Revisioning Art History: how a century of change in imaging technologies helped to shape a discipline

  • Allan T. Kohl Minneapolis College of Art and Design
Keywords: art history, pedagogy, teaching, publishing, research, images, lantern slides


  Beginning in the latter nineteenth century, the use of photography to document works of art was a key factor in the emergence of art history as an independent discipline. The subsequent introduction of new technologies such as lantern slides, 35mm color slides, and carousel projectors resulted in significant transformation in pedagogy. In the twentieth century, the growing use of photographic illustrations influenced a shift in emphasis in the textual content of scholarly publications such as exhibition catalogs, artist monographs, and journal articles. More recently, the digital revolution has increased access to art information, transforming the ways works of art are studied and taught. Today the high quality digital image is a fundamental scholarly resource, and specialized forms of investigative photography offer new ways of analyzing the ultimate primary sources: the works of art themselves.

Author Biography

Allan T. Kohl, Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Art historian Allan T. Kohl is the Visual Resources Librarian at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design, where he has taught courses in the history of ancient, medieval, and Renaissance art. He also teaches special topics art and cultural history courses for the College of Continuing Education at the University of Minnesota/Twin Cities. He did his graduate study in Library/Information Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and in art history at the University of Minnesota. He is Past-President (2008-2010) and current Treasurer of the Visual Resources Association.

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