Summer Programs

Joseph Spithöver, detail of “Aqueduct, Rome, Italy,” about 1865, albumen silver print. Gift of Weston J. and Mary M. Naef, J. Paul Getty Museum (artwork in the public domain; photograph provided by the Getty Open Content Program)
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The Art Historical Image in the Digital Age

“The Art Historical Image in the Digital Age” at the American Academy in Rome is a ten-day, intensive course designed to equip scholars of art from any historical period with the basic skills necessary to excel in the digital humanities: digital image management, organization, and analysis.

Since its inception, the disciplines of art history, as well as archaeology and conservation science, have focused to a great extent on the collection and analysis of images. Just as the ability to reproduce and circulate images through photography revolutionized the study of art in the nineteenth century, so too has digital imaging transformed the field in the twenty-first. The ease and speed with which digital images are now created, using a variety of apparatuses, has meant that scholars have access to and create ever-growing numbers of images, from reproductions of artworks to scans of documents and books. In addition, fields such as technical art history and archaeology have harnessed technologies such as laser scanning (lidar) to formulate research questions and produce new insights. This profusion of digital images has transformed research practices in these fields and raises both practical and conceptual questions. What constitutes image data? In what ways do archives, libraries, conservation labs, or even researchers themselves classify and organize this data, and how can it be analyzed? In what ways can researchers leverage digital-imaging tools and methods, while maintaining the rigor of their research and scholarship? Students participating in this summer school will begin to answer these questions by considering broader questions that affect art historical practice while at the same time gaining technical knowledge that will help make them critical and informed users of both image data and technical imaging technologies, such as 3D and spectral imaging.

This course takes advantage of the unique resources of the American Academy in Rome to prepare scholars to chart new directions in creating, managing, and using images for art historical research and scholarship in the digital age. Using as a case study a set of art historical image data in Rome, a city that the Academy founder Charles F. McKim deemed the very best place to study art, the course will familiarize participants with the basics skills necessary to organize and manage digital images. Participants will learn the key concepts and vocabulary to discuss image data and its integral role in the digital humanities. They will also develop skills to manage image data most effectively for art historical research, such as the creation and manipulation of image metadata and digital tools like Mirador. As part of their investigation of digital images, participants will also discuss the impact of digital technology on our experience of art using Rome as an example.

The course is ideal for graduate students and scholars who are eager to develop new methodologies in art history using digital strategies. Participants will be selected on the basis of their ability to formulate compelling research questions about the conjunction of digital humanities and art history. While projects that address issues in art from antiquity to the modern era are welcome, preference will be given to those that would benefit from access to resources in Rome.

2019 Dates

July 1–12, 2019

2019 Application Deadline

April 8, 2019

2019 Director

Emily Pugh, Digital Humanities Specialist, Getty Research Institute


The program is intended for graduate students and early career scholars in art history, but those who work in history or visual culture will also be considered. The program is open to candidates of all nationalities with a sufficient command of English.

Required Equipment

Participants are required to bring their own computers and hardware (cables, adaptors, etc.). All software used in the course will be open source and thus downloadable free of cost.


Tuition: $900 covers tuition, excursions, and materials supplied by the Summer School for use during the program.

Housing: housing at the American Academy in Rome is not guaranteed. Housing availability will be communicated upon acceptance. Participants should be prepared that they may need to find housing outside the Academy.

Meals: meals can be purchased at the Academy (€15 for lunch and €27 for dinner). The tuition includes one group dinner.

How to Apply

Please send your CV and a brief description of how this course will enhance your current art historical research (maximum 500 words) to:

Deadline for tuition payments is May 31, 2019.

Accepted participants should send a check in dollars for the TUITION ONLY, made out to the American Academy in Rome, with an indication in memo line of “Art Historical Image” to:

American Academy in Rome
7 East 60th Street
New York, NY 10022-1001 USA

For those wishing to pay tuition in euros you can:

  • Send a check in euros made out to the American Academy in Rome to the Rome address (Via Angelo Masina, 5 - 00153 Roma) to the attention of Francesco Cagnizzi; or
  • Make a bank transfer to the American Academy in Rome (Unicredit Bank IBAN IT 50 X 02008 05031 000400543095, BIC SWIFT CODE UNCRITM1015); or
  • Provide us with your credit-card details by phoning +39 06 5846429

Further information about the course can be obtained from the course director at

Photograph: Joseph Spithöver, detail of Aqueduct, Rome, Italy, about 1865, albumen silver print. Gift of Weston J. and Mary M. Naef, J. Paul Getty Museum (artwork in the public domain; photograph provided by the Getty Open Content Program)

Classical Summer School

This six-week program is designed to provide qualified graduate students, mature undergraduates, and middle school, high school, and two-year college teachers with a well-founded understanding of the growth and development of the city of Rome through a careful study of material remains and literary sources.

2019 Dates

June 17–July 26, 2019

2019 Application Deadline

December 17, 2018

Notification of acceptance into the program by January 15, 2019; scholarships awarded by February 1, 2019.

2019 Director

Professor Gretchen Meyers, Associate Professor, Franklin & Marshall College

Program Costs

The program fee of $4,500 includes tuition, accommodation (double occupancy; some singles are available for additional cost), five meals per week at AAR or a local restaurant and the cost of trips to sites in and around Rome. It does not include airfare, personal expenses (or additional, unplanned expenditures), breakfasts, lunches, weekend meals, any travel not directly related to the program of the Summer School, nor expenses such as laundry, tips, amusements, or shopping.


Students of the Classical Summer School will stay in shared apartments in a shared double room for the six-week program. Some single rooms will be available at additional cost. Final admission to the program is contingent upon the participant’s completion of a room and board application (which will be sent along with the acceptance letter).

Application Materials

The deadline for applications is December 17, 2018. Please thoroughly read the 2019 Guidelines before completing the Classical Summer School Application.

2019 CSS Guidelines (PDF)
2019 CSS Application Instructions (PDF)
Link to Online Application

Two letters of recommendation are required in support of the application. Letters of recommendation must be emailed to the Director:

Prof. Gretchen Meyers
Associate Professor of Classics
Franklin & Marshall College


Several scholarships are offered through the American Academy in Rome and can be applied for on the program application. Applicants are also encouraged to apply for scholarships offered through their regional and state classical organizations, however these applications are submitted independently from the Classical Summer School application. Please see List of Awards for Study 2019 (PDF) for more information and eligibility.

Deadline for tuition payments is May 1, 2019.

Accepted participants should send a single check for both tuition and housing, made out to the American Academy in Rome, with an indication in memo line of “Classical Summer School” to:

American Academy in Rome
7 East 60th Street
New York, NY 10022-1001 USA