Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim's online collectionconsists of about 700 of the 7,000 works in the museum's permanent collection. The online collection is described as the highlights of the Guggenheim's collection. The pieces in the online collection are "designed to reflect the breadth, diversity, and tenor" of the collections at the museum's four locations around the world. The site also states that they are continually expanding the online collection to better mirror their actual collection.
Each image has metadata for the title, artists, creation date, medium and physical location of the piece. Additionally, each object is augmented by three to four paragraphs concerning the context of the piece, the author and/or the work itself. The text is designed for the average museum goer and resembles the explanatory text that might be seen next to a piece in an actual museum.
Clicking on an image provides the user with a popup window containing a larger view of it as well as a series of thumbnails of other work by the same artist when applicable. Clicking on any thumbnail brings up a larger view of that image, but when the window is closed, the viewer is still on the original page. Even in their largest form, the images are not large enough for incredibly close inspection. They are, however large enough to see the artwork easily.
Based on the presentation and treatment of the artwork it seems that the Guggenheim's audience is the same group of people who might visit their physical locations, though providing the works online will allow them to reach those who are not able to visit the physical location of a particular piece of art.

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