About

Mission Statement

The Media Center for Art History, part of the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University, explores material culture, vision, media, and pedagogy in the broadest sense to connect faculty research and student learning through the creative application of technology. A motivated group of faculty principal investigators works with the Media Center to develop, conduct, and administer their projects in the study, interpretation, and conservation of works of art, monuments, or heritage sites.

Our goal is to examine and extend the ways of interpreting images, objects, buildings, and sites and to reinforce Columbia's historic strengths in core education for undergraduate students, graduate student training, and faculty research. Our specialized facilities and personnel serve the closely related fields of Archaeology, Art History, and Architecture.

Staff

Stefaan Van Liefferinge, Director of the Media Center

Stefaan Van Liefferinge's research combines science, technology, and architectural history. He is especially interested in scientific and technological developments in Artificial Intelligence that impact research in architectural history.

Before becoming the Director of the Media Center, Van Liefferinge taught medieval art and architecture at The University of Georgia and was the principal investigator of a federally funded research project involving artificial intelligence. His doctoral dissertation investigated medieval mathematical knowledge in relationship to the design of the Gothic choir of the cathedral of Notre Dame of Paris. His research has been published in journals on architectural history and in proceedings of conferences in computer science. In addition to his PhD, Van Liefferinge possesses a BS in physics and an MS in computer science. He worked in the computer and software industry as a software developer and project manager.

Selected Publications

"The Geometry of Rib Vaulting at Notre-Dame of Paris: Architectural or Exegetical Space?" In Space in the Medieval West: Places, Territories, and Imagined Geographies, edited by M. Cohen and F. Madeline. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2014.

Van Liefferinge, Stefaan, Rebecca A. Smith, Tyler Carlson, Elijah Holt, Michael A. Covington, Walter D. Potter. "The ARC Project: Reasoning about Representations of Gothic Cathedrals with Artificial Intelligence." In 16th International Conference on Information Visualisation (IV), eds. E. Banissi et al., 599-601. IEEE Computer Society CPS, 2012.

"The Hemicycle of Notre-Dame of Paris: Gothic Design and Geometrical Knowledge in the Twelfth Century." Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 69, no. 4 (Dec. 2010): 490–507.

Kate Burch, Assistant Curator

Kate Burch has a BFA from New York University, where she studied sculpture and digital art. Before joining the Media Center, she worked in art conservation at several museums, and then as a cataloger at Columbia University Libraries. She also studied art history and archaeology at Columbia. Kate is delighted to apply her experience in visual arts, digital imaging, and collections management to the work of the Media Center.

Gabriel Rodriguez, Digital Curator

Gabriel Rodriguez has been the Digital Curator at the Media Center for Art History at Columbia University since 2011, having held the post of Assistant Curator since 2010. His background is in art and architectural history, having received his BA in Art History from Columbia.

During his time at the Media Center, Gabriel has worked on fieldwork projects as an architectural and panoramic photography specialist, documenting sites of art historical significance around the world. Additionally, his work with diverse image collections, both at Columbia and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has fostered a general interest in the uses of imaging for teaching and experiencing art in all forms. He is proficient in image management, cataloging and metadata standards as well as software for image manipulation.

Tim Trombley, Educational Technologist

Tim received his MA in Art History from Columbia with a thesis that used 3D modeling and global illumination technologies to examine the lighting conditions of Ancient Greek domestic interiors at the city of Olynthus. During his time as a student at Columbia, Tim worked in the Media Center and was delighted to become part of the full-time staff upon graduation. He is passionate about the use of new technologies within the humanities and is excited to be a part of the Media Center's future projects.