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Resurrecting Historical Monuments: 3D Models, Metadata, and the Case of the Lady Chapel at Saint-Germain-des-Prés

May 10, 2017 @ 11:45 am - 1:00 pm

Speaker: Kristine Tanton, Ph.D.,
IDRE Scholar,
Department of Art History,
University of California, Los Angeles


Time: 11:45 A.M. – 1 P.M. (Lunch will be served*)
Date: May 10, 2017
Location: 5628, Math Sciences Building
RSVP: https://idre.ucla.edu/calendar-event/resurrecting-historical-monuments#rsvp


Abstract: How do art and architectural historians study monuments that have been lost to time? Our understanding of these monuments relies mainly on fragmentary evidence such as textual descriptions, drawings, or lithic fragments scattered throughout various warehouses, archives, and museums. Advances in CAD-based software has made it possible to bring these disparate sources together to reconstruct digitally these monumental specters. A current challenge for scholars is how do we annotate our 3D models and share them across various platforms and native software.

The digital humanities project, Paris Past and Present at UCLA (Prof. Meredith Cohen, PI), aims to reconstruct digitally in 3D the lost monuments of Gothic Paris (ca. 1000~1500) with archaeological precision. By integrating the fragmented evidence remaining from these buildings into coherent virtual models, we can expand the limited corpus of extant monuments and reshape our knowledge of medieval architecture. A significant component of our work has been developing a method of reconstruction and display that clarifies the difference between original evidence, extrapolations based on the evidence, and sheer hypothesis. To this end we are integrating existing architectural practices (e.g., OpenBIM), which allow us to attach data to our models.

In this paper, I will discuss how we are developing standards for attaching, viewing, and sharing data for 3D models. Using our reconstruction of the thirteenth-century Lady Chapel of Saint-Germain-des-Prés as a case study, I will discuss how our annotation process integrates existing OpenBIM technology to document all data and project workflow for our 3D models, while also addressing the unique needs for historical reconstructions to the scholarly community.

About speaker: Kristine Tanton is an IDRE postdoctoral fellow and project manager for the collaborative project at UCLA, Paris Past and Present. Working with Prof. Meredith Cohen (PI, Department of Art History) and a team of graduate and undergraduate students, she manages project workflow and serves as a modeler for the project. To date, the team has completed 3D models for about a dozen buildings that were first constructed during the reign of Louis IX (Saint Louis).

Dr. Tanton received her Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Southern California in 2013. She integrates traditional and emerging methods to study the dynamic relationship among sculpture, architecture, and ritual activity in the Middle Ages. She is especially interested in how new media and information technology can transform research and pedagogy in the field of pre-modern art and architectural history. Using digital tools such as 3D reconstructions, animations to track ritual movements through architectural space, and databases to formally and quantitatively analyze large datasets, she has been able to reevaluate long-held assumptions about canonical sites to gain insights into medieval architectural design and construction methods.


*Lunch will be served at 11:45 AM.
**To ensure you have a space at the seminar, please RSVP by May 8, 2017.


May 10, 2017
11:45 am - 1:00 pm