animals as a subject, the still-life category shares commonalities with zoological and botanical illustration. However, with visual or fine art, the work is not intended to illustrate the subject correctly. Still life occupied the lowest rung of the hierarchy of genres, but has been popular with buyers; as well as the independent still-life subject, still-life painting encompasses other types of painting with prominent still-life elements symbolic, "images that rely on a multitude of still-life elements ostensibly to reproduce a'slice of life'". The trompe-l'œil painting, which intends to deceive the viewer into thinking the scene is real, is a specialized type of still life showing inanimate and flat objects. Still-life paintings adorn the interior of ancient Egyptian tombs, it was believed that food objects and other items depicted there would, in the afterlife, become real and available for use by the deceased. Ancient Greek vase paintings demonstrate great skill in depicting everyday objects and animals.
Peiraikos is mentioned by Pliny the Elder as a panel painter of "low" subjects, such as survive in mosaic versions and provincial wall-paintings at Pompeii: "barbers' shops, cobblers' stalls, asses and similar subjects". Similar still life, more decorative in intent, but with realistic perspective, have been found in the Roman wall paintings and floor mosaics unearthed at Pompeii and the Villa Boscoreale, including the familiar motif of a glass bowl of fruit. Decorative mosaics termed "emblema", found in the homes of rich Romans, demonstrated the range of food enjoyed by the upper classes, functioned as signs of hospitality and as celebrations of the seasons and of life. By the 16th century and flowers would again appear as symbols of the seasons and of the five senses. Starting in Roman times is the tradition of the use of the skull in paintings as a symbol of mortality and earthly remains with the accompanying phrase Omnia mors aequat; these vanitas images have been re-interpreted through the last 400 years of art history, starting with Dutch painters around 1600.
The popular appreciation of the realism of still-life painting is related in the ancient Greek legend of Zeuxis and Parrhasius, who are said to have once competed to create the most lifelike objects, history's earliest descriptions of trompe-l'œil painting. As Pliny the Elder recorded in ancient Roman times, Greek artists centuries earlier were advanced in the arts of portrait painting, genre painting and still life, he singled out Peiraikos, "whose artistry is surpassed by only a few... He painted barbershops and shoemakers' stalls, donkeys and such, for that reason came to be called the'painter of vulgar subjects'. By 1300, starting with Giotto and his pupils, still-life painting was revived in the form of fictional niches on religious wall paintings which depicted everyday objects. Through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, still life in Western art remained an adjunct to Christian religious subjects, convened religious and allegorical meaning; this was true in the work of Northern European artists, whose fascination with detailed optical realism and symbolism led them to lavish great attention on their paintings' overall message.
Painters like Jan van Eyck used still-life elements as part of an iconographic program. In the late Middle Ages, still-life elements flowers but animals and sometimes inanimate objects, were painted with increasing realism in the borders of illuminated manuscripts, developing models and technical advances that were used by painters of larger images. There was considerable overlap between the artists making miniatures for manuscripts and those painting panels in Early Netherlandish painting; the Hours of Catherine of Cleves made in Utrecht around 1440, is one of the outstanding examples of this trend, with borders featuring an extraordinary range of objects, including coins and fishing-nets, chosen to complement the text or main image at that particular point. Flemish workshops in the century took the naturalism of border elements further. Gothic millefleur tapestries are another example of the general increasing interest in accurate depictions of plants and
Rembrandt Peale was an American artist and museum keeper. A prolific portrait painter, he was acclaimed for his likenesses of presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Peale's style was influenced by French Neoclassicism after a stay in Paris in his early thirties. Rembrandt Peale was born the third of six surviving children to his mother, Rachel Brewer, father, Charles Willson Peale in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, on February 22, 1778; the father, Charles a notable artist, named him after the noted 17th-century Dutch painter and engraver Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. His father taught all of his children, including Raphaelle Peale, Rubens Peale and Titian Peale, to paint scenery and portraiture, tutored Rembrandt in the arts and sciences. Rembrandt began drawing at the age of 8. A year after his mother's death and the remarriage of his father, Peale left the school of the arts, completed his first self-portrait at the age of 13; the canvas displays the young artist's early mastery. The clothes, give the notion that Peale exaggerated what a 13-year-old would look like, Peale's hair curls like the hair of a Renaissance angel.
