Studying artworks and their digital copies: Valuing the artist’s aura | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1743-5234
  • E-ISSN: 2040-090X



Digital images extend access to works of art but little is known about of the benefits and limitations of digital copies for instruction. Students in a Museum Studies classb viewed either the digital copy or original of two works of art. Regardless of format, the participants formed similar general impressions of the works, although appreciation of the objects’ size was difficult with the digital images. Students had difficulty assessing materials and media with both original works and copies. The participants had similar insights and also encountered problems, regardless of whether the work of art was two- or three-dimensional. In describing the advantages of original works, the students also noted the power of the original’s aura. Perceived strengths of the digital images included the ability to do research away from the museum (saving travel and time) and to manipulate the images.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): aura; digital images; original works of art; purpose; visual literacy
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