Glimpse into the Collection: “Tea Pots”

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front and back view of a porcelain tea cup with blue leaves painted on it

Abigail Wickes is a digital image technician at the Ackland Art Museum, and is part of the three-person team working to make digital images and metadata for all 17,000+ objects in the Ackland’s collection available to the public online. She became interested in digital image cataloging during an internship at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center while she was working towards her Master’s in Library Science at UNC-Chapel Hill (2012).

Most of the art in the Ackland Art Museum’s collection of over 17,000 pieces is two dimensional, but there are also hundreds of three dimensional objects, like sculptures and pottery. Adding 3D objects to a museum database is a bit more complex, since there are more surfaces to photograph; there might be images on multiple sides (e.g. the front, back, top, and bottom views) of many 3D objects. 

For example, this tea cup has two lovely but slightly different illustrations on the front and back.

I’m an avid tea drinker, and during working hours (really, during most waking hours) I’m fueling up with green tea or PG Tips. What is your favorite kind of tea?

Unidentified Artist, Chinese, Tea Cup, 19th century, porcelain. Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Transferred from Louis Round Wilson Library, Willie P. Mangum Collection, 84.19.13.