Wired! team at the NGA Datathon


Christine Liu

Last month, a team from the Wired! lab represented Duke University at the National Gallery of Art’s Datathon. The Gallery’s full permanent collection data was released to six teams of researchers from institutions. The Datathon coincided with other major efforts by the Gallery to make its collection more widely available to the public. The Gallery is in the process of donating 53,000 images of works of art to Wikimedia Commons. Questions from curators, conservators, and researchers guided analysis of the released data, and teams were encouraged to pursue whichever avenues of inquiry they found most compelling. The study culminated in a two-day Datathon during which teams finalized their visualizations and presented their findings on Friday, October 25, 2019.

The Wired! team consisted of Hannah Jacobs, Paul Jaskot, Christine Liu, Mark Olson, Victoria Szabo, Edward Triplett, and Augustus Wendell. Their presentation titled, “Down the Spatial Rabbit Hole of Ambiguous Data and Art Historical Questions at the National Gallery of Art” looked toward deciphering spatial narratives of the NGA’s Widener Collection, looking at works with saints in the collection, and relationships between the gallery and art history as a whole. The entire presentation is available online, the Wired! team’s presentation begins at the 1:07:00 mark.