What they saw and how they saw it

This project grew out of an inventory of the Centennial collection in the Perkins Rare Book Room at the Fisher Fine Arts library. I have an interest in the prescripted movement of space by museum visitors, so I was particularly interested inĀ What We Saw and How We Saw It, the book selected for the basis of this project. The text is a tour guide written for visitors to Memorial Hall, the art gallery of the Centennial. The way the text is written, visitors are guided from gallery to gallery, and are told about the different paintings and artists on exhibit. By recreating the gallery space virtually, we can move through Memorial Hall as visitors in 1876 would have done, experiencing the space and the paintings in the same context. Due to time contraints, only the American section has been covered. But, it is hoped that this project will be continued, so that the full gallery tour will be available.


There are four sections for this site:

Neatline: This is the immersive experience. Here you will be able to read through the text and move through the floor plan. As you read through the text, you will see highlighted selections. The grey highlights are connected to picyres in the galleries. Once you click on the name, the floor plan will move to the to the area where the painting is located and a window will pop up with the image and some information on the work. The yellow highlights will redirect you to external links, which are a mixture of additional information, as well as direct links to books in the Penn libraries collection. The Neatline experience is on the small side. For the full tour experience, please visit: Fullscreen Tour

Image Collection: In this section you will be able to view the artworks removed from the context of the galleries. As they are presented as an assemblage, though, so you will still see them as a bundle of works all presented at the same place at the same time, just not in any particular order.

Resources: The main text is hyperlinked above, but this is the inventory of the Centennial collection I conducted. Each of the works listed is hyperlinked to its Franklin record, so please explore them! If there is an electronic version, it will be listed on the catalogue page under "facsimile".

Additional Exhibits: This can be found under the bibliography tab. It is a selection of other Centennial exhibits for you to explore!