Imaging Cultural Heritage in 3D

Dan Dennehy, Minneapolis Institute of Arts

The Minneapolis Institute of Art enriches the community by collecting, preserving and making accessible outstanding works of art from the world’s diverse cultures. In an ongoing effort to share our collections worldwide for study and enjoyment, we have been making virtual 3D models of rare objects using photogrammetry. This image-based modeling technique can record measurable geometric data and precise surface texture information, but capturing true color accuracy and realistic reflective properties remain elusive. This presentation will review the opportunities and challenges involved in employing new methods of documentation to achieve museum quality results.

For over 20 years, Dan Dennehy has been photographing art and cultural life at museums in the Twin Cities, first as staff photograph for the Walker Art Center and presently as Senior Photographer and Head of Visual Resources at Minneapolis Institute of Art where he leads a department responsible for collection imaging and digital asset management. A graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Fine Arts, he has been awarded grants from the Bush Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Polaroid Corporation. His work is included in a number of private and public collections and has been exhibited in the United States, Germany, and Japan. He is the current chair of digital imaging group for the Museum Computer Network and serves on the board of the PLUS Coalition for image rights.