Digitization of Artworks: From Reproduction to Visualization

Paper
Fernanda Araujo, Mackenzie, Brazil

This paper proposes a reflection about the digitization process of artwork’s collections, understood as collections of traditional art’s objects such as paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings, from the reproduction of artwork for a digital object to the representation of this in a virtual environment such as the Internet. The Dutch museum Rijksmuseum, which in 2013 launched its digital collection open to everyone, including download images in high resolution, was the motivator for the first steps of this research. Over the study it was observed that digitization of a collection, regardless of its nature, is more than a technical process of digital conversion, it is a structured and strategic process that impact systemically, functionally and organisationally the institution. Already scanning of visual artworks goes beyond the issues inherent to scan text documents, visual objects (artworks) with its aesthetic potential, must be thought from reproduction and visualisation to consider these elements as by aesthetically designed interfaces that engage users. The transposition of the role of museum institution of “caretaker” of the cultural heritage of society in which it operates for the information democratization channel and knowledge diffusion proves to be a reality, no going back. In addition, this paper provide an overview of the Brazilian museums in the use of technology. It is observed that the Brazilian museological institutions are at a preliminary stage, for lack budget constraints and even immaturity of institutions and ideological positions that resist scanning process.

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