:: Beauty in Ruin - The Traffic in Art Prototypes ::

The Traffic in Art Prototypes: An Introduction

Project context:

This data visualisation project was created as part of the documentary film BEAUTY AND RUIN. The film looks at the fight over the artwork in the Detroit Institute of Art as Detroit declares bankruptcy and the art collection is faced with being sold off to pay the debts. What is extraordinary about the DIA collection is the amazing depth of its Old Masters collection and Traffic in Art examines the phenomenon of how this and other public collections, i.e. “culture for the public”, were created in North America in the early 20th century.

The Data Visualisation Prototypes

Getting a sense of the scale and scope of the creation of Old Master Art [OM Art] and the subsequent trading in the work, AKA The Traffic in Art, gives us a strong sense of the evolution and monetization of cultural power in western civilization from the middle ages through to today.

Building on and adding to the narrative in the film, these five Data Visualisation Prototypes help us track, quantize and understand the movement of Old Master Art from the “Old World” to the “New World” with a particular focus on works destined for the Detroit Institute of the Arts.

Dig in, test your assumptions, watch the animations, interact and play with the data, see the art it relates to, you’ll be surprised at what you discover.

To Get Started » click open the menu menu and select a Data Visualisation (DV).

Tips and Tricks:

The DV menu is available on every page and you can both click on the “hamburger menu” menu or use the letter “M” on your keyboard to open it.

The info icon is available on each page to allow access to more information, context, background and methodology. You can also use the “?” or “/” key on your keyboard to open it.

These Data Visualisation Prototypes were produced using D3.js .