The Amon Carter Museum of American Art announces it has recently launched a digital collection database, which includes more than 7,500 artworks from the museum’s permanent collection. Easily searchable by artist, artwork or medium, the database can be accessed from the museum’s website at www.cartermuseum.org/custom.
The process to create the digital database began in 2009, when the museum received a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to photograph and catalog the works on paper collection. Because the painting and sculpture collection was previously cataloged and digitized, the museum focused its efforts on its 7,000 watercolors, prints and drawings. The museum completed digitization of this area of its collection in December 2010.
Also in 2010, the museum received a $150,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to digitize and catalog more than 25,000 photographs. Work began on this initiative in late 2010, and currently more than 2,500 photographs are now digitized, cataloged and entered into the collection database. The museum anticipates that this phase of the digitization project will be complete next summer.
“We have more than 250,000 works in our collection, but many are rarely exhibited and never seen by the public,” says Andrew Walker, director of the museum. “This new database makes our collection more accessible and allows us to better serve our diverse audiences—artists, scholars, students and art enthusiasts around the world can now look at artworks in our collection for research, scholarship or pure enjoyment. Because we are one of only a few museums in the nation that is dedicated to American art, this is a significant accomplishment.”
As artworks are photographed and cataloged, they will automatically be added to the searchable database.
The Amon Carter has also updated the design of its website, says Will Gillham, director of publications. “Our website needed to be redesigned to complement our new graphic identity; but, more importantly, improvements were needed to better serve our visitors. The improvement is tremendous—the site is intuitive and much easier to navigate.”
Visitors to the site will also find an enhanced Museum Store + Café page, which is continually updated to reflect the new products in the store.