In terms of art history digitals technologies have become one of the ways to access a piece of art for examination and research without interaction with the physical object or artwork. For some experts, physical interaction is irreplaceable, but some researchers find it acceptable to use the digital images.
Conservative art historians prefer to use old-school examination processes for analysis of the art objects: color, size, texture, shape etc. Scholars with advanced approach to examination prefer to review the object of interest in one of the numerous digital online catalogs to understand if there is a necessity to for personal examination.
History of art, facilitated with digital technologies, allows more efficient introduction and production of these art objects to the researchers. One out of many digital art collections – Catalog of Art Museum Images Online (CAMIO) is a “growing online collection documenting works of art form around the world, representing the collections of prominent museums” (CAMIO, N. d.). CAMIO offers an opportunity for art historians to review large amounts of digital copies and images to be used in their research.
Though some experts “decry the variation and degradation of the images in digital form” (Bailey, 2015), digitized art collections are gaining more popularity among art specialists. It is clear that cataloguing systems like CAMIO that offer their services to researchers, students and faculty of educational facilities, provide access to a big number of objects, making scholastic research even more efficient due to the beneficial digital environment. Nevertheless, digitized art objects are considered by the researchers as secondary sources, while personal examination is regarded as a primary source because it allows to build a personal relation with the object.
Given that opinions on the subject of digitalized art history are completely different, the following should be concluded. Online cataloguing systems like CAMIO are beneficial for completion of primary scholastic research and they could be used for educational objectives by the students. CAMIO facilitates art historians in conducting their investigations and decision-making, whether personal examination of the art object is required; thus, CAMIO could also be regarded as a money- and time-saving tool.
- CAMIO (N. d.) Catalogue of Art Museum Images Online. Retrieved from http://camio.oclc.org/cdm/
- Bailey, R. (2015). Creating Digital Art History: Liberty, Student and Faculty Collaboration. The International Journal of New Media, Technology, and the Arts, 10(2). Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.providence.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1047&context=facstaff_pubs