The WideTEK® 36ART on the move, here in the Benalla Art Gallery

As a part of Creative Victoria’s Regional Digitization Roadshow, a pilot program for digitizing regional gallery collections, the WideTEK® 36ART was transported to the galleries by our partner in Australia, Docuvan, for the purpose of digitizing artworks to enable global viewing. Creative Victoria champions and supports the state’s creative industries, spanning arts, culture, screen, design and more.

Jianne Connell operates the digitization scanner for arts and culture councilor Mark Eckel. Picture: Ben Gross

At the Mildura Art Centre, about 6 hours drive northwest of Melbourne, staff spent nearly a month digitizing art with the WideTEK 36ART. Gallery and heritage team leader Heather Lee said “We have in total about 2500 individual objects and have been working seven days a week to scan everything we can. With the scanner able to focus in on the artwork under glass and being able to get a great image of the surface of the work as well as the frame, (the artwork) looks like it would if you were to look at it on the wall. It captures that visual experience of an artwork and allows for us to capture the condition of the artwork as it is now.”

At the Benalla Art Gallery, staff not only scanned their collection but also offered a one-day professional development event headed by the conservation team, to provide practical insights on digitizing collections.        

At LaTrobe Regional Gallery, Director Mark Themann described the delivery and installation of the WideTEK 36ART through Docuvan as highly professional. “Delivery entailed a 2 hour drive east of Melbourne into the regional centres of the Latrobe Valley. Hands on training was professionally delivered by John Toogood (of Docuvan) and team, with great efficiency and clarity, all realized within a working day.” 

Scanning diverse artworks in LaTrobe Regional Gallery

“Over six weeks, 2600 scans were performed with works in diverse media, ranging from framed works under glass, unframed paintings, drawings, prints and photographs, to rare Japanese scrolls from the Edo period, carefully unrolled and scanned in sections, then stitched together digitally. LRG curators and external conservators were impressed by the detail and ease of color calibration, in combination with the speed and ease of scanning, which reduced working time considerably and saved the immense time and expenses in the de-framing of works, which might be necessary for photographic purposes or more traditional scanning methods.” Themann reported. 

Numerous other galleries are taking part in this massive digitzation project, including Geelong Gallery, Warnambool Art Gallery, Swan Hill Regional Gallery, Horsham Regional Art Gallery and Castlemaine Art Museum.           

Many thanks to our partner Docuvan for managing this extremely important project!

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