Skip to Content

Found 2,035 Resources

Punched cards for computer art by Frederick Hammersley

Archives of American Art
3 artifact ; 9 x 19 cm. (cards); 28 x 38 cm. (accompanying typed sheet) Two punched cards from the University of New Mexico Computing Center which, when laid on top of one another, provide data to a computer to create a "drawing" designed by Frederick Hammersley.
Accompanied by a typewritten sheet on which Hammersley describes his process for making this computer art (description dated 1992 July 11).
View 3 shows the two cards laid on top of one another.

33c Computer Art and Graphics single

National Postal Museum
CELEBRATE THE CENTURY

1990s

Computer art and graphics

33-cent mint single

Issued May 2, 2000

Susan Emery Eisenberg holiday card to Helen L. Kohen

Archives of American Art
1 Christmas card : ill. ; 28 x 22 cm. Dot-matrix portrait of a woman on a background of repeating text which reads: Season's greetings.
Additional text beneath reads: Wishing you a beautiful 1990! Susan Emery Eisenberg.
Embellished with crayon scribbles in red, green, and yellow.

Book, Goodrich's Lightning Calculator The Art of Computation

National Museum of American History
This small book has a red cover with gold lettering. It has the full title The Art of Computation Designed to Teach Practical Methods of Reckoning with Accuracy and Rapidity, The title page also describes Goodrich as "late lightning calculator, Erie Railway." The 1873 publisher is listed as D. W. Goodrich & Company of 443 and 445 Broadway. The volume describes methods of calculation, with particular emphasis on business applications. Inside the back cover is a "Comprehensive Calendar" giving Julian and Gregorian, adjustable from A.D. 1 to 3600. Bibliographical sources indicate that further editions of the book appeared in New York later in the 1870s.

D.A.C. - LCD Computer (concept model)

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Apple II Personal Computer

National Museum of American History
In 1976, computer pioneers Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs began selling their Apple I computer in kit form to computer stores. A month later, Wozniak was working on a design for an improved version, the Apple II. They demonstrated a prototype in December, and then introduced it to the public in April 1977. The Apple II started the boom in personal computer sales in the late 1970s, and pushed Apple into the lead among personal computer makers.

The Apple II used a MOS 6502 chip for its central processing unit. It came with 4 KB RAM, but could be extended up to 48 KB RAM. It included a BASIC interpreter and could support graphics and a color monitor. External storage was originally on cassette tape, but later Apple introduced an external floppy disk drive. Among the Apple II's most important features were its 8 expansion slots on the motherboard. These allowed hobbyists to add additional cards made by Apple and many other vendors who quickly sprung up. The boards included floppy disk controllers, SCSI cards, video cards, and CP/M or PASCAL emulator cards.

In 1979 Software Arts introduced the first computer spreadsheet, Visicalc for the Apple II. This "killer application" was extremely popular and fostered extensive sales of the Apple II.

The Apple II went through several improvements and upgrades. By 1984, when the Macintosh appeared, over 2 million Apple II computers had been sold.

GRiDLite Laptop Computer

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Oral history interview with Val Laigo, 1989 July 12

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 42 p.

An interview of Val Laigo conducted 1989 July 12, by Alan Lau and Kazuko Nakane, for the Archives of American Art Northwest Asian American Project, in Laigo's home, Seattle, Wash.

