Henrietta Miers: Mapping Venetian Ceiling Paintings

December 16, 2015
Henrietta Miers

The Wired! Lab’s Master’s program in Historical & Cultural Visualization was begun in August 2014. Three students recently completed the program.


Tell us a little about yourself.

I am from Bronxville, New York, a one square mile town where I attended Bronxville High School. In 2010, I attended Princeton University and graduated in 2014 with a BA in Art History. I wrote my senior thesis on the art of the British Nigerian Artist Yinka Shonibare. At Duke, I wrote my MA thesis on sixteenth-century ceiling paintings in Venetian churches at a time of religious reform. I created an extensive database of 17 ceiling cycles consisting of two collections, about 350 items, 3 interactive maps, and 3 exhibitions. After graduation, I hope to work in a museum position and eventually get my Ph.D. in Art History.

Why did you choose to attend the MA in Historical and Cultural Visualization program?

First, I explored the projects the Wired! lab was working on, especially Visualizing Venice, and thought it would be great to work on the project and eventually write my thesis on a Venetian topic. Second, the idea of learning about how to digitize art history made me want to be part of the program because art history is constantly changing, and it is exceptionally useful to know how to utilize digital tools and programs such as SketchUp and Omeka (to name a few).

What is the most valuable skill or concept you have learned in the MA program?

The most valuable concept I learned is how powerful and important visualization is to the future of art history. Art history is constantly evolving, and digitization of this discipline is the direction it is heading, which is already evident in certain museums.

How do you see this MA advancing your career goals?

This MA degree will advance my career goals because the program gave me a skill set that I did not have prior to entering Duke. The MA allowed me to learn to code scenes with BabylonJS, design a website using HTML, build a windmill in SketchUp, and construct a database of about 350 items using Omeka. These are only a few of the things I was able to accomplish during this program, and I believe these skills will be useful for a museum position.

Henrietta is a member of the MA program’s inaugural graduating class. Her thesis is titled “Mapping All Above: Sixteenth-Century Ceiling Painting at a Time of Religious Reform.” During her time at Duke she worked on the Venice Interactive Visual Atlas (VIVA). She also worked on a class project, “Troyes Cathedral: Stained Glass” in which students recolored black and white images of a stained glass window as a way of showing how the medieval window, whose colors are now dimmed with the passage of time, may have first appeared. 

UPDATE: Henrietta is now employed at an art gallery in New York.

Wired! Goes Down Under

November 2, 2015 — November 5, 2015
Caroline Bruzelius

Professor Caroline Bruzelius will be traveling to Australia this coming week to speak in Sydney and Canberra on Wired! Lab projects:


Digital Approaches in the Study of Early-Modern Visual Culture

November 2-4, 2015

Canberra, Australia

Presented by the Australian National University and The Power Institute Foundation at the University of Sydney

Professor Bruzelius will present “The Kingdom of Sicily Image Database: Creating a Scholarly Resource”.


Recasting the Question: Digital Approaches in Art History and Museums

November 5, 2015

Sydney, Australia

Presented by The Power Institute Foundation at the University of Sydney and the Research School of Humanities and the Arts, Australian National University, with support from the Asia Art Archive.

Professor Bruzelius will deliver the keynote address, “Digital Thinking and Art History: Re-Imagining Teaching, Research, and the Museum”.


Image Credit

The Lives Of Things Color Projection Exhibit Unveiled at the Nasher

UPDATES: Wired! Project featured on Oxford Archaeology

September 29, 2015
by Alta Zhang

UPDATED November 18, 2015: Project featured in North Carolina State University’s student newspaper, Technician. Read the article here.

A Wired! Lab student project is currently being featured on the Oxford Archaeology website in connection with excavations being undertaken at Westgate in Oxford, UK. The project contains various research and an animated film. This film, as a main output of this project, is featured in the Open Day for Oxford Archaeology Westgate Excavation, exhibiting the Buildings of Grey and Black friars in a visual and digital way. For more information, please visit the page of Westgate Excavation in Oxford.

Created by Jim Knowles (Grad ’09) and Michal Koszychi (Trinity ’09), “Great Houses Make Not Men Holy: Mendicant Architecture in Medieval Oxford” is an animated film about the medieval Franciscan and Dominican foundations in Oxford. By using a sixteenth-century map with later added 3D model and digital reconstructions, the project combines multifaceted scholarship to visualize the historical vicissitude between 1220s and 1530s. The project grew out of a collaboration between the two authors and Wired Digital Visualization Training Program at Duke University.

The animated film is available on the project’s website with an overview of the research work about the architectural and topographical features. In the film, a 3D reconstruction is presented, and a timeline is provided for better understandings the chronological development of Franciscan and Dominican churches. Various textual and illuminated sources from different time periods are combined, analyzed and visualized.


Digital Thinking & Art History: Re-Imagining Teaching, Research, & the Museum

September 29, 2015
Collision Space (Smith Warehouse, Bay 10, 2nd Floor, A266)
Elizabeth BaltesCaroline BruzeliusHannah JacobsTimothy SheaMariano Tepper

Intermezzo is an event series sponsored by the Art, Art History and Visual Studies department. The series enables graduate students and faculty to present ongoing projects to one another in an informal setting.

