Art in the display window: launch of an online platform for works of art

November 9, 2022

An online platform has been set up to give the public access to the works of Baden-Württemberg's artists.

A new digital art platform is intended to provide an opportunity for artists from Baden-Württemberg to present their work to the public. The Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts, in collaboration with the University of Stuttgart's Institute of Art History, is funding the "Art in the Display Window" research project with a total of 300,000 euros over the next three years. This pilot project was launched in early November.

State Secretary for the Arts Arne Braun explained in Stuttgart on Wednesday (November 9) that: "The region's knowledge of art production and its specific character is in danger of being lost due to changing practices in the contemporary art scene along with its new stakeholders and media. The ‘Art in the Display Window’ project will enable artists from Baden-Württemberg to showcase their work on a digital platform. Not only will this promote regional networking among themselves, but at the same time it will boost Baden-Württemberg's standing as a center for the arts as the project will explore and focus on the production of art."

Researchers at the University of Stuttgart will enhance existing data management software to enable the presentation of digitized works on screen. They are also planning to upgrade the software to include the "Art in the Display Window" online platform, on which, the works will be presented in the form of a digital showcase to which the public will have access.

Project manager Kerstin Thomas, a professor at the University of Stuttgart's Institute of Art History, emphasizes the importance of this kind of accessibility for promoting a better understanding of modernist art: "On the one hand,” she says, “our perception of modern and contemporary art in Baden-Württemberg is determined by the international canon, which is based on the work of well-known artists, and on the other by a specific profile of regional groups and art centers. By creating a link between these two perspectives, the project aims to arrive at and convey a more nuanced understanding of southwestern German modernism."

The project is being facilitated by the interdisciplinary collaboration between the University of Stuttgart's Institute of Art History, Information and Communication Center, and the University Library. These bodies play a major role in converting the large volumes of data into digital format and securing them permanently.

By using standardized digital formats, it is also possible to exchange information with other databases and thus link additional information about the respective artists. According to Arne Braun: "This project provides the requisite material for in-depth basic research into modern and contemporary art in the region and contributes to a deeper knowledge of the cultural area in a supra-regional and international context by progressively developing this platform for art, artists, and the various stakeholders associated with them in modern Baden-Württemberg since the beginning of the modern era."

Another aim of the pilot project is to contribute to the increasingly urgent task of digitally recording and presenting collections by developing it as a model for future digital artwork inventories.

Proposals for the inclusion of specific artists

The artists, whose works are displayed, are selected by a panel of experts from academia, the museum, and the commercial art scene. Nominations for the inclusion of artists may be submitted by heads of public and private collections, administrators of artistic estates, and artists from Baden-Württemberg, who can submit a relevant portfolio of their work.

For more information about the application process, please contact:

Prof. Dr. Kerstin Thomas of the University of Stuttgart’s Institute of Art History at: kerstin.thomas@ikg.uni-stuttgart.de

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