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Grant number like: HAA-256123-17

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Award Number Grant ProgramAward RecipientProject TitleAward PeriodApproved Award Total
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HAA-256123-17Digital Humanities: Digital Humanities Advancement GrantsCornell UniversityBuilding a Decision Tree for Watermark Identification in Rembrandt's Etchings - The WIRE Project10/1/2017 - 3/31/2020$74,994.00Andrew WeislogelC. Richard JohnsonCornell UniversityIthacaNY14850-2820USA2017Art History and CriticismDigital Humanities Advancement GrantsDigital Humanities749940749940

Development of a prototype tool to enhance museum and art historical research into the printmaking practices of Rembrandt and other artists.

This project seeks to creatively merge digital, computational, and art historical methodologies to significantly broaden access to crucial watermark information elucidating Rembrandt’s printing practice and chronology. Its central innovation is the use of the decision tree model, which allows rapid, confident visual identification of Rembrandt watermarks by non-specialists. The project will build interrogatory decision tree branches for each of the 54 types of watermarks on Rembrandt’s papers, resulting in a complete tree that will be coded into purpose-developed software. The project will also develop procedure to add new watermarks to the tree as they arise, and will lay the foundation for a watermarks database for Rembrandt’s etchings in U.S. collections. The decision tree will provide proof of concept for application to other research questions requiring visual differentiation in datasets too large for the unaided researcher but too small to recommend a machine-learning approach.