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Image Database of the Cast Collection of Ancient Sculpture of the Academic Museum of Art of the University of Bonn

The Cast Collection of the Academic Museum of Art of the University of Bonn is to be documented photographically and integrated into an image database that is usable from Cologne and Bonn. The scientific foci of the Archaeological Institutes of Cologne and Bonn and thus be brought closer by two institutions that are characterized by Greek and Roman art: the Cast Collection in Bonn and the Research Archive in Cologne. The Cast Collection Bonn is one of the largest in all of Europe, the Research Archive in Cologne owns the largest specialized photography collection in the field of ancient sculpture. Teaching in Cologne improved a lot by gaining access to an important resource of the University of Bonn in the field of Greek art through the image database.

With their help, the local data could be enlarged and presentations, papers, magister and dissertation thesis could be prepared as computer work. The image database is also supposed to be implemented in the Academic Museum of Art in order to mirror the cast collection in an electronic museum and allow a new form of access. Aside from the merging of data on Greek and Roman sculpture, reciprocal additions of the media are an aim. Photographs and casts are used as a fundamental material in teaching. Whereas casts have the benefit of being a three dimensional copy of the original work, photographs can be collected in a much larger scale and are more fit for documentation and establishment of comparisons. The side and back view of monuments that are essential to comparisons can be documented much easier with cast than with the original. Casts allow a better understanding of the three-dimensional form of the object than it is possible with photographs because of their unpredictable shading. If they are photographed in evenly distributed light, they can show important insight on specific problems of research and also allow better comparisons than heterogeneous photographs. Thus, the usability of both media with their specific properties for teaching is not ensured and still lacking. The photographic documentation is going to be accompanied by student work groups that form sensible groups of the casts in Bonn and prepare the content for database entries. By doing this, the students have the possibility to improve the resources of teaching at universities. A didactic line was continued that not only focused on topics of the research archive or the cast collection. Unrelated to regular types of courses, a student lead tutorial as well as a student media work group was formed as a part of the university tutorial program of the state.  The students were able to contribute to the definition of central topics of teaching independently as an initiative to form a binding vocabulary on images. The results of these considerations are also integrated into the new study program. The lack of accessibility and understanding of images has often been a hindering. Many of the efforts of the project could still be picked up.

Supervision: Prof. Dr. Reinhard Förtsch, Prof. Dr. Henner von Hesberg