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Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
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Materiality, computation + visual culture

The Center for Virtual/Material Studies supports innovative research – at the intersection of materiality studies and computation – and teaching collaborations to enhance understanding of cultural heritage.

Research + training

The portfolio of research projects and workshops based in the Center for Virtual/Material Studies is expanding rapidly. We will feature ongoing explorations, symposia, and training events in this space.

Lucarelli receives grant to inventory School of Theatre’s Fashion Archive

Lucarelli receives grant to inventory School of Theatre’s Fashion Archive

Carolyn Lucarelli, manager of the Center for Virtual/Material Studies (CVMS) in the College of Arts and Architecture, has received the 2022 Visual Resources Association (VRA) Project Grant. She will use the $3,000 grant to create a digital inventory of the Fashion Archive in collaboration with co-principal investigator Charlene Gross, assistant professor of costume design in the Penn State School of Theatre.

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Exploring flax cultivation to linen

Exploring flax cultivation to linen

The Center for Virtual/Material Studies (CVMS) has been growing several beds of flax at the Arboretum as part of our inaugural research initiative in the history of textiles and fibers in the arts. Harvesters used techniques particular to Pennsylvania and hope to produce linen that can then be used for weaving and paper making. More information is available on our flax website: https://exhibitions.psu.edu/s/flax/page/welcome

Virtual/Material: Color and Pigment Graduate Workshop

Virtual/Material: Color and Pigment Graduate Workshop

The evidentiary status of digital representations of works of art is a question that has become as pressing for students and scholars of art history as it has long been for conservators and conservation scientists, imaging professionals, data scientists, and information specialists. This workshop will offer an integrated curriculum of Technical and Digital Art History via the special case history of color.

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Seeing Constable’s Clouds

Seeing Constable’s Clouds

Development of computational methods to analyze formal details in paintings, focusing on cloud studies by John Constable and his emulators, documentary photographs, and fine art photographs.

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Art History Dissertations and Abstracts from North American Institutions

Art History Dissertations and Abstracts from North American Institutions

The Art History Dissertations and Abstracts from North American Institutions dataset represents over a year of work collecting, collating, amending, and researching art history PhD dissertations submitted to CAA since 1980.

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Our People


Dr. Sarah K. Rich

Sarah K. Rich

Director | Learn More


John Russell

John Russell

Associate Director | Learn More


Carolyn Lucarelli

Carolyn Lucarelli

Manager | Learn More


Catherine Adams

Catherine Adams

Digital Support Specialist| Learn More



Advisory Board


Nancy Locke

Art History | Learn More


Bill Minter

University Libraries | Learn More


Henry Pisciotta

University Libraries | Learn More


Emily Pugh

Getty Research Institute | Learn More


Chang Tan

Art History | Learn More


Gretta Tritch Roman

Agricultural Sciences| Learn More


Dan Zolli

Art History | Learn More


Scan of Munsell Color System Atlas Color Charts color wheel. Image courtesy Cooper Hewitt.

Facilities+ Contact

The Center is located on the second floor of the Borland Building in the College of Arts and Architecture on the University Park campus of Penn State, adjacent to the Department of Art History.

Contact

241 Borland Building
Penn State University
University Park, PA 16802