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How do you reimagine a century-old reference series for the digital age? In 1919, a French archaeologist started the Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum, or CVA, with the ambitious goal of cataloging every ancient painted vase in the world. Nearly 400 volumes, compiling some 100,000 vases, have been published to date, making the CVA one of the most important resources for researchers working on ancient Greek art and culture. Getty’s most recent addition to the CVA is the first born-digital, open-access volume of this essential series.

In this episode, Despoina Tsiafakis, the author of Getty’s new CVA volume and the director of research at the Athena Research and Innovation Center in Greece, speaks with Getty curator David Saunders and Getty digital publications manager Greg Albers about the history of the CVA and the process of bringing the series to a new digital platform.

Greek Krater vase, with black painted figures on a red clay base. This side shows three men with spears. There is a dog in the lower right.

Attic Red-Figure Column Krater, about 480 BC, attributed to Myson. Terracotta, 13 3/8 × 12 5/16 in. 86.AE.205. Digital image courtesy of Getty Open Content

More to explore:

Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Fascicule 10

Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum series website

JAMES CUNO: Hello, I’m Jim Cuno, President of the J. Paul Getty Trust. Welcome to Art and Ideas, a podcast in which I speak to artists, conservators, authors, and scholars about their work.
DESPOINA TSIAFAKIS: The CVAs are very limited numbered volumes, only in libraries. So someone had ...

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This post is part of Art + Ideas, a podcast in which Getty president Jim Cuno talks with artists, writers, curators, and scholars about their work.
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