Laigo speaks of learning how to paint at age eleven with watercolors; growing up with a heart condition known as Eisenmenger's Complex; teaching at Highline High School and creating a wolverine as the school's mascot; the inclusion of his life story in a Filipino oral history project; singing for an orchestra called the Gentlemen of Rhythm, at the Filipino Catholic Youth Activities events and other venues; Doug Bennett as an influence in composition and design; being a student at Seattle University and joining Art Equity in approximately 1951; remembering his painting, "Madonna" being shown at the Seattle Art Museum; his first show at the People's Furniture Store and later with Fay Chong at the Hathaway House; Zoe Dusanne became his agent; his introduction to the MacPaint software program and his first piece of computer art; his desire to study Mexican muralists, Diego Rivera, Jose Orozco, David Siqueiros, and Rufino Tamayo and becoming at student at Mexico City College; his life in Mexico with the woman who would become his wife; the strong influence of Nick Damascus on his painting; how his palette changed to brighter colors after living in Mexico; his health crisis there that lead him to abandon his work towards a master's degree and return to Seattle in 1959; having to start over from the beginning at the University of Washington; Tommy Kwazume hiring him at Boing as an artist in 1960; Lee Nordness and the RCA Victor album cover; his negative experience with Margaret Reed while showing at the Panaca Gallery; his exhibit at the Frye Art Museum in 1969 and criticism by Clark Voorhees; his Mexican experience having influenced his vigor and scale; the Lost Generation series; his comment about Picasso not being able to paint; encouragement from his family to pursue art training; the murder of his father in 1936; his mother's success as a new painter; and his work, "Dilemma of the Atom" featured on the cover of an RCA Victor record album. Laigo also recalls Perry Acker, Foster White Gallery, David Mendoza, Fred Mendoza, Tom Tooley, Ray Sadirius, Quincy Jones, Oscar Holden's Orchestra, Fred Cordova, Mits Katayama, Rudy Bundis, Kal Chin, Paul Horiuchi, James Washington, Dick Kirsten, Frank Okada, John Matsudaira, Walter Froelich, Bill Ritchie, John Counts, Don Fenton, Kenneth Callahan, Fred Run, Barry Ferrell, Ken Harms, Andrew Chin, Ben Dar, Ruth Mora, and others.

Computers Are Learning About Art Faster than Art Historians

Smithsonian Magazine

Computers are getting better at some surprisingly human tasks. Machines can now write novels (though they still aren’t great), read a person’s pain in their grimace, hunt for fossils and even teach each other. And now that museums have digitized much of their collections, artificial intelligence has access to the world of fine art.

That makes the newest art historians on the block computers, according to an article at MIT Technology Review.

Computer scientists Babak Saleh and Ahmed Egammal of Rutgers University in New Jersey have trained an algorithm to look at paintings and detect the works’ genre (landscape, portrait, sketch, etc.), style (Abstract Impressionism, Baroque, Cubism, etc.) and artist. By tapping into the history of art and the latest machine learning approaches the algorithm can draw connections that had only been made by human brains before.

To train their algorithm​, researchers used the more than 80, 000 images from WikiArt.org, one of the largest online collections of digital art. The researchers use this bank of art to teach the algorithm how to key in on specific features, such as color and texture, slowly building a model that describes unique elements in the different styles (or genres or artists). The end product can also pick out object within the paintings such as horses, men or crosses.

Once it was schooled, the researchers gave their newly-trained algorithm paintings it had never seen before. It was able to name the artist in over 60 percent of the new paintings, and identify the style in 45 percent. Saleh and Elgammal reported their findings at arXiv.org.

The algorithm could still use some tweaking — but some of the mistakes it made are similar to those a human might make. Here’s MIT Technology Review:

For example, Saleh and Elgammal say their new approach finds it hard to distinguish between works painted by Camille Pissarro and Claude Monet. But a little research on these artists quickly reveals both were active in France in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and that both attended the Académie Suisse in Paris. An expert might also know that Pissarro and Monet were good friends and shared many experiences that informed their art. So the fact that their work is similar is no surprise.

The algorithm makes other connections like this one—connecting expressionism and fauvism, and mannerism with the Renassance styles that were borne out of mannerism. These connections themselves aren’t new discoveries for the art world. But the machine figured them out in just a few months of work. And in the future the computer could uncover some more novel insights. Or, in the nearer future, a machine algorithm able to classify and group large numbers of paintings will help curators manage their digital collections.

While the machines don’t seem to be replacing flesh-and-blood art historians in the near future, these efforts really are mearly the first fumbling steps of a newborn algorithm.  

