Topic: Thoughts on design issues for artworks with multiple artists

Hello, please give me your thoughts on artworks with multiple artists:

1. How many "artists" should an artwork record be able to track? Give an example of the most artists on an artwork that we might have?

2. Does it matter to you if an artwork is listed or counted multiple times (not in the database, just in display), due to having several artists? For example, let's say The Athenaeum were to list a count of Early Renaissance paintings, and a Botticelli artwork was counted twice, once under Botticelli and once under a collaborating artist. Is this ok?

There's a design issue there, because first some pages would have to be rewritten if we want to count the work only once. Secondly, we would need some rule(s) to decide which artist the artwork falls under...

3. When looking at an artwork-centered view (an artwork display page, an artwork listing page), how would we want to see multiple names? "Name A and Name B"? Some other way? What if there were three artists, or five?

4. Do we want a function to assign a "primary" artist? If so, what would be your rule? To use the Botticelli example again, there are paintings where 95% of the surface area may have been painted by his workshop, but he painted the faces - the part that matters most. Many people would say that he is the "primary artist" here, even though he painted a tiny fraction of the overall work.

Any other issues you can think of?


Re: Thoughts on design issues for artworks with multiple artists

1. In France, the three Le Nain brothers made their works in collaboration:
I don't have any example with more than three artists on a single artwork.

2. Ok.

3. Maybe a list of the makers, displayed alphabetically.

4. OK for a "primary" artist, but it shouldn't be compulsory.

3 (edited by kohn1fox 2014-01-14 05:56:36)

Re: Thoughts on design issues for artworks with multiple artists

1.  I think there would be relatively few artworks that are a combined effort between one or more major artists.  I would limit any collaboration to perhaps two artists (Le Nain is the exception - see below). Where a collaboration exists, I have indicated this in the descriptive notes.  Example:

In this case the artwork should be included twice under each artist (but with a descriptive note)

It should apply only to established and known artists not for example to followers or studios.

I can only think of the Le Nain Brothers as being an example of more than two working on a piece, as Josselin has mentioned. I have noted this against the Le Nain entries I made.

2. No it wouldn’t matter.

3. I don’t think there would  be a case of more than two names involved. And these would be relatively few.  I don’t see what’s wrong with noting a collaboration in the descriptive area provided rather than creating a new function.

4.  I wouldn’t be in favour of a special function.  If an important artist has collaborated on a work, such as you have cited with Botticelli, the work should be ascribed to him but with a descriptive note.  After all, the page is designed to add comments/notes about a work or artist.

No other queries I can think of.


Re: Thoughts on design issues for artworks with multiple artists

What would you do for the famous and historically important Oxford Union murals, painted by Rossetti, Burne-Jones, William Morris, and several others?:

Re: Thoughts on design issues for artworks with multiple artists

I guessed you would come up with another example!  There are probably many more.  I imagine decorative work such as this could involve several artists. 

This doesn't appear to be on this site yet.

I would still be inclined to place the work under each artist name (with collaborative notes in each page);  the only alternative will be to list all artists in the title heading. This will require functional changes to your website.  I'm not sure if it's worth the extra time and effort.