The September 29th Intermezzo will feature members of the Wired! Lab discussing their experiences using digital methods in teaching and research. Caroline Bruzelius and Hannah Jacobs will speak about the use of spatiotemporal visualization to create an interactive course syllabus. Elizabeth Baltes and Timothy Shea will discuss the affordances digital tools have lent to their research. Mariano Tepper will demonstrate components of The Lives of Things project’s newest digital exhibition at the Nasher, which digitally recolors medieval statues as they may have initially appeared at the time of their creation.

Nasher10 Homecoming to feature Lives of Things

October 4, 2015
Nasher Museum of Art
Caroline Bruzelius, Mark Olson, Guillermo Sapiro, Mariano Tepper

UPDATE: Read a recap of the event.

The Wired! Lab’s Lives of Things, a project co-led by Caroline Bruzelius, Mark Olson, Guillermo Sapiro, and Mariano Tepper, will be featured as part of the Nasher Museum of Art’s Homecoming event Sunday, October 4th, from 12:00-4:00p.m. Over the summer, the Nasher’s permanent exhibition gallery was renovated to create a space better suited to sharing with the public the museum’s fine permanent collection. The Homecoming celebrates the reopening of the permanent exhibit and features projects such as the Lives of Things, which digitally augments the Nasher’s permanent collection to provide visitors with new ways to understand artifacts’ original context. The mobile application that will be featured with the permanent collection this academic year enables visitors to digitally recolor medieval statues as they may have been painted at the time of their creation.

The Lives of Things’ faculty and postdoctoral leaders will speak about the project as part of the premiere of the Nasher’s new speaking series, NED Talks (Nasher, Education, Duke). More information about the public event can be gathered from the Save the Date below.



Duke’s Fall Digital Workshops

August 21, 2015
Hannah L. Jacobs

Whether you’re a student, staff or faculty member, there are many opportunities to brush up your digital skill set this fall at Duke. Topics range from Microsoft Office to command line to HTML to 3D printing to data visualization and everywhere in between. Here are some workshop series you’ll want to check out:

Data & Visualization Services

Digital Scholarship Services (to be announced, but watch this space!)

Events at The Edge

Innovation Co-Lab roots/ Series

Research Computing

OIT Training Seminars

Tools for Digital Scholarship & Teaching in Art, Art History & Visual Studies

Readings & Resources: Digital Art History

Fall 2015 Open House

September 1, 2015
Wired! Lab (Smith Warehouse, Bay 11, 2nd Floor, A233)

What does the Wired! Lab do? How can you get involved? Come learn about our research opportunities and speak with our faculty and current students. Bring a friend! Light refreshments will be served. We look forward to seeing you there!




Jessica Pissini: 3D Modeling & AR in Museum Education

July 1, 2015
Jessica Pissini

The Wired! Lab’s Master’s program in Historical & Cultural Visualization was begun this past August. We are excited to have three students participating.

Tell us a little about yourself.

My background and undergraduate degrees from Pennsylvania State University are within visual art (sculpture/photography) and in ancient history/archaeology. I was lucky enough to be part of an excavation team in Egypt for 3 summers, 2 of which I was a graduate assistant in charge of the lab and site photography. I lived in Los Angeles for 4 years after school and had a great job in a film/tv fabrication studio where I worked on movies like the Avengers and Hunger Games, and tons more. I truly loved the creative side of that job but the entertainment industry is brutal. Plus I missed fieldwork and classes, so I started to look into graduate school.

Why did you choose to attend the MA in Historical and Cultural Visualization program?

I wanted a program that crossed both of my interests, and the HCVIS seemed to be the best fit. Plus I was not going to pass up the opportunity to go to Duke. The MA program gives me a chance to learn and study art and artifacts that I enjoy and also engages my creative side with the visualization projects.

What is the most valuable skill or concept you have learned so far in the MA program?

I came into the program wanting to 3D model everything I could get my hands on. While I have certainly learned a ton of great modeling skills, I think the most important concept I have learned is how to approach such projects and document everything along the way. There is so much more that goes into a historical/cultural visualization project than just the final model or image. I’ve quickly learned that such projects require much more effort in the research and planning stages than sometimes goes into the actual modeling itself. All of those elements are necessary though to have a successful project.

How do you see this MA advancing your career goals?

I would love to work with art and artifacts perhaps within a museum type of career. With all of the classes and all of the projects I have been a part of these last 2 semesters, I have worked directly with museum exhibitions and public outreach projects. That is hands on experience in a field I want to pursue. Plus, working with professors and curators within the Nasher, I’ve seen a kind of “behind the scenes” type of approach to museum exhibits, and all of the work that goes into the planning.

Jessica works on the lab project The Lives of Things, was an instrumental part of Simon Verity’s January 2015 residency, and recently completed this in-class group project. She is currently working to complete her MA thesis, which focuses on creating interactive digital resources for museum education.

UPDATE: Jessica is continuing her studies in museum education at the PhD level.