Oral history interview with Gyöngy Laky, 2007 December 11-12

Archives of American Art
Sound recordings: 11 sound files (4 hr., 8 min.) digital, wav

Transcript: 66 pages

An interview of Gyöngy Laky conducted 2007 December 11-12, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Laky's home and studio, in San Francisco, California.

Laky speaks of her recent exhibitions; leaving Hungary as a child; using words in art; learning languages; family influences in her art; the family art gallery and Chinese painting; changing majors in college; working with various materials; using recycled materials in her work; retirement; planning her works; working with assistants; working with a small community in Europe; construction of her works; using computers to create art; the craft "renaissance"; scale and outdoor projects; working with dealers and commissioned pieces; emphasis on negative space. Laky also recalls Emile Lahner, Mary Dumas, Ed Rossbach, Judy Foosaner, Peter Voulkos, Joanne Branford, Lillian Elliott, Henry Miller, Louise Nevelson, Darryl Dobras, Brett Christiansen, Kim Ocampo, Jack Lenor Larsen, Martin Puryear, Ann Hamilton, Suzi Gablik, Susan Sontag, and others.

Oral history interview with Rolando Briseño, 2004 March 16-26

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 73 pages

An interview of Rolando Briseño conducted 2004 March 16 and 26, by Cary Cordova, for the Archives of American Art, in San Antonio, Texas.

Briseño speaks of his family background; as a child going to Mexico during the summer; growing up in San Antonio; visiting the Witte Museum, taking art classes there; Jackie von Honts, a special tutor of Briseño; scholarship to Cooper Union in New York; Catholicism; Melita del Villar and realizing "Christian mythology"; exchange program with University of Texas, Austin and La Pontifica Universidad Católica del Peru, Lima, Peru; calling himself Chicano; passion for food; traveling around Europe; politics and its influence; coming to terms with his sexuality; graduate school at Columbia University; interest in boxing; involvement in Con Safo; working on a computer as opposed to painting; and the Historic and Design Review Commission of San Antonio. Briseño also recalls Roland Mazuca, Fernando de Syzslo, Santa Barraza, Sylvia Orozco, Kathryn Kanjo, Linda Pace, Jesse Amado, Chuck Ramirez, Franco Mondini-Ruiz, and others.

Dedication of Honeywell 2015 Computer

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
See negatives 71-2785-02 through 71-2785-15 from photos of the installation and dedication of the Honeywell 2015 mainframe computer. Photos 71-2785-05 through 71-2785-08 are of a large group of people, taken within a few minutes of each other.

Before 1975, the Smithsonian's central data processing organization was named the Information Systems Division (ISD), under the leadership of Nicholas J. Suszynski, Jr. From May 29, 1975 to April 3, 1982, it was called the Office of Computer Services (OCS). On April 4, 1982, it was renamed the Office of Information Resource Management (OIRM). Stanley A. Kovy (January 4, 1931 - April 15, 1998) was the only Director of OCS. The central data processing organization had several others names at different time in its history.

The Smithsonian operated several different mainframe computers, manufactured by both Honeywell and IBM. The mainframe computers were all located on the third floor of the SW quadrant of the Arts & Industries Building, in the Computer Center room 3335. This space was used from 1967 to c. 2006, when operations were moved to the Herndon Data Center.

Photo taken in the Computer Center, Arts & Industries Building, on November 5, 1971 at the installation and dedication of the "new" Honeywell 2015 mainframe computer. In Sept-Nov. 1967, the Smithsonian ordered and installed a Honeywell 1200; the 2015 was a replacement and an upgrade to the 1200. Both mainframe computers were members of the H-200 family or model line. At least seven Honeywell employees are represented in these images, many wearing Honeywell name tags.

Information Systems Division Director Stanley Kovy and Under Secretary James C. Bradley stand behind the operator console of the "new" Honeywell 2015 mainframe computer during its dedication ceremony. Behind them are five of the six magnetic tape drives and the paper tape reader of the Honeywell 2015 mainframe.

Dedication of Honeywell 2015 Computer

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
See negatives 71-2785-02 through 71-2785-15 from photos of the installation and dedication of the Honeywell 2015 mainframe computer.

