May 2011 Archways

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Art and Artifact Collections Go Online

By Ellie Rhymer ’12

The Bryn Mawr campus community can now browse through the College’s art and artifact collections—online.

Last fall, Special Collections announced the launch of the online Art and Artifact Collections Database, which is available to the Tri-College community.

Students, faculty and staff of Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore can search the collection by date, location, period, artist, medium, and several other categories. A search in “Tools and Equipment,” for instance, can bring up entries featuring weaponry or ancient farming, hunting, and fishing equipment.

The project began in early 2009 with funding from the College’s Graduate Group in Archaeology, Classics, and History of Art. Collections Information Manager Cheryl Klimaszewski was hired to oversee the project. Now more than 24,000 objects in the art and artifact collections have been entered into the online database Some objects have been researched and cataloged to a greater level of detail than others. Of the 24,000 object records available online, almost 18,000 of those have also been photographed.

“This is part of a larger push to make the collections available to more viewers,” says Klimaszewski, “not just to art history and archaeology students and faculty members, but also to students, faculty or staff members in any discipline.”

Professors can request specific items and hold classes with them in the special seminar room on the second floor of Canaday. Items can also be requested individually and viewed in the Special Collections reading room. Both spaces, as well as the public exhibition space and display case, are part of the new Eva Jane Romaine Coombe ’52 Special Collections Suite in Canaday Library.

New Look at Troubling Portraits

The mysterious doppelgänger in the intense, often disturbing portraiture of Austrian Expressionist artist Egon Schiele has long been a subject of discussion among art historians and critics. Did the impetus that prompted Schiele’s use of the doppelgänger leave its traces elsewhere in Schiele’s portraiture?

Thanks to a Fulbright research grant, Lori Felton, a Ph.D. student in history of art, will spend the next academic year prowling the museums and archives of Vienna for evidence that will shed light on that question. In her master’s thesis, Felton focused on the doppelgänger motif in some of Schiele’s self-portraits. In her dissertation, she hopes to extend her analysis to examples of Schiele’s portraiture in which a literal doppelgänger is not present.