In his life, Peale "often showed this painting to young beginners, to encourage them to go from'bad' to better..."In July 1787, Charles Willson Peale introduced his son Rembrandt to George Washington, the young aspirant artist watched his father paint the future president. In 1795, at the age of 17, Rembrandt painted an aging Washington, making him appear far more aged than in reality; the portrait was well received, Rembrandt had made his debut. At the age of 20, Peale married 22-year-old Eleanor May Short at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Philadelphia. During their marriage and Short had nine children: Rosalba, Michael Angelo and Emma Clara among them. In 1840, he married one of his pupils and an artist in her own right. In 1822, Peale moved to New York City, where he embarked on an attempt to paint what he hoped would become the "standard likeness" of Washington, he studied portraits by other artists including John Trumbull, Gilbert Stuart and his own father, as well as his own 1795 picture which had never satisfied him.
His resulting work Patriae Pater, completed in 1824, depicts Washington through an oval window, is considered by many to be second only to Gilbert Stuart's iconic Athenaeum painting of the first president. Peale subsequently attempted to capitalize on the success of what became known as his "Porthole" picture. Patriae Pater was purchased by Congress in 1832 for $2,000, it hangs in the Old Senate Chamber. In 1826 he helped. Peale went on to create over 70 detailed replicas, including one of Washington in full military uniform that hangs in the Oval Office. Peale continued to paint other noted portraits, such as those of the third president Thomas Jefferson while he was in office, on a portrait of Chief Justice John Marshall. Noted for his "itinerant" nature, Peale visited Europe several times to study art. Throughout his life, Peale traveled across the Western Hemisphere in search of inspiration and opportunities as an artist, his father helped pay his way to Paris, where he stayed from June to September 1808, again from October 1809 to November 1810.
In Paris, Peale studied the works of Jacques-Louis David, which influenced him to paint in the Neoclassical style. He painted the famous explorer Alexander von Humboldt and several other noted patrons such as Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac and François André Michaux. After his successes in France, Peale returned to Philadelphia in 1810, his efforts to establish his knowledge and mastery of art were displayed in his painting The Roman Daughter. The painting was deemed too "sensational" by the people of Philadelphia, who were unsympathetic to his endeavors toward “improving the state of fine arts in America” in the 19th century. Amid the economic hardship of the War of 1812, President Jefferson—who promised to buy the 1795 portrait of Washington, but could not keep his promise—instead encouraged Peale to go to Europe, as "we have genius among us but no unemployed wealth to reward it". Motivated by his father's establishment of the American Museum of Philadelphia and having been unsuccessful in Philadelphia, Rembrandt Peale assumed his father's role in another city.
On August 15, 1814, Peale launched his first museum as soon as he arrived in the municipality of Baltimore, Maryland on Holliday Street between East Saratoga and Lexington Streets, first building constructed in America to serve as a museum (later served as second Baltimore City Hall, 1830–75, an African-American school and restored in 1931 as Municipal Museum. Renovated and restored again in 1981, it was reopened as the Peale Museum; the museum merged with Baltimore City Life Museums system in 1985 and closed in 1997. Premeditated as an Arts and Sciences museum, Peale decided to display only works of art and manufactured products instead; the museum was elaborately illuminated by gas light, following the example of his brother Rubens in Philadelphia. This innovation made a great impression. Peale had acquired an important gas lighting patent, with some associates founded the successful Gas Light Company of Baltimore. Having poor business sense, though, he did little to manage the company and was forced out after a few years due to the War of 1812.
