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 were made. The PERI Foundation supported the museum’s digital copying project and, as a partner in it, 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 worked on making the digital copies in the Dagestan Museum of Fine Art. According to him, ‘We did two jobs in the museum. First, we made 3D images (photogrammetry) of objects of decorative art and sculpture. That was 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 worked in was reproduction copying of paintings and drawings. That job yielded 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.