May 15, 2021

French Sculpture Census, World’s First Comprehensive Digital Archive of French Sculpture in America, Launches in Cooperation with Six American and French Institutions

From the University of Texas, Dallas:

The Nasher Sculpture Center, in partnership with The University of Texas at Dallas, the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, the Musée d’Orsay, the Musée Rodin, and the Ecole du Louvre in Paris, [recently] announced the launch of the French Sculpture Census at FrenchSculpture.org.

The first of its kind anywhere in the world, the Census is directed by Laure de Margerie, former Senior Archivist of Sculpture at the Musée d’Orsay and current research fellow at UTD under the auspices of the newly created Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History. For it, de Margerie has produced a digital archive of 7,000 French sculptures dating between 1500 and 1960 that are found in American museums, public buildings, historic homes and estates, or displayed in public space. Offered in both English and French, the Census presents in rich detail the breadth, quality and diversity of nearly 500 years of French sculpture collected in the United States.

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With this launch, comprehensive information for 7,000 works by 690 artists in 305 locations is immediately available. Over time, additional objects will be added with the goal of expanding the Census’s online content by over 50% to include 15,000-20,000 sculptures nationwide.

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FrenchSculpture.org has been developed to share a detailed amount of information on each of the objects included in the census and broader information on sculpture as a field. It includes:

  • Search screens with access by artist, place of birth and death, gender, type of sculpture, medium, period, location, and a full text search,
  • Educational tools such as a specialized bibliography, a list of exhibitions, a glossary of sculpture terms, descriptions of sculpture techniques (modeling, carving, casting), references to legal texts defining original works and reproductions in the case of editions, links to other specialized websites,
  • « Spotlights on… » works with odd destinies, rediscoveries, « coups de cœur » (favorite pieces), unexpected ensembles.
  • Each object record will be illustrated with one photograph and will include a direct link to the owning institution website.
  • The web version will also interact with viewers by inviting them to report new sculptures or bring additional information to existing ones, with Laure de Margerie vetting all data.

Direct to FrenchSculpture.org

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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