Archive for the ‘Museum news’ Category

Update on damage at the Mosul Museum

March 9, 2015

For everyone saddened by the events at the Mosul Museum in February, please take a look at Projislamic-state-2015-iraq-nineveh-cultural-heritage-political-violence-150226-00h02m39sect Mosul. Project Mosul is an action by the Initial Training Network for Digital Cultural Heritage that is looking for volunteers to help them virtually restore the Mosul Museum. They need to find photos, process data, contribute to the construction of their website and help them organize the effort to identify the artifacts in the Mosul Museum. If you are interested in joining their effort, email
If you are trying to keep up to date on the state of the Mosul Museum and the Assyrian archeological objects, here are a few blogs to follow:
Gates of Nineveh
Conflict Antiquities
Association for Research into Crimes Against Art (ARCA)
SAFE/Saving Antiquities for Everyone

Freer and Sackler Galleries release entire collection online

January 27, 2015

Ondigitization January 1, the Freer and Sackler Galleries released their complete digitized collection online. More than 40,000 works from the Smithsonian’s Asian and American art museums are now available, with more than 90 percent of the images available in high resolution and without copyright restrictions for noncommercial use. The Freer and Sackler Galleries are the first of the Smithsonian Museums to release their entire collection online. The project required 6,000 staff hours in the past year, 10 terabytes of data, and 50,000 images. Rapid Capture Pilot Project was utilized to quickly digitize the enormous collection of objects.

The Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery contain some of the most important holdings of Asian art in the world. They also house Whistler’s Peacock Room, numerous Whistler paintings, drawings and prints, as well as works by Whistler’s contemporaries. You can search this amazing collection here.

New MoMA App

November 4, 2014

The Museum of Modern Art has developed a newappnew app for iOS devices. Features include museum and art tours with artists and curators, “My Collections” — a tool enabling users to create collections of favorite media and images, a calendar for browsing exhibitions, events and film screenings, museums directories and maps and the ability to share via email, Facebook or Twitter your favorite art, events or photos.

To learn more about this free app, you can read more on MoMA’s FAQ page.  The MoMA iPhone App is available in the iTunes App Store.

Shrem Museum groundbreaking

February 26, 2014

Groundbreaking for events-groundbreakinglogo the Shrem Museum is finally here. The ceremonial groundbreaking will occur at 3:00 pm on Saturday, March 1, at the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for Performing Arts. The ceremony will be indoors, and will process outdoors as William Wiley rings his piece, Gong, which will be installed outside the Mondavi Center. Afterwards, you are welcome to join an art fair and reception. Students will display their work, and the museum’s architects will give a talk at 4:30pm.

If you would like to attend, please email:

Corcoran Gallery of Art in financial crisis

February 20, 2014

Corcoran_Gallery_of_Art_-_Washington_DC_-_DSC01051As a result of disappearing endowments, mushrooming debt and expensive building renovations, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC has announced that it may be forced to close its doors and partner with the National Gallery of Art and the George Washington University. The Corcoran Gallery of Art is the oldest private art museum in the nation. The boards of all three institutions must approve the plan before this proposal moves forward.

The proposal requires the Corcoran to relinquish control of its art collection of ca. 17,000 art works to the National Gallery while it’s art college — the Corcoran College of Art + Design — would continue to operate but under the control of George Washington University. The University will also assume ownership of the building, including the $100 million in needed renovations. The National Gallery would exhibit the Corcoran modern and contemporary art collection under the label Corcoran Contemporary, National Gallery of Art; all artworks added to the National Gallery will retain their identification from the Corcoran Collection.  Artwork not consistent with those in collection in the National Gallery will be distributed to other American museums.

The plan is scheduled for a vote by the boards in April.

Corcoran web

Read more about the “Corcoran’s Future Plans,” including community letters and press releases here.

The Corcoran is not alone in its financial crisis. The Board of Trustees for the Everson Museum in Syracuse, New York, also recently announced its intention to establish a special task for to develop and implement a plan to get the museum out of the $500,000 deficit projected for 2014. A first step in the process was the discontinuation of special, traveling exhibitions.

