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Informal Talk by Bernard Frischer

3D Modeling of Cultural Heritage

Joel Kalvesmaki

On Friday, April 6, the Dumbarton Oaks community enjoyed a visit from Bernard Frischer, Professor of Art History and Classics at the University of Virginia, where he is also Director of the Virtual World Heritage Laboratory. Professor Frischer gave an engaging multimedia presentation in the Founders' Room on his team's application of 3D digital tools to the simulation of cultural heritage artifacts and sites. The talk was timely, since the VWHL projects help identify issues and challenges that Dumbarton Oaks will want to consider as it develops its own 3D digital models.

One of the 3D models presented by Professor Frischer was of fourth-century Rome, digitally rebuilt and designed to be a pedagogical tool. He noted that the process of assembling the model prompted scholars to make new observations and discoveries. Other examples of his models can be viewed at http://www.digitalsculpture.org/, which tackles the barriers often faced by 3D modeling when attending to the complex geometry characteristic of sculpture. Showcasing sculptures from the University of Virginia (Caligula) and the Dresden State Museum (Pan-Nymph), Professor Frischer demonstrated how difficult art-historical questions of interpretation can be illuminated using computer modeling.

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