We identified our common interests in media and art history, and wanted to find a way to connect them. How might we use art as an entryway to contemporary issues? How might we explore the correlation between breaking news and historical art? These are questions we aimed to answer, all while emphasizing the value and relevance of art history today.

What it does

The site displays a set of images from the Harvard Art Museum API, and when users select a piece, it displays a thematically similar current events news headline. We wanted to make browsing the news akin to browsing an art gallery.

How we built it

We used the Bing Trending Topics API to parse headlines from different news sources, and the Microsoft Cognitive Services API to analyze the text and its similarities to art descriptions from the Harvard Art Museum API. Once we gathered this information, we built this site with Polymer and Javascript to pair an image with the most thematically similar headline.

Challenges we ran into

The design of the site had to rapidly change as we realized what we could or could not use from the different APIs we were sourcing from. We had to remain flexible in how we displayed the information. There was also the challenge of learning an entirely new language, Polymer.


We hope our project will begin a dialogue between the issues of today to past art in the hope that we can use these pieces to contextualize the present.

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