Government shutdown and the arts

October 2, 2013

Budget BattleSo the government shutdown has become a reality — the first shutdown since the month long closure in 1995. What does that mean for the arts and for our image/research users? The National Endowment for the Arts is essentially closed and half its staff furloughed. The Smithsonian’s 19 museums and galleries are closed although the institutions remain guarded, HVAC systems are operating and maintenance crews are on call. Some current exhibitions may end early and others will have their rollouts disrupted. The National Zoo is closed and the panda cam is offline.ngaclosed National Parks are closed until further notice and national monuments are barricaded. Not only is the Library of Congress closed but its website is down. While you can’t access LC’s American Memory Project and the Prints and Photographs Collection, the National Archives catalog remains online (for the moment…) but without updates.

Getty’s Open Content

August 12, 2013

The Getty has banner_opencontent_600announced that it is lifting restrictions on the use of images to which the Getty holds all the rights or are in the public domain. According to Getty President and CEO Jim Cuno, “the Getty makes available, without charge, all available digital images to which the Getty holds all the rights or that are in the public domain to be used for any purpose.”  The Open Content Program will make approximately 4600 images of paintings, drawings, manuscripts, photographs, antiquities and sculpture and decorative arts from the J. Paul Getty Museum available in high resolution on the Getty’s Search Gateway for use without restriction. The Getty plans to add other images, until eventually all applicable Getty-owned or public domain images are available, without restrictions, online.

On the Open Content Program’s website, the Getty explains their decision: “we recognized the need to share images of works of art in an unrestricted manner, freely, so that all those who create or appreciate art—scholars, artists, art lovers, and entrepreneurs—will have greater access to high-quality digital images for their studies and projects. Art inspires us, and imagination and creativity lead to artistic expressions that expand knowledge and understanding. The Getty sincerely hopes that people will use the open content images for a wide range of activities and that they will share the fruits of their labors with others.

To learn more, you can read the Getty press release here, the Open Content Program site and their announcement on IRIS, the Getty’s blog.

15th Annual Sacramento Museum Day

January 29, 2013

Museum-Day-13-logo-colorBThe 15th Annual Sacramento Museum Day will take place this February 2nd (Saturday). Thirty Sacramento area museums will be participating with twenty-eight of the museums offering free admission for this event. Museum Day, a Sacramento cultural tradition, invites all members of the community to experience the Capital City’s incredible wealth of art, history, science and wildlife at numerous participating museums at no cost. Event hours are 10 am to 5 pm (with the last guests admitted at 4 pm).

Participating museums include: Aerospace Museum of California, California Automobile Museum, California Foundry History Museum, The California Museum, California State Military Museum, California State Capitol Museum, California State Railroad Museum, Ceter for Contemporary Art, Crocker Art Museum, Discovery Museum Science and Space Center, The Don and June Salvatori, California Pharmacy Museum, Fairytale Town, Folsom History Museum, Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park, Heidrick Ag History Center (Woodland), Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park, Maidu Museum and Historic Site, Museum of Medical History, Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum, Old Sacramento State Historic, Park, Roseville Utility Exploration Center, Sacramento Zoo, Sacramento Historic City Cemetery, Sacramento History Museum, Sojourner Truth Multicultural Arts Museum, State Indian Museum, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park, and Wells Fargo History Museum (Old Sacramento and Downtown locations).

Rijks Studio launched

November 1, 2012

In anticipation of its reopening on April 13, 2013, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam launched Rijks Studio, their new online presentation of 125,000 works in its collection.
“Rijks Studio invites members of the public to create their own masterpieces by downloading images of artworks or details of artworks in the collection and using them in a creative way. The ultra high-resolution images of works, both famous and less well-known, can be freely downloaded, zoomed in on, shared, added to personal ‘studios’, or manipulated copyright-free. Users can have prints made of entire works of art or details from them. Other suggestions for the use of images include creating material to upholster furniture or wallpaper, or to decorate a car or an iPad cover for example. To celebrate this digital milestone, the Rijksmuseum is asking leading international artists, designers and architects to become pioneers of Rijks Studio by selecting one work from the collection and using it creatively to create a new artwork. These will be released in the run up to the reopening of the museum.” (Press release)


October 22, 2012

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has provided online access to their extensive publishing program through a newly developed resource called MetPublications. This portal currently provides access to 650 titles published from 1964 to the present but their goal is to make their entire list of publications — books, Bulletins and Journals published since 1870 — available online.  Current titles that are in-print may be previewed and search online with links to purchase the item. Almost all other titles may be read online, searched or downloaded as a PDF through the Google Books program.
Also available on MetPublication is their very useful Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, an online chronological, geographical and thematic exploration of global art history.
You can read more about the program here.


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