Before 1975, the Smithsonian's central data processing organization was named the Information Systems Division (ISD), under the leadership of Nicholas J. Suszynski, Jr. From May 29, 1975 to April 3, 1982, it was called the Office of Computer Services (OCS). On April 4, 1982, it was renamed the Office of Information Resource Management (OIRM). Stanley A. Kovy (January 4, 1931 - April 15, 1998) was the only Director of OCS. The central data processing organization had several others names at different time in its history.

The Smithsonian operated several different mainframe computers, manufactured by both Honeywell and IBM. The mainframe computers were all located on the third floor of the SW quadrant of the Arts & Industries Building, in the Computer Center room 3335. This space was used from 1967 to c. 2006, when operations were moved to the Herndon Data Center.

Photo taken in the Computer Center, Arts & Industries Building, on November 5, 1971 at the installation and dedication of the "new" Honeywell 2015 mainframe computer. In Sept-Nov. 1967, the Smithsonian ordered and installed a Honeywell 1200; the 2015 was a replacement and an upgrade to the 1200. Both mainframe computers were members of the H-200 family or model line. At least seven Honeywell employees are represented in these images, many wearing Honeywell name tags.

Smithsonian staff gathered around the "new" Honeywell 2015 mainframe computer following it's installation and dedication. A banner has been hung reading "Mr. Bradley . . . I'm Yours!". From left to right are: Keith Laverty, Accountant; unknown; Robert A. Brooks, Deputy Under Secretary; Richard Ault, Director of Support Activities; unknown; James C. Bradley, Under Secretary; John Beach, ISD; George M. Seminara (mostly hidden), ISD; and unknown.

Dedication of Honeywell 2015 Computer

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
See negatives 71-2785-02 through 71-2785-15 from photos of the installation and dedication of the Honeywell 2015 mainframe computer. Photos 71-2785-05 through 71-2785-08 are of a large group of people, taken within a few minutes of each other.

Before 1975, the Smithsonian's central data processing organization was named the Information Systems Division (ISD), under the leadership of Nicholas J. Suszynski, Jr. From May 29, 1975 to April 3, 1982, it was called the Office of Computer Services (OCS). On April 4, 1982, it was renamed the Office of Information Resource Management (OIRM). Stanley A. Kovy (January 4, 1931 - April 15, 1998) was the only Director of OCS. The central data processing organization had several others names at different time in its history.

The Smithsonian operated several different mainframe computers, manufactured by both Honeywell and IBM. The mainframe computers were all located on the third floor of the SW quadrant of the Arts & Industries Building, in the Computer Center room 3335. This space was used from 1967 to c. 2006, when operations were moved to the Herndon Data Center.

Photo taken in the Computer Center, Arts & Industries Building, on November 5, 1971 at the installation and dedication of the "new" Honeywell 2015 mainframe computer. In Sept-Nov. 1967, the Smithsonian ordered and installed a Honeywell 1200; the 2015 was a replacement and an upgrade to the 1200. Both mainframe computers were members of the H-200 family or model line. At least seven Honeywell employees are represented in these images, many wearing Honeywell name tags.

James C. Bradley, Under Secretary, and Stanley A. Kovy, ISD Director, stand with their backs to the camera at the operator console of the "new" Honeywell 2015 mainframe computer, following its installation and dedication. Standing around the console listening to them speak are, from left to right: unknown; unknown; Honeywell man; Frank Bennett, ISD; Mildred Gins, ISD; Edwin Robinson, ISD; Reginald Creighton, ISD Manager Information Storage & Retrieval; Honeywell lady; Raymond Shreve, ISD; unknown; Allen Goff, Assistant Treasurer for Accounting and Financial Services; Keith R. Laverty, Accountant; James F. Mello, NMNH; Robert A. Brooks, Deputy Under Secretary; and Richard L. Ault, Director of Support Activities.

