Creighton profs digitizes priceless artwork by Maximillian-Bodmer

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – When The Joslyn Art Museum is closed until 2024 to complete an incredible renovation, a door opens to work with rare works of art and documents that are often on display or in careful storage.

Powered by a $350,000 grant from the National Foundation for the Humanities (NEH), a group of Creighton University faculty members are digitizing Original collection of documents from the landmark 19th century expedition into the heartland of the United States, which captures in unprecedented detail the culture and heritage of Native Americans in the interior. American land.

The documents, seen by many in Joslyn’s last major exhibition before its temporary closure, are the most complete collection of drawings, detailed texts, and artifacts collected and written during the tour. explorer by German prince Maximillian von Wied and Swiss painter Karl Bodmer from 1832 to 1834.

“[The pieces in the collection]have two functions, they are beautiful, and they also capture a lot of cultural information,” said Dr Annika Johnson, curator of North American art at the Joslyn Art Museum. how a moccasin is made, to the specific type of stitch a woman is using in her necklace. I mean it’s information that you don’t see very often, a lot of times because the cultural paraphernalia from that era has ceased to ‘didn’t survive colonization and settlement. “

The project is a collaboration between the Joslyn Museum of Art of Omaha, Creighton University, members of The Omaha . Tribeand Nebraska Indian Community College.

Creighton, Joslyn and Nebraska Indian Community College all contributed to the now digitized collection.

Once the web portal is completed and fully operational, The Natural Face of North America: A Public Portal to the Maximilian-Bodmer Collection will feature digital files of more than 1,000 objects from the expedition, including The highly detailed, handwritten magazine as well as over 400 watercolors and drawings are available to the public upon completion.

Dr Simon Appleford, along with Faculty of Arts and Sciences member Dr Andrew Sundberg, are leading the project, working with students from Creighton and the NICC. Appleford and Johnson say working with Omaha Tribal Council vice president Wynema Morris is also important for the link between the chronicled past and those represented.

“We’re going to the Dakotas,” Appleford said. “We will be meeting with the Omaha and other tribal communities, to learn from them, what they consider important, what they would like to see the portal do for their communities.”

There is a proxy gateway, one where the lower resolution images will eventually be uploaded, freely accessible to the public. When project elements are digitized, Online visitors can see and interact on the go.

“First and foremost, it’s accessibility to words,” Appleford said of the project’s importance. “It ensures that this very valuable document is accessible to anyone, anywhere if you might be interested in these documents.”

The current phase of the project will be completed in 2024, which closely resembles Joslyn’s reopening.

There will be an academic curriculum and further studies developed as part of the project.

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