Mapping Occupied Krakow

Paul Jaskot

As is well known, Krakow became a key location within the National Socialist plan for military expansion and the implementation of genocide in Eastern Europe during World War II. Here Hans Frank and the General Government he led developed their policies of oppression and occupation by establishing a formidable military and SS presence as well as claiming Krakow as “Germanized” again. Yet, while these policies and ideologies have been analyzed by scholars, little attention has been spent on how they were enacted in the built form of Krakow itself. This article addresses the key urban planning and architectural initiatives meant to “Germanize” Krakow, establish military rule, and also rid the city of its Jewish population. In particular, it will look at an integrated history of the built environment, comparing both the analog visual evidence of Nazi plans, drawings, and photographs with the digital exploration of the importance of victim spaces, above all the Jewish ghetto. The plans for rebuilding Krakow, led by architect Hubert Ritter, were ambitious and followed the goals of rebuilding cities established by Hitler for Nuremberg, Berlin, and elsewhere. So, too, of course, were the goals of concentrating and ultimately murdering the Jewish population of Krakow and the surrounding areas as part of the radicalization of the Holocaust. Spatial visualizations then and now help us to conceptualize these disparate histories together, seeing how the ambitions for establishing Nazi presence complemented and contradicted spatial planning for the Jewish community. In Krakow, the nationalist goals of a Nazi imperial East were imagined and enabled through architecture and control of the built environment.


Mark Olson

Victoria Szabo

Hannah Jacobs

Augustus Wendell

Cosimo Monteleone

Jannis Stoter

Tatjana Zimbelius-Klem

Bryan Rusch

Antonio LoPiano

Augmenting Scoletta del Carmine

MONADII: Methodologies and Best Practice for Non-Destructive Approaches to Interoperable Design and Management of Cultural Heritage
Rachele Bernardello, Emanuela Faresin, Mirka Dalla Longa, Guilia Piccinin
Spring 2018

This research project, in part developed in the Wired! Lab at Duke University, celebrates the Scoletta del Carmine, a fifteenth-century space that originally functioned as the seat of the Carmelite confraternity in Padua, Italy. The historical research and digital surveys (photogrammetry, laser scans, geo-radar, and thermo-camera imagery) have formed the basis for a digital reconstruction of the Scoletta in relationship to the adjacent church of Santa Maria del Carmine. The interior reconstruction benefits from the scientific analysis of the frescoes, namely the perspectival restitution of the imagery, which has enabled 3D modeling of the painted spaces and fictive architecture. This data is presented in three different Virtual Reality platforms—the Oculus Rift, the Cave (Duke DiVE), and web VR. Beginning in July 2018, these dynamic and multi-sensory experiences can be enjoyed by the broad and varied public who visits the Scoletta in Padua, part of an academic/touristic itinerary developed by the School of Architecture and Engineering at the University of Padua.

Decoding Artifacts

Jessica Pissini
Fall 2015

MA in Digital Art History student Jessica Pissini completed this project as part of her master’s thesis. Below is her explanation of her work:

The Decoding Artifacts project is researching medieval sculpture in new ways by studying stone carving tools and marks, the relationship of sound to the sculptor’s technique, and the importance of drawings and their connections to geometry. In addition, the project’s team is exploring ways to use digital tools and applications for public outreach and education within the Nasher Museum of Art. This website and augmented reality museum app presents 3D models, educational videos, and images as instruments of learning about stone carving and the artifact’s history. It encourages visitors to interact with the museum objects while exploring the virtual information and visualizations.

Access the website.

Find out more about Jessica’s experience in the MA program.

Gothic Cathedrals: The Cathedral of Saint Susanne

Fall 2016

Students in ARTHIST 225 Gothic Cathedrals spend the semester designing architectural plans for plausible medieval European cathedrals. They develop an historical and religious narrative, budget, iconography, and elevations, sections, and floor plans. Here is one example of such a project.


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Mapping Italian Baroque Art & Architecture

Kristin Huffman LanzoniAmanda LazarusHannah Jacobs
Fall 2016

Students in ARTHIST 256 Italian Baroque Art used Omeka and Neatline to create digital archives and exhibitions that use annotated historical maps, timelines, and multimedia to construct visual narratives about significant artists, patrons, and sites created in Italy during the seventeenth century. Their projects can be viewed at

Modeling Medieval European Castles

Edward Triplett
Fall 2016

Students in ARTHIST 190S Medieval Castles of Europe worked in Autodesk 3D Studio Max to create counterfactual models of medieval castles drawing on their knowledge of medieval architecture, politics, and geography. Their projects have been made available through Sketchfab:


Castelo de Setúbal

Castello de Maggiore

Castillo de Cañaveral

Castillo de Humilladero

The Alife Arch

Joseph Williams, Kiki Fox (Trinity ’12)

The Alife Arch project interrogates the provenance and function of several stone fragments in the Brummer Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. The project follows the lives of these fragments from their original contexts in antiquity to the Nasher today. Spolia from widespread ancient monuments, the fragments were brought to the southern Italian city of Alife in the Middle Ages, where they were used in the sculptural decoration of the cathedral.

The students involved in this project are researching the ancient marble trade, hoping to establish how these stone blocks may have traveled through the Mediterranean to Alife, and will communicate their research through digital maps.

This project also engages with photogrammetry technology, with which students rendered detailed digital 3D models of the individual fragments of the arch. Following analysis of each fragment, students searched for comparanda in ancient and medieval monuments and hypothetically situated the models of the fragments into architectural and micro-architectural settings such as portals, statue bases, and pulpits. With digital technologies such as this, we can better envision the “potential pasts” of these complex fragments.


Elizabeth Baltes

| Project Website

For nearly four-hundred years, the Hadrianic Baths at Aphrodisias not only answered the social, hygienic, and recreational needs of the population of this Roman administrative center, but also served as a favored setting for the display of heroic, mythological, and portrait statues. The statue landscape here represents more than simple accrual, as statues were added, moved, damaged, and reused in this context over the centuries. Our goal was to recreate and understand the final phase of this long and complex process.

The archaeological site at Aphrodisias is a rich source of well-preserved sculptural and architectural remains, and thus, an ideal place to begin to visualize ancient “statuescapes.”

The collaborators on this Wired! project produced interactive findspot plans, restored and re-colored statues in Photoshop, constructed a 3D model to envision these statues in their architectural context, created a video tour of the baths, and authored a project website.

Death, Burial, and Commemoration in Athens from antiquity to the late 19th century.

Sheila Dillon

This research project is a multi-faceted, diachronic study of cemeteries and sculpted funerary monuments in the city of Athens, which explores the shifting locations of burial in the city and the changing ways in which graves were marked from antiquity to the late 19th century CE. The visualization of change over time through mapping and 3-D modeling and the construction of an interactive database are major aims of this project. The first phase will focus on the Kerameikos, the principle burial ground of ancient Athens, and the First Cemetery of Athens, established in the early years of the modern Greek state. The thousands of sculpted funerary monuments preserved from ancient Athens provide a rich source of material that, while well published, have yet to be analyzed, re-contextualized and visualized using digital tools. In addition, a study of the sculptors (mostly from the island of Tinos) who made the Neoclassical monuments in the First Cemetery will serve as a point of departure for exploring the history of sculptors and funerary sculptural production over this long period of time.