Dedication of Honeywell 2015 Computer

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
See negatives 71-2785-02 through 71-2785-15 from photos of the installation and dedication of the Honeywell 2015 mainframe computer. Photos 71-2785-05 through 71-2785-08 are of a large group of people, taken within a few minutes of each other.

Before 1975, the Smithsonian's central data processing organization was named the Information Systems Division (ISD), under the leadership of Nicholas J. Suszynski, Jr. From May 29, 1975 to April 3, 1982, it was called the Office of Computer Services (OCS). On April 4, 1982, it was renamed the Office of Information Resource Management (OIRM). Stanley A. Kovy (January 4, 1931 - April 15, 1998) was the only Director of OCS. The central data processing organization had several others names at different time in its history.

The Smithsonian operated several different mainframe computers, manufactured by both Honeywell and IBM. The mainframe computers were all located on the third floor of the SW quadrant of the Arts & Industries Building, in the Computer Center room 3335. This space was used from 1967 to c. 2006, when operations were moved to the Herndon Data Center.

Photo taken in the Computer Center, Arts & Industries Building, on November 5, 1971 at the installation and dedication of the "new" Honeywell 2015 mainframe computer. In Sept-Nov. 1967, the Smithsonian ordered and installed a Honeywell 1200; the 2015 was a replacement and an upgrade to the 1200. Both mainframe computers were members of the H-200 family or model line. At least seven Honeywell employees are represented in these images, many wearing Honeywell name tags.

James C. Bradley, Under Secretary, and Stanley A. Kovy, ISD Director, stand at the operator console of the "new" Honeywell 2015 mainframe computer, following its installation and dedication. Bradley stands facing the camera and Kovy stands facing the console. A crowd is gathered listening to their remarks. In the front row of the assembled group are unknown; unknown; Honeywell man; Honeywell man; Frank Bennett, ISD; Mildred Gins, ISD; Reginald Creighton (in back), ISD Manager Information Storage & Retrieval; Honeywell Lady; Raymond Shreve, ISD; unknown; Allen Goff, Assistant Treasurer for Accounting and Financial Services; Keith R. Laverty, Accountant; James F. Mello, NMNH; and Robert A. Brooks, Deputy Under Secretary. Partially visible on the far right of the photo is Missouri Smith.

Open House Demonstration of Honeywell Computer

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Requested from Photographic Services Division by Information Systems Division.

Open house demonstration of the upgraded Honeywell computer in the Arts and Industries Building, with Under Secretary James C. Bradley and Stan Kovy, Director of Information Systems Division (ISD).

Open House Demonstration of Honeywell Computer

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Requested from Photographic Services Division by Information Systems Division.

Open house demonstration of the upgraded Honeywell computer in the Arts and Industries Building, with Stan Kovy, Director of Information Systems Division (ISD).

Open House Demonstration of Honeywell Computer

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Requested from Photographic Services Division by Information Systems Division.

Open house demonstration of the upgraded Honeywell computer in the Arts and Industries Building, with Under Secretary James C. Bradley and Stan Kovy, Director of Information Systems Division (ISD).

Open House Demonstration of Honeywell Computer

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Requested from Photographic Services Division by Information Systems Division.

Open house demonstration of the upgraded Honeywell computer in the Arts and Industries Building, with Stan Kovy, Director of Information Systems Division (ISD).

Open House Demonstration of Honeywell Computer

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Requested from Photographic Services Division by Information Systems Division.

Open house demonstration of the upgraded Honeywell computer in the Arts and Industries Building, with Under Secretary James C. Bradley and Stan Kovy, Director of Information Systems Division (ISD).

Open House Demonstration of Honeywell Computer

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Requested from Photographic Services Division by Information Systems Division.

Open house demonstration of the upgraded Honeywell computer in the Arts and Industries Building, with Stan Kovy, Director of Information Systems Division (ISD).

Open House Demonstration of Honeywell Computer

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Requested from Photographic Services Division by Information Systems Division.

Open house demonstration of the upgraded Honeywell computer in the Arts and Industries Building, with Stan Kovy, Director of Information Systems Division (ISD).
1-24 of 2,035 Resources