Zettelkasten Forum

Taxonomy for art works

I have been building my art note database for a few months now, which is wonderful in helping me build my museum tours. However, I'm feeling like I need some help with naming taxonomy.

Art works are very hard to name. Why? For each art work (which can also be architecture)... There are potentially multiple or no dates, multiple or no artists, and if an artwork is named at all, it is probably not a unique name.

Regardless of whether I use a Zettelkasten numeric prefix or not, I'd like to be able to have the remainder of the name be in some kind of standardized format, but it's eluding me. Thoughts?



  • One thing I forgot to mention: Art works are the atomic unit of an individual note...

  • edited April 2021

    No date, no artist cannot be found either way. A convention unknown_unknown seems reasonable. Such an art work would require many direct links to be found. For multiple artists perhaps adding et al could help? Otherwise, instead of artist you may want to use the most important owner or employer, such as catholic church, Ludwig XIV, Ronald O. Perelman?

    In general the name does not need to be unique, as long as the reference itself is. For example

    202101020800 17C Ludwig XIV
    202101020807 17C Ludwig XIV



    if you plan to use an extensive amount of metadata then perhaps a dedicated database is the best solution. I can imagine you could even use a reference manager for this task, or something more

    just my 2ct. And to whom it may concern, 🥚🥚🥚happy Easter🥚🥚🥚!!!

    my first Zettel uid: 202008120915

  • @ArtyNerd

    Is it possible to standardize the form of the title of your zettels, e.g., certain pieces of information in a certain order? You could then at least use the search function to find some items. Another approach might be to use a set of tags to do a similar thing. For example, you could have tags for the type of art (painting, photo, building, etc.), tags for provenance and year (approximated if necessary), etc. These would help you at least get close to finding a particular zettel.

  • Thanks to all! These are great ideas. For now, I've settled on a naming convention of [date(s)] [title] ([author(s)]). It will sort chronologically, most of the time, and has enough information to at least be able to narrow down what I'm looking for.

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