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Work of Art Brainstorming

This page is for brainstorming about ideas, proposals, constraints, and requirements for a work of art microformat.

This is part of a community effort to create a work-of-art microformat. (See also: workofart-examples, workofart-formats.)


The Problem

Many art museums use metadata to describe the works of art in their collections. However, the presentation of works of art on the web often does not benefit from that formalized categorization work. We'd like to develop a xhtml markup standard for the presentation of works of art on the web.

Use Cases

Why bother with a microformat for works of art? What problems will it enable us able to solve? What new tools will it enable us to build?

The Metamuseum

A work of art microformat turns the art on museum websites into the building blocks of a web based "metamuseum" -- an interface to the works of art on the web.

The Work of Art Aggregator (+ XSLT = Flash Cards)

"I'm a college student who takes art history courses. At many times I have been presented with the problem of creating flash cards for the exams in these courses. How much time I could have saved with a work-of-art aggregator, and an xslt sheet which could produce printable flashcards automatically from the wide range of art sites out in the wild." -- from this post on the microformats discuss list

Research (and Publicity for Smaller Collections?)

"I mentioned previously that I would be shortly redesigning an art gallery's website making heavy use of microformats. I was just informed that they want to reproduce photographs of all the art and sculpture from each artist for the purposes of working with clientelle in making an informed decision about the purchase of art work. With a microformat as a guide to "best practices" such a catalogue could easily be collected into a searchable database." -- from this post on the microformats discuss list


I'd guess that it's more common for multiple works of art to be viewed on a single web page than it is for a single work to be viewed on a single page. In real life, multiple works of art can be combined to make a gallery. The work of art microformat should be designed so that it's easy to combine multiple xhtml works of art into an xhtml gallery (perhaps using something like the hAtom format to tie the pieces together).


What should work of art be based on?

Integration of other microformats

What about citation?


citation + Dublin Core Strawman

Component Notes Approximate CDWA equivalent
title [Title or Names]
creator (hCard) [Creation-Creator]
creator-dates (dates) [vitalDatesCreator]
creator-nationality [nationalityCreator]
creator-role [roleCreator]
subject keywords (using rel-tag?) [Subject Matter]
description [Descriptive Note]
date (date created OR earliest date) [Creation-Date]
latest-date (latest date) [Creation-Date-Latest Date]
type (genre/style) [Classification] [Styles/Periods] [Object/Work Type]
format (dimensions) [Measurements]
medium (media / techniques) [Materials and Techniques]
identifier (repository number / accession number) [Current Location-Repository Numbers]
source (current repository) [Current Location-Repository Name]
source-location (current repository location -- adr or geo?) [Current Location-Repository Location]
rights (copyright information) / rel-license? [Copyright/Restrictions]
provenance [Ownership/Collecting History-Description]
series (connect artworks that are part of a series) [Related Works]

[ Samantha Orme ]

CDWA Lite Strawman

Use class names based on the CDWA Lite 1.1 XML Schema.

This example is based on a CDWA example

<span class="cdwalite">
    <span class="objectWorkTypeWrap">
        <span class="objectWorkType">watercolor</span>
    <span class="titleWrap">
        <span class="titleSet">
            <span class="title">Conway Castle, North Wales</span>
    <span class="displayCreator">Joseph Mallord William Turner (British painter, 1775-1851)</span>
    <span class="displayMeasurements">53.6 x 76.7 cm (21 1/8 in. x 30 1/8 in.)</span>
    <span class="displayMaterialsTech">Watercolor and gum arabic with graphite underdrawing</span>
    <span class="styleWrap">
        <span class="style">Romanticism</span>
    <span class="descriptiveNoteWrap">
        <span class="descriptiveNoteSet">
            <span class="descriptiveNote">This is the largest of Turner's four extant watercolors of this medieval...</span>
    <span class="locationWrap"> 
        <span class="locationSet">
            <span class="locationName currentRepository">J. Paul Getty Museum (New York, New York, USA)</span>
            <span class="locationName repositoryLocation">Los Angeles (California, USA)</span>
            <span class="locationName repositoryNumbers">95.GC.10.</span>

Unresolved issues in CDWA Lite Strawman:

workofart-brainstorming was last modified: Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010