Cornelia

a database for analyzing creative communities

Project Cornelia is an ongoing research project developed at the History of Art Department of the University of Leuven (KU Leuven).

The project aims to analyze the interplay between the dynamics of 17th-century Antwerp and Brussels creative communities and industries (zeroing in on painting and tapestry) on the one hand, and iconographic and stylistic developments on the other.

We do so by collecting a wide array of attribution and relational archival data on the inhabitants of these art worlds. We model, store and clean the data in the Cornelia database. Cornelia includes more than 8,000 archival entries, 10,000 people and 300,000 time-dependent edges. It is still growing.

Cornelia serves multiple purposes. It is a data retrieval tool shedding light on the biography and careers of actors populating and shaping the creative communities and industries. It is also a tool that enables (quantitative) analysis of the socio-economic frameworks. Finally, Cornelia was designed to explore and develop the young and still slightly amorphous field of formal (art) historical social network research.

Project Cornelia is funded by the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) and the Flemish Fund for Scientific Research–Belgium (FWO-Vlaanderen).

 
 
 

Works of art, from this point of view, are not the products of individual makers, “artists” who possess a rare or special gift. They are, rather, joint products of all the people who cooperate via an art world’s characteristic conventions to bring works like that into existence.

Howard Becker Art Worlds (1982)
Koenraad Brosens

Koenraad Brosens

Project Cornelia's prime mover is Koenraad Brosens (1974). He is a Research Professor in the Art History Department of Leuven University. At the age of 9 he fell in love with the Commodore 64. Throughout his teens, his interest in computers never subsided. He started studying Computer Sciences at Leuven University, but then, for reasons unexplained, switched to Architecture. Since he liked the art history classes best, Koen swapped Architecture for Art History. As he developed his career as a tapestry historian, he almost completely forgot about his first love. An incident that involved his 4-year-old boy and his 3-D 'database' built with filing cards, post-it notes and woollen threads, however, redirected him to the computer.

Frederik Truyen

Frederik Truyen

Frederik Truyen is professor at the Faculty of Arts, KU Leuven. He publishes on Digitization, Photography, E-Learning, ICT Education and Epistemology. He is in charge of the mediaLab CS Digital. His research interests are mostly related to Web technology and E-Learning. He was involved in many projects on Open Educational Resources, such as OER-HE, Net-CU, OCW EU and E-SLP, and on digitization of Cultural Heritage, such as IDEM, RICH, 3PI (Hercules funding), EuropeanaPhotography (coordinator), Europeana Space (pilot leader) and the Europeana DSI (aggregator for photography). Currently he is involved in the KU Leuven/FWO funded project Coraal – a database for 17th century Art industries – and in the CEF Generic call for Europeana with a project on Migration in the Arts and Sciences. Moreover, he has a large experience in data modelling for Image databases in the cultural-historical field. He is president of Photoconsortium (photoconsortium.net), an international membership organization for photographic archives. Frederik Truyen sits in the Europeana Member’s Council and is also member of DARIAH-VL.

Katlijne Van der Stighelen

Katlijne Van der Stighelen

Katlijne Van der Stighelen studied art history at KU Leuven where she was appointed a Full Professor in 2003. She published books on Anna Maria van Schurman (1607-1678), Cornelis de Vos (1584/85-1651), Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641) and the tradition of Flemish portraiture. Furthermore, she published widely on aspects of Flemish art and woman-artists in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the Fall of 2002 she was holder of the Rubens Chair at Berkeley, University of California. Together with Hans Vlieghe she is the editor of the series 'Pictura Nova. Studies in 16th- and 17th-Century Flemish Painting and Drawing' (Brepols Publishers Turnhout). Since 1996 not less than 21 monographs have been published. Presently she is curating an exhibition on Michaelina Wautier (1614-1689) to be held at the MAS in Antwerp (1 June-2 September 2018).

Bruno Cardoso

Bruno Cardoso

Bruno Cardoso is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at KU Leuven. His research interests are focused on the field of Human-Computer Interaction - more specifically, on the topics of emotion, usability, context-awareness in mobile devices and domain-specific languages. His research has been presented in major international scientific venues like the UIST, CHI, IUI, UbiComp and CIKM. In a biographical nutshell, Bruno got his BSc and MSc in Computer Science at the University of Évora (Évora, Portugal). He then spent some years building his experience as a consultant and freelance developer, before deciding to do a Ph.D. in Computer Science at the Nova University of Lisbon (Lisbon, Portugal). Close to the end of his studies, Bruno spent a sunny Winter working as a research intern at Telefonica R&D (Barcelona, Spain). After obtaining his Ph.D., Bruno started working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at KU Leuven (Leuven, Belgium), first at the Computer Science Department and now at the Faculty of Arts, joining the Cornelia Project in 2017. A pretty eclectic person, Bruno loves learning new things, science, technology (emphasis on all things computer) and culture.

Rudy Jos Beerens

Rudy Jos Beerens

In 2016, Rudy Jos Beerens started working as a PhD-student in Art History at Project Cornelia. For his research he enriches qualitative archival research with quantitative analysis to develop a new inclusive view on early modern painting and tapestry in Brussels. Besides exploring digital tools for his study, Rudy Jos loves sailing and swimming in his native Zeeland.

Inez De Prekel

Inez De Prekel

Inez De Prekel received her MA in Art History in June 2017 at the University of Leuven, after writing her master’s thesis on Adam de Coster (1586-1643) and the Antwerp caravaggesque phenomenon. She starting working as a PhD researcher for Project Cornelia in September 2017, studying the interplay between social networks and artistic innovation in seventeenth century Antwerp in a qualitative and quantitative manner. In her spare time she enjoys baking cakes and other pastry for family events and lazy Sunday afternoons.

Houda Lamqaddam

Houda Lamqaddam

Houda Lamqaddam is a researcher and doctoral candidate in Data Visualization. Before starting her PhD in KU Leuven, Houda studied Computer Science in her native Morocco, then went on to obtain a masters degree in Human-Computer Interaction from Toulouse, France. Her interests are usability, perception and user psychology.

Klara Alen

Klara Alen

Klara Alen has a PhD in Art History. She fell in love with early modern artists, art markets and archival research during her studies at the University of Leuven and the University of Amsterdam. As a researcher on the MapTap project, she co-developed the Cornelia database and slow digital art history. She is grateful to Cornelia for helping her to analyze and visualize relations of trust and cooperation within the Antwerp tapestry production and trade between 1660 and 1720. Today, Klara is a Research Fellow at KU Leuven.

Astrid Slegten

Astrid Slegten

From 2012 to 2016, Astrid was a member of MapTap. As an economic historian, she likes (art)historical data arranged in spreadsheets, datavisualizations and quantitative analysis. She spent a lot of time with Cornelia in embryonic stage as part of her research on the interplay between social networks and artistic innovation in the seventeenth century Brussels Tapestry Industry. Currently, Astrid is developing a career in educational policy.