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hack@brown: Viewing art in the context of news
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Newseum - connecting art with current events

A Hack@Brown 2017 Project written in 24 hours


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

This site pulls top stories from Bing using Microsoft's Bing News Search API and generates keywords from the stories using Microsoft's Text Analytics API and then uses those keywords to displays a set of images from the Harvard Art Museum API. Once we gathered this information, we built this site with Polymer to pair an image with the most thematically similar headline.



First, install Polymer CLI using npm (we assume you have pre-installed node.js).

npm install -g polymer-cli

Start the development server

This command serves the app at http://localhost:8080 and provides basic URL routing for the app:

polymer serve --open


This command performs HTML, CSS, and JS minification on the application dependencies, and generates a service-worker.js file with code to pre-cache the dependencies based on the entrypoint and fragments specified in polymer.json. The minified files are output to the build/unbundled folder, and are suitable for serving from a HTTP/2+Push compatible server.

In addition the command also creates a fallback build/bundled folder, generated using fragment bundling, suitable for serving from non H2/push-compatible servers or to clients that do not support H2/Push.

polymer build

Preview the build

This command serves the minified version of the app at http://localhost:8080 in an unbundled state, as it would be served by a push-compatible server:

polymer serve build/unbundled

This command serves the minified version of the app at http://localhost:8080 generated using fragment bundling:

polymer serve build/bundled
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