Sunday, October 19, 2008

NPIRLer Max Newbold's wins AVICOM's highest award

Our own Max Newbold (aka Dr. Beth Harris), together with Sez Zabelin (aka Dr. Steven Zucker), both from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) out of New York, have just become the recipients of a prestigious award for their website, which has recently begun to feature information and machinima about art and education in Second Life®.

AVICOM, the committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), responsible for audiovisual, image, sound and new technologies, honored Smarthistory with their highest award (gold) in the web category of their annual competition. is a free multi-media web-book that began in 2005, designed as a dynamic enhancement (or even substitute) for the traditional art history textbook. A redesign, launched on October 15, was funded by a generous grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. It allows users to browse more than one hundred audio and video conversations about works of art by time period, style, or artist, or by scrolling through an image browser created to look like an art history textbook.

Notably, both Harris and Zucker are regular Second Life users and have recently begun coverage on art and education topics in virtual worlds, including their own videos on the virtual Sistine Chapel. They believe that smARThistory is broadly applicable to the discipline of art history and is a first step toward understanding how art history can fit into the new collaborative culture created by web 2.0 technologies. They are looking for interested colleagues to expand the site's content and re-conceptualize the teaching of art history.

smARThistory users can contribute photographs to the site via a smarthistory Flickr group, and interested artists, art historians and critics should contact Harris and Zucker about contributing conversations.


Unknown said...

Thanks Bett...
Anyone interested in our musings about art in SL can check out our blog at