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Want more Wolfsonian? — 3/12/14

Posted by Andrea Gollin, filed under Wolfsonian Collection




If you’ve explored the blog, you know we’ve had several posts that consider objects from The Wolfsonian’s collection that relate to the theme of complaints. By now, we have little doubt that you’d like more Wolfsonian. Who wouldn’t? For anyone who is not in Miami and/or doesn’t have easy access to the physical collection, today we’re providing an introduction to the museum’s digital image catalog, a recent development that is continually growing.  

Thanks to the digital catalog, a significant portion of The Wolfsonian’s collection is now residing in cyberspace, with digital images and corresponding records that are searchable and can be saved, tagged, shared, and otherwise personalized. “It is pretty amazing and wonderful,” says Derek Merleaux, The Wolfsonian’s digital asset manager, who is not easily impressed.

Visitors to the digital catalog can create their own accounts and work with the collection in various ways, including, for example, setting up a “bookshelf” and putting saved objects on it, which can then be shared.

Among the more than seventeen thousand museum items in the constantly growing  digital catalog are hundreds of books and pamphlets that can be explored online through a robotic page turner.

Merleaux selected several recently added library materials as a way to introduce our blog readers to this very cool feature. There’s no organizing principle to this list, other than that these books are a lot of fun to view online.

Modern Ornamentation by Christopher Dresser, a compendium published in 1886 of original ornamental designs for textiles, wood, metal, pottery, and more.

Real Heroes, a comic book published between 1941–1946 that billed itself as “true comics about Franklin D. Roosevelt Winston Churchill Chiang Kai Shek and other leaders and heroes of the war.”

The Harmony Society in Pennsylvania, a Federal Writers’ Project book published in 1937 about a communal society in the 1800s.

An American Year: Country Life and Landscapes Through the Seasons by Hal Borland, a lavishly illustrated 1946 work—illustrations are by “distinguished contemporary artists.”

The Chinese Theatre by Chu Chia-Chien, illustrated by A. Jacovleff, a 1922 work that consists primarily of illustrations depicting scenes, costumes, make-up, and more.

Andrea Gollin is the writer/editor for special projects for The Wolfsonian, including the Power of Design website and blog.

Caption: Painting, Trimotori [Tri-Motor], study for Superando le vette [Rising above the Peaks], c. 1938. Tullio Crali, artist. Watercolor and graphite on paper. The Wolfsonian–FIU, The Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. Collection.