Teaching about Old Master Drawings through the Malta National Art Collection

An educational digital project about Old Master Drawings using highlights from Malta’s National Art Collection at MUŻA.

What are Old Master Drawings? What can we learn from them about art history and artistic practices? How do we analyse them? How were they used? These are questions that this digital project will be answering through an online platform accessible to all members of the public.

This project will be studying the collection of Old Master Drawings held at MUŻA and developing online educational material for different audiences as part of the MUŻA website. These drawings date between the 15th and 18th centuries and are by European artists from different schools, some known, while others remain anonymous. These include Vittore Carpaccio, Pietro Perugino, Federico Zuccari, Giovanni Baglione, Mattia Preti, and Francois Boucher. The project will involve a thorough study of these drawings, particularly to ascertain attributions, through consultation with international leading experts.

The drawings will illustrate content about the field of study of such artworks, namely the materials and techniques used in making them, the schools and periods they come from, how they came to form part of the National Collection, their subject matter, and how they were used. This content will be presented in different formats – for children, the general public, and students and academics. This digital project will especially serve to educate students, particularly local ones, on the field of Old Master drawings, in which specialisation in Malta is lacking. Online and in-person outreach, intended to introduce the collection to a wider local and international audience while using the online platform, also forms part of the project.

MUŻA will be collaborating with the Malta Study Center at the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library (HMML) at St John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota, that digitised the museum’s collection of Old Master drawings and prints, maps, printed and manuscript documents and albums in 2017 and 2018. HMML’s photographs will be used for the online project. The online microsite together with other digital images and videos will be developed by Heritage Malta’s Digitisation Department.

The aims of this project are to:

  • Ensure that the lead curators and project team gain expertise in the field of Old Master Drawings;
  • Increase international visibility of the collection through the microsite, launching end 2023;
  • Create accessibility with different entry points for children, the general public, students and academics;
  • Develop didactic content catered for different audiences for the microsite which tackles materials and techniques, uses, schools and periods, provenance, and the subject matter of Old Master drawings;
  • Carry out research in collaboration with international experts to update attributions and gain knowledge about the drawings;
  • Engage a research assistant to create content for the microsite;
  • Organise online and in-person outreach to introduce the collection to a wider local and international audience using the microsite.
Sponsorship text here
Photographs courtesy of the Malta Study Center at the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, MUŻAand Heritage Malta
This digital project is made possible with support from the Getty Foundation through The Paper Project initiative.

Timeline of the project

16/06/2022
Progress 1
Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.
16/06/2022
22/06/2022
Progress 2
Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.
22/06/2022
28/06/2022
Progress 3
Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.
28/06/2022
30/06/2022
Progress 4
Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.
30/06/2022

Meet the team

Project Lead Curators

Bernadine Scicluna, Principal Curator at MUŻA, and Krystle Farrugia, Curator at MUŻA

Project Research Assistant

TBD

Digitisation Manager at Heritage Malta

Anthony Cassar

Digital Assets Executive at Heritage Malta

Andrew Pace

Web and Multimedia Developer at Heritage Malta

Digitisation Team

Paper Conservator

Lisa Camilleri