In 1828, an ambitious Peale raised funds and tried earning money for his previous paintings, in order to travel to Rome. He took along his 15-year-old son, Michael Angelo, a determined young artist who copied his father's paintings in
Mercury is a chemical element with symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is known as quicksilver and was named hydrargyrum. A heavy, silvery d-block element, mercury is the only metallic element, liquid at standard conditions for temperature and pressure. Mercury occurs in deposits throughout the world as cinnabar; the red pigment vermilion is obtained by synthetic mercuric sulfide. Mercury is used in thermometers, manometers, sphygmomanometers, float valves, mercury switches, mercury relays, fluorescent lamps and other devices, though concerns about the element's toxicity have led to mercury thermometers and sphygmomanometers being phased out in clinical environments in favor of alternatives such as alcohol- or galinstan-filled glass thermometers and thermistor- or infrared-based electronic instruments. Mechanical pressure gauges and electronic strain gauge sensors have replaced mercury sphygmomanometers. Mercury remains in use in scientific research applications and in amalgam for dental restoration in some locales.
It is used in fluorescent lighting. Electricity passed through mercury vapor in a fluorescent lamp produces short-wave ultraviolet light, which causes the phosphor in the tube to fluoresce, making visible light. Mercury poisoning can result from exposure to water-soluble forms of mercury, by inhalation of mercury vapor, or by ingesting any form of mercury. Mercury is a silvery-white liquid metal. Compared to other metals, it is a fair conductor of electricity, it has a freezing point of −38.83 °C and a boiling point of 356.73 °C, both the lowest of any stable metal, although preliminary experiments on copernicium and flerovium have indicated that they have lower boiling points. Upon freezing, the volume of mercury decreases by 3.59% and its density changes from 13.69 g/cm3 when liquid to 14.184 g/cm3 when solid. The coefficient of volume expansion is 181.59 × 10−6 at 0 °C, 181.71 × 10−6 at 20 °C and 182.50 × 10−6 at 100 °C. Solid mercury can be cut with a knife. A complete explanation of mercury's extreme volatility delves deep into the realm of quantum physics, but it can be summarized as follows: mercury has a unique electron configuration where electrons fill up all the available 1s, 2s, 2p, 3s, 3p, 3d, 4s, 4p, 4d, 4f, 5s, 5p, 5d, 6s subshells.
Because this configuration resists removal of an electron, mercury behaves to noble gases, which form weak bonds and hence melt at low temperatures. The stability of the 6s shell is due to the presence of a filled 4f shell. An f shell poorly screens the nuclear charge that increases the attractive Coulomb interaction of the 6s shell and the nucleus; the absence of a filled inner f shell is the reason for the somewhat higher melting temperature of cadmium and zinc, although both these metals still melt and, in addition, have unusually low boiling points. Mercury does not react with most acids, such as dilute sulfuric acid, although oxidizing acids such as concentrated sulfuric acid and nitric acid or aqua regia dissolve it to give sulfate and chloride. Like silver, mercury reacts with atmospheric hydrogen sulfide. Mercury reacts with solid sulfur flakes. Mercury dissolves many metals such as silver to form amalgams. Iron is an exception, iron flasks have traditionally been used to trade mercury.
Several other first row transition metals with the exception of manganese and zinc are resistant in forming amalgams. Other elements that do not form amalgams with mercury include platinum. Sodium amalgam is a common reducing agent in organic synthesis, is used in high-pressure sodium lamps. Mercury combines with aluminium to form a mercury-aluminium amalgam when the two pure metals come into contact. Since the amalgam destroys the aluminium oxide layer which protects metallic aluminium from oxidizing in-depth small amounts of mercury can corrode aluminium. For this reason, mercury is not allowed aboard an aircraft under most circumstances because of the risk of it forming an amalgam with exposed aluminium parts in the aircraft. Mercury embrittlement is the most common type of liquid metal embrittlement. There are seven stable isotopes of mercury, with 202Hg being the most abundant; the longest-lived radioisotopes are 194Hg with a half-life of 444 years, 203Hg with a half-life of 46.612 days. Most of the remaining radioisotopes have half-lives.
199Hg and 201Hg are the most studied NMR-active nuclei, having spins of 1⁄2 and 3⁄2 respectively. Hg is the modern chemical symbol for mercury, it comes from hydrargyrum, a Latinized form of the Greek word ὑδράργυρος, a compound word meaning "water-silver" – since it is liquid like water and shiny like silver. The element was named after the Roman god Mercury, known for his mobility, it is associated with the planet Mercury. Mercury is the only metal for which the al
Netherlands Institute for Art History
The Netherlands Institute for Art History or RKD is located in The Hague and is home to the largest art history center in the world. The center specializes in documentation and books on Western art from the late Middle Ages until modern times. All of this is open to the public, much of it has been digitized and is available on their website; the main goal of the bureau is to collect and make art research available, most notably in the field of Dutch Masters. Via the available databases, the visitor can gain insight into archival evidence on the lives of many artists of past centuries; the library owns 450,000 titles, of which ca. 150,000 are auction catalogs. There are ca. 3,000 magazines, of which 600 are running subscriptions. Though most of the text is in Dutch, the standard record format includes a link to library entries and images of known works, which include English as well as Dutch titles; the RKD manages the Dutch version of the Art and Architecture Thesaurus, a thesaurus of terms for management of information on art and architecture.
The original version is an initiative of the Getty Research Institute in California. The collection was started through bequests by Frits Lugt, art historian and owner of a massive collection of drawings and prints, Cornelis Hofstede de Groot, a collector, art historian and museum curator, their bequest formed the basis for both the art collection and the library, now housed in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. Though not all of the library's holdings have been digitised, much of its metadata is accessible online; the website itself is available in both an English user interface. In the artist database RKDartists, each artist is assigned a record number. To reference an artist page directly, use the code listed at the bottom of the record of the form: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/artists/ followed by the artist's record number. For example, the artist record number for Salvador Dalí is 19752, so his RKD artist page can be referenced. In the images database RKDimages, each artwork is assigned a record number.
To reference an artwork page directly, use the code listed at the bottom of the record of the form: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/ followed by the artwork's record number. For example, the artwork record number for The Night Watch is 3063, so its RKD artwork page can be referenced; the Art and Architecture Thesaurus assigns a record for each term, but these can not be referenced online by record number. Rather, they are used in the databases and the databases can be searched for terms. For example, the painting called "The Night Watch" is a militia painting, all records fitting this keyword can be seen by selecting this from the image screen; the thesaurus is a set of general terms, but the RKD contains a database for an alternate form of describing artworks, that today is filled with biblical references. This is the iconclass database. To see all images that depict Miriam's dance, the associated iconclass code 71E1232 can be used as a special search term. Official website Direct link to the databases The Dutch version of the Art and Architecture Thesaurus
Royal Library of the Netherlands
The Royal Library of the Netherlands is based in The Hague and was founded in 1798. The mission of the Royal Library of the Netherlands, as presented on the library's web site, is to provide "access to the knowledge and culture of the past and the present by providing high-quality services for research and cultural experience"; the initiative to found a national library was proposed by representative Albert Jan Verbeek on August 17 1798. The collection would be based on the confiscated book collection of William V; the library was founded as the Nationale Bibliotheek on November 8 of the same year, after a committee of representatives had advised the creation of a national library on the same day. The National Library was only open to members of the Representative Body. King Louis Bonaparte gave the national library its name of the Royal Library in 1806. Napoleon Bonaparte transferred the Royal Library to The Hague as property, while allowing the Imperial Library in Paris to expropriate publications from the Royal Library.
In 1815 King William I of the Netherlands confirmed the name of'Royal Library' by royal resolution. It has been known as the National Library of the Netherlands since 1982, when it opened new quarters; the institution became independent of the state in 1996, although it is financed by the Department of Education and Science. In 2004, the National Library of the Netherlands contained 3,300,000 items, equivalent to 67 kilometers of bookshelves. Most items in the collection are books. There are pieces of "grey literature", where the author, publisher, or date may not be apparent but the document has cultural or intellectual significance; the collection contains the entire literature of the Netherlands, from medieval manuscripts to modern scientific publications. For a publication to be accepted, it must be from a registered Dutch publisher; the collection is accessible for members. Any person aged 16 years or older can become a member. One day passes are available. Requests for material take 30 minutes.
The KB hosts several open access websites, including the "Memory of the Netherlands". List of libraries in the Netherlands European Library Nederlandse Centrale Catalogus Books in the Netherlands Media related to Koninklijke Bibliotheek at Wikimedia Commons Official website