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Dissertation Information for Karen Drabenstott

NAME:
- Karen Drabenstott
- (Alias) Karen Markey

DEGREE:
- Ph.D.

DISCIPLINE:
- Library and Information Science

SCHOOL:
- Syracuse University (USA) (1981)

ADVISORS:
- Pauline Atherton Cochrane

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
- W. David Penniman
- Michael J. McGill
- Evelyn Hope Daniel
- Antje Bultmann Lemke

MPACT Status: Incomplete - Not_Inspected

Title: COMPUTER-ASSISTED CONSTRUCTION OF A GUIDE TO THEMES AND CONCEPTS IN MEDIEVAL ART AND THEIR ESSENTIAL ATTRIBUTES

Abstract: Scholars pursuing iconographical studies consult research collections of reproductions of works of art, for example, the Index of Christian Art and the Decimal Index to Art in the Low Countries. The subject matter of works of art contained in these iconographical research collections has been described along the lines of its symbolic implications, so that searching these collections is limited to those trained in the study of iconography.

The purpose of this dissertation is to develop a searching aid to iconographical research collections so that they can be searched by users who do not have knowledge of the symbolic implications of artworks. The major steps of constructing the aid are as follows: (1) Observers and artworks are selected. (2) Observers view and describe artworks. (3) Composite descriptions are prepared. (4) Composite descriptions are compared with one another using computerized cluster analysis. (5) Clusters in context are created. (6) Iconographical experts are selected and interpret cluster composition. (7) If iconographical experts link clustered representational elements with their symbolic meaning, a guide to themes and concepts and their essential attributes is developed.

The research problem is to test the procedure for developing the guide to themes and concepts and essential attributes. Thirty-nine observers untrained in art described the subject matter in 100 late medieval Northern works of art (3.). Overlapping cluster analysis was used to group elements of the descriptions (4.). Clustered elements were reinstated into the context of the descriptive phrases of the description in which they occurred (5.). Iconographers interpreted the content of 65 clusters in context and linked 49 clusters in context to their respective symbolic meaning.

The Guide developed from the 45 clusters in context contains (1) an alphabetical enumeration of 139 representational elements and their corresponding symbolic meaning, and (2) an alphabetical directory to ten themes in which the representational elements constituting the themes are detailed.

Although the process used to construct the Guide in this study is effective, recommendations are offered for future guides. The guide is viewed as a dynamic tool, subject to periodic revision and update and suggestions for an online guide to themes and concepts are given.

MPACT Scores for Karen Drabenstott

A = 1
C = 5
A+C = 6
T = 1
G = 1
W = 1
TD = 1
TA = 0
calculated 2011-04-21 15:14:23

Advisors and Advisees Graph

Directed Graph

Students under Karen Drabenstott

ADVISEES:
- Bradley Leland Taylor - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2001)

COMMITTEESHIPS:
- Victor Janvier Bikai-Nyunai - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1990)
- Nancy Busch - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1990)
- Andrea Lee Warfield - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1990)
- Felicia Suila Kimo Lafon - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1992)
- Carol Ann Hughes - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1996)