VRC Collaborative Spaces: Live Streaming Digital Art History

The VRC hosted viewing sessions for two live-stream events this past fall. Held in our twin-screens space, colleagues and faculty members joined us to learn more about digital art history and to see examples of research projects currently being pursued. The first event was Centering Art History & Visual Culture in the Digital Humanities, a symposium celebrating 10 years of the Wired! Lab at Duke University. Wired! Lab was created in 2009 to explore the potential of digital visualization technologies for the study of art and architecture. The symposium brought art historians and visual culture scholars to discuss their analysis of spatial problems through computational methods and digital visualization.

The second event was the National Gallery of Art (NGA) Datathon, Coding Our Collection. NGA invited teams of data scientists and art historians to analyze, contextualize, and visualize its permanent collection data, a first for American art museums. The Gallery’s full permanent collection data was released to six teams of researchers for analysis, some of which included Williams College professors and students. Questions from curators, conservators, and researchers helped to guide the analysis, and teams were encouraged to pursue whichever avenues of inquiry they found most compelling. The study culminated in a two-day Datathon during which the teams finalized their visualizations and presented their findings during the live-stream event. You can view a recording of NGA’s Datathon here and read the analyses of the six teams here.

Data visualization from Team 4.


Team 4 included Williams College Professor of Mathematics, Chad Topaz and Professor of Statistics, Bernhard Klingenberg. Additionally, Team 5 included Sofie Netteberg, a BA Candidate, Statistics of Global Studies.