Virtual Studiolo

Deanna Shemek
UC Santa Cruz

This working group convened faculty and digital designers for two multi-day meetings (one at UCHRI and one in Bologna, Italy) to produce and begin executing a detailed work plan for building the open-access, immersive online environment, Virtual Studiolo (VS). VS recreated one of Renaissance Italy’s most stunning art collections, the studiolo of Isabella d’Este (1474-1539), marchesa of the city-state of Mantua. VS joined a set of interlocking projects within IDEA: Isabella d’Este Archive and enriches the multi-media online environment we are developing for study of the Italian Renaissance through the figure of one, distinguished and celebrated woman. We drew our conceptual framework from three domains: Renaissance art history; museum curatorial theory and practice; and the technical-creative disciplines of digital modeling, animation, remixing, and remastering. An international team, we did much of our work in separate settings, across several time zones, in different disciplines with disparate work rhythms. Face-to-face planning was crucial for the “backward design” of the project.