Animating Antiquity

The Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami sought to showcase 3D scans of their antiquities collection and explore the 3D documentation process performed by project creator Professor Karen Mathews and her students in the Department of Art and Art History. Animating Antiquity received financial support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation CREATE Grants Program. The scans were published on Sketchfab, which is fully integrated into the CultureConnect platform and featured in their app.

Animating Antiquity provides interactive interpretation to four works of art from the Lowe Art Museum’s antiquities collection by letting visitors explore their origins, meaning, and materials. While available to explore online, the application is primarily displayed on an iPad Pro in-gallery next to 3D printed replicas of the original busts.

Animating Antiquity is a student-generated curatorial project that provides a multifaceted contextualization of selected artworks in the Lowe Art Museum’s Antiquities Gallery. Ancient objects were functional at their core, but their display in a museum setting makes it difficult to recreate and understand their original function and context. Through the use of digital technologies—3- D modeling and printing —this project aimed to reanimate objects tactility and functionality, forming new modes of interaction with artworks in the space of the museum and the virtual realm. Students engaged in activated, museum-based learning through the creation of 3-D models of the Lowe’s ancient artworks, the compilation of art historical dossiers contextualizing the objects, the printing of3-D models, and the formulation of interactive activities with the printed models for visitors to the Lowe.