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Grant number: HD-51625-12

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University of California, Riverside (Riverside, CA 92521-0001)
Conrad Rudolph
HD-51625-12
FACES: Faces, Art, and Computerized Evaluation Systems

A Level 1 project that will test the use of facial recognition software in the context of art history, with a long-term goal of assisting in the identification of human subjects in portraiture.

In recent years, a great deal of attention has been paid in art history to the face both theoretically and historically, especially the portrait and above all the portrait bust. At the same time, an enormous amount of research has been conducted on face recognition technology (the use of computerized evaluation systems for the automatic identification of a human face from a digital image). But, to the best of our knowledge, no one has yet attempted to join these two developments in an interdisciplinary way, applying cutting-edge face recognition technology to works of art, specifically portraiture. Before the advent of photography, portraits were, almost by definition, depictions of people who were important in their own worlds. But as a walk through almost any major museum will show, a large number of these portraits from before the nineteenth century--many of them great works of art--have lost the identities of their subjects through the fortunes of time.

Project fields: Arts, General
Program: Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Division: Digital Humanities
Total amount awarded: $25,000
Grant period: 6/1/2012 – 5/31/2014

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