In 2017 the P. S. Gamzatova Dagestan Museum of Fine Art won a competition for a grant from the Head of the Republic of Dagestan. As part of that grant, high-resolution digital copies of some 400 pieces in the museum’s collection are to be made. The PERI Foundation has supported the museum’s digital copying project and, as a partner in it, has offered the cultural institution its high-resolution equipment. The permanent collection in the museum’s ten galleries offers masterpieces of Dagestani decorative art and works from many of the world’s countries and peoples—paintings, drawings, sculpture, ceramics, wooden objects, bronzes, carpets, furniture, porcelain, glass and pottery—that constitute a concise historical record spanning 40 centuries, from the second millennium BCE to the present. This fact has given rise to another name for the museum—the Little Hermitage.
Dagestani photographer Gennady Viktorov trained in Spain in the Foundation’s Cultural Heritage 2.0 programme and is working on making the digital copies in the Dagestan Museum of Fine Art. According to him, ‘We are doing two jobs in the museum. First, we are making 3D images (photogrammetry) of objects of decorative art and sculpture. That will result in high-resolution 3D models of the pieces (digital conservation) and also lower resolution 3D models for use by the general public. The second area we work in is reproduction copying of paintings and drawings. That job will yield high quality digital images with a resolution of at least 200 pixels per inch.’
As a by-product of images with such fine detail, an inventory of signatures by artists, seals, and markings made by the previous owners of the museum’s holdings can be built up. This will enable the museum staff to work out the history of pieces in its collection.