Bookends for artworks

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mootpoint
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2022 9:17 pm

Bookends for artworks

Post by mootpoint »

Hello all,

I'm an art historian looking for a way to manage artworks and captions.

I already use bookends for references. I'm getting fed up with my current way of storing information about images, and always seem to end up typing captions out by hand on handouts, powerpoints and in publications.

My current plan is to customize the field names for the artwork reference type, use attachments to create thumbnails, and add a citation format to generate captions.

Does anyone out there use Bookends to manage artworks or objects? I'd appreciate hearing what works, what doesn't or if this isn't what Bookends is really for. To be clear, I'm just interested in the text aspect of managing artworks. I have lightroom type program to manage all the images, but it's designed for photographers, not academics, and doesn't anticipate scholarly captions.

Thanks!

Philologist
Posts: 143
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:17 am

Re: Bookends for artworks

Post by Philologist »

mootpoint wrote:
Tue Aug 16, 2022 8:24 am
looking for a way to manage artworks and captions.
An interesting question. I'm not an art historian, so in order to answer your question reliably I need to know exactly what you want to do.

I guess an art historian would like to write down the name of the painter and the picture, the size, whether it's made of oil or water colors, etc., year, whether it belongs to a certain art direction (Impressionism, Expressionism, etc.), rating and so on. All this can be done easily in Bookends.

You also mention "scholarly captions". What do you mean by that?

I can think of a picture in a book with a caption below the picture containing the name of the painter, the name of the picture, the year it was finished, material (oil, water colors…), the owner or the location of the picture. That's what I, as a layman, would expect to see in a book about art. Is this what you mean by "scholarly captions"? If so, then all this can be done in Bookends as well.

or if this isn't what Bookends is really for
Bookends is basically a database, and although it's optimized for books, articles and other written material there is no reason why it can't also be used for organizing art artifacts, music and composers. I'm a movie buff, and I have created a Bookends library for hard-to-get Asian art movies (mainly from Japan and India.) This is a small library, and all entries are done manually and by copy and paste.
In your case, you should find out whether you can import your art data directly from an academic art library or an online database into Bookends. That saves time and prevents orthographic mistakes.
I have lightroom type program to manage all the images, but it's designed for photographers, not academics
I played with Lightroom a couple of years ago, and my impression was, it's mainly a digital image editor. You can probably, as you say, keep track of your images with Lightroom, but I found GraphicConverter better for that purpose. I also use NeoFinder which was originally meant as a program to scan and index your external drives so you can quickly find that one file that you are looking for. Over the years, NeoFinder has become more and more biased towards pictures and images. In NeoFinder you can search for all your pictures with a certain resolution or location, for example. If you don't already know NeoFinder, check it out.

mootpoint
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2022 9:17 pm

Re: Bookends for artworks

Post by mootpoint »

This is really helpful, thank you.

Each academic journal has a slightly different requirement for what information should be in a caption, and it varies by artwork, too---people working on Roman coins want different information than van Gogh scholars.

Here's an example of one formatted according to the guidelines for one of the journals of record
3 Sandro Botticelli, Primavera, ca. 1482, tempera on panel, 6 ft. 8 in. x 10 ft. 4 in. (2.03 x 3.15 m). Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence (artwork in the public domain; photograph provided by Scala/Art Resource, NY)

Another does it slightly differently:
All captions should adhere to the following basic formulations:

• Artist’s Name, Title of Work of Art, Date. Materials, Dimensions. Location: Collection.
From what you say it ought to be easy enough to teach bookends to produce captions for those different requirements.

Neofinder looks amazing! I had no idea! Thank you.

Philologist
Posts: 143
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:17 am

Re: Bookends for artworks

Post by Philologist »

From what you say it ought to be easy enough to teach bookends to produce captions for those different requirements.
Yes, that's correct. You would have to create two formats, one for each guideline, if you want to be able to quickly switch between the two, depending on which guideline you must comply with.

Neofinder looks amazing! I had no idea! Thank you.
You are welcome. :–)

After watching this YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPvO-h6UE4o
it occurred to me that NeoFinder can also replace HoudahSpot!

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