Museum Makeover
July 12, 2008 5:38 PM   Subscribe

The Art Institute of Chicago's website has been revamped. [T]he goal of this project was to integrate the site with their backend asset management system to allow users to browse the Museum's entire collection online. The changes are pleasing and highly functional. via
posted by sluglicker (17 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Extensive technical details at the via link.
posted by sluglicker at 5:44 PM on July 12, 2008

Thanks -- this will please my wife greatly. She loves this sort of stuff -- Art history major, and museum employee, and all. Forwarding now.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:11 PM on July 12, 2008

I love AIC. Amazing place.

The best thing *EVAR*. They're building a new wing to hold the Modern art collection. They auctioned off the naming rights. The winner(s) of the auction are anonymous.

They spent a staggering amount of money to name the wing. And they named it "The Modern Wing."

posted by eriko at 6:43 PM on July 12, 2008 [9 favorites]

Yay! It looks to have been done with Drupal.
posted by localhuman at 6:55 PM on July 12, 2008

posted by The Straightener at 7:28 PM on July 12, 2008

Great link. I spent a lot of time in the AIC when I was a grad student.

Also, I've always thought that "your portrait painted by Ivan Albright" would be the best gift ever to give to your worst enemy. Especially if it came out looking like this. (Always gets an "eeek!" from the students when I show the film.)
posted by thomas j wise at 7:39 PM on July 12, 2008

This is pretty damn cool. I like how they've included stuff currently not on display. There are a few old faves in the museum that I haven't seen in years that I hope are up here..

The room with the 4 giant Hubert Robert paintings might be my favorite room in Chicago, but I didn't even know that the AIC had drawings by him as well.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:25 PM on July 12, 2008

o oh oh oh ohh oh oh oo o oo ohoh oh

uh, cool, thanks.

Damn, I love that collection. Check out the Islamic miniatures.
posted by mwhybark at 12:33 AM on July 13, 2008

Now this is encouraging ... the cultural heritage sector has always been on the rump of the development curve when it came to getting tools to work with their collections. If you think Micro$$$oft is a monopoly in the OS arena, the content management system software arena for museums, archives, and libraries is even worse. To see the use of drupal as an interface to CITI is pretty darned cool.
posted by aldus_manutius at 7:13 AM on July 13, