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Ann Hamilton Project Archive Created at Ohio State

Ann Hamilton Project Archive Created at Ohio State

The works of internationally recognized artist Ann Hamilton, professor, Department of Art, and Distinguished University Professor at Ohio State, are being digitally archived in a new publicly accessible collection within the university's Visual Resources Library, housed in the Department of History of Art.

The collection - the Ann Hamilton Project Archive - currently contains more than 1,000 downloadable, high-resolution images from 35 art installations by Hamilton, ranging from her time as a graduate student at the Yale School of Art to her current large-scale multi-media installations exhibited worldwide. The digitization of the collection is ongoing and publicly available through vrl.osu.edu.

Says Hamilton, "Although my work has been materially dense, many of the projects are ultimately ephemeral. This documentation becomes very important as it gives the work a longer life and makes their fuller history and documentation accessible to students and researchers. They continue the conversation and circulation of ideas after a show comes down."

Andrew Shelton, chair of the Department of History of Art, summarizes the importance of the collection this way: "Professor Hamilton is one of the most important artists active in the world today and it is a real privilege for the Department of History of Art to play some role in the preservation and dissemination of her incredibly innovative and provocative work. That Ann has entrusted this task to the Visual Resources Library is also a fitting testament, I believe, to the dedication and hard work of the VRL's talented staff, who are always seeking new ways to serve the entire university community."

The archive, run by Stephanie Bernhardt, curator, and Michelle Maguire, associate curator, is an online resource containing downloadable high-resolution images (both licensed and restricted) that may be used for teaching and research by individuals at Ohio State and beyond. All images are downloadable as TIF files at 600 dpi.

"Collaboration with the Ann Hamilton Studio has given us a unique and exciting opportunity as a digital image repository," said Bernhardt. "We can all acknowledge that so much of today's teaching and research occurs in a digital realm, and we're thrilled that the VRL will be able to provide access and preservation to Ann Hamilton's vast collection of works."

The VRL began digitizing and archiving Hamilton's works two years ago. Each digital image contains detailed metadata - including extensive descriptions of the works, titles, dates, materials, sites, size, and more.

The launch of the archive coincides with Ohio State's increased focus on the arts at the university - including the creation of an emerging arts district at High Street and 15th Avenue, the "front door" to the university. This district includes arts facilities that have undergone extensive renovations and improvements, most notably the recently opened Sullivant Hall. The district also includes buildings housing academic art, design and music studios, galleries, and concert halls, along with the internationally known Wexner Center for the Arts.

Hamilton is widely recognized as a leading figure in contemporary art. A visual artist, she is internationally known for the sensory surrounds of her installations. Hamilton's site-responsive environments create immersive experiences that poetically respond to the architectural presence and social history of their sites.

Her installation the event of a thread at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City was recently selected by the 400-member International Association of Art Critics United States as Best Project in a Public Space for 2012. The large-scale work in the Armory's soaring Drill Hall was a multisensory affair drawing together readings, sound and live events within a field of swings that invited visitors to connect to the action of each other and the work itself.

Since 1981, Hamilton has participated in more than 60 solo and group exhibitions. In 1999 she represented the United States at the 48th Venice Biennale.

Born in Lima, Ohio, Ann Hamilton received a BFA in textile design from the University of Kansas in 1979 and an MFA in sculpture from the Yale School of Art in 1985. From 1985 to 1991, she taught on the faculty of the University of California at Santa Barbara. Hamilton has served on the faculty of The Ohio State University since 2001.

Among her many honors, Hamilton has been the recipient of the Heinz Award, MacArthur Fellowship, United States Artists Fellowship, NEA Visual Arts Fellowship, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture, and the Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship.

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