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Tuesday, March 23 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Learning to catalog art: An art documentation classroom experience

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We propose a panel to discuss an educational art documentation project. The panelists were all students in an Art Documentation MLIS course at Simmons University in the fall of 2019. During the course, students learn about various procedures, tools, and standards used for art documentation in libraries, archives, and museums. The course culminates in students working in small groups to identify a series of three public artworks for detailed description. Public artworks are defined loosely, and may include municipal artworks in public spaces, street art, or graffiti art. Public art, as defined above, was chosen because it is less frequently documented formally in institutional records. These artworks also pose several challenges  in description, including, but not limited to: discovering proper artist attribution information; how to list names of artists who may prefer anonymity; determining when artworks were created, installed, modified, etc.; measuring works, some quite large and/or complex; photographically documenting works and their surroundings; and complexities of subject description.  Students were asked to choose a standard for description of their chosen set of works, and to defend their choice of standard. They were also asked to consider the social implications of the description they would provide, based on the history (if known), conditions of creation, and public response to the artworks. Each group presented a summary of their work with their complete records, their rationale for descriptive choices, and how they met the challenges listed above.

avatar for Ann M. Graf

Ann M. Graf

Assistant Professor, Simmons University
I teach information organization and art documentation to graduate students in our library and information science program at Simmons. My own research focuses on facets for description of graffiti art, and very recently, on hashtagging and visual elements of Covid-19-related graffiti... Read More →


Maria Lentini

Assistant Curriculum Librarian, Framingham State University
avatar for Katie Carlson

Katie Carlson

Staff Librarian, Beverly Public Library
avatar for Willa Anderson

Willa Anderson

Technical Services Librarian, Redwood Library & Athenaeum
avatar for KL Pereira

KL Pereira

MLIS Candidate, Simmons University
• Multilingual world-wide traveler with passion for cultural diversity and community-based leadership• Commitment to open access in the arts and sciences, including digitization initiatives in publishing, archives, and libraries• Comprehensive management of data from the documentation... Read More →

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Owner, vrcHost LLC
vrcHost specializes in installation, integration, customization, and feature development for the Madison Digital Image Database (MDID) project - an open source digital content management system used at hundreds of institutions worldwide for teaching and scholarship in the visual arts... Read More →

Tuesday March 23, 2021 2:00pm - 3:00pm CDT