The Barnes Foundation Is Making Thousands of Pieces From Its Art Collection Available Online

Paul Cézanne. The Card Players (Les Joueurs de cartes), 1890–1892
Paul Cézanne. The Card Players (Les Joueurs de cartes), 1890–1892
The Barnes Foundation // Public Domain

The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia is home to 4021 examples of classic, impressionist, modern, and decorative art. Now, Artnet News reports that over half of the items in its collection have been made available to view online on an open access basis.

Of the 2081 newly published works, 1429 are now officially in the public domain. The public domain section of its massive web collection includes work by Paul Cezanne, Vincent van Gogh, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Unlike their online images under copyright, these pictures can be zoomed in to view them in detail and even downloaded by visitors to the website.

In the past few years, major art institutions like the Museum of Modern Art, the Getty Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum have become more generous about sharing their holdings online. But the move is a big change for the Barnes Foundation, which has followed strict rules about how its collection should be handled since it was founded in 1922. The foundation famously didn't allow any color reproductions of its items to be published until the 1990s. With the new open access project, the museum's directors hope to move the Barnes into the digital age.

Shelley Bernstein, deputy director of audience engagement and chief experience officer at the Barnes, wrote in a blog post:

"As we were rethinking the presentation of our collection online we were considering the sensitivity Barnes had around color reproduction, but we also had to think about the needs of today’s students, researchers, and scholars. It goes without saying that the work of other institutions — the open access initiative at the Met, especially — helped make these decisions much easier."

Art enthusiasts can start freely exploring the digital collection today.

[h/t Artnet News]

Show Off Your Love of Art With a Frida Kahlo Action Figure

Frida Kahlo Action Figure
Frida Kahlo Action Figure
Today is Art Day

If you're in the market for an action figure based on a real person, you've got plenty to choose from: Everyone from Snoop Dogg to the Pope is getting their own figurine these days. Now, Frida Kahlo has joined the ranks of icons who have become immortalized in plastic.

In 2017, Canadian art website Today Is Art Day (known for its Vincent van Gogh action figure) started a Kickstarter to give Kahlo the action figure treatment. The toy features the artist with a monkey pal on her shoulder, as well as a detachable heart and the faint smell of roses. The packaging has fun facts about the artist, along with some miniature artwork that can be cut out and affixed to a miniature easel.

“Not that I don’t like the great books and reproductions of artworks but, I think it’s more engaging to have a Frida Kahlo action figure on your desk rather than an art history book on your shelf," ‘Today Is Art Day’ founder David Beaulieu told Lost at E Minor during the Kickstarter campaign.

The Frida action figure is available on Amazon for $30.

Frida Kahlo Action Figure

Frida Kahlo Action Figure

[h/t Lost at E Minor]

A version of this article first ran in 2017. It has been updated to reflect current availability.

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Rare Audio Clip of Frida Kahlo Discovered in Mexican Sound Library

Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Even if they're not experts in art, many people are familiar with Frida Kahlo's most famous paintings. The Mexican artist's style, quotes, and artwork are still iconic 65 years after her death, but few people know what she sounded like. As CNN reports, the National Sound Library of Mexico recently announced the discovery of what could be the only surviving recording of her voice.

The clip comes from the 1955 pilot of the radio show El Bachiller. The episode profiles Diego Rivera, a muralist and Kahlo's on-again-off-again husband. In one section, Kahlo can be heard reciting a text entitled "Portrait of Diego" that poetically describes the appearance and temperament of her spouse.

Kahlo had already died when the episode aired, and the radio show notes that the voice being broadcast belongs to a painter "who no longer exists." The original recording of her voice likely dates back to 1954 or 1953 (she died in July 1954).

In a press release, the director of the National Sound Library of Mexico Pável Granados said that audio of Frida Kahlo is one of the most common requests they receive. The authenticity of the tape has yet to be confirmed, and authorities are currently investigating to see if the voice in the recording really belonged to the artist.

Surviving audio of Kahlo may be rare, but the painter left behind many artworks and writings that paint a rich picture of her life. Here are some facts about the icon.

[h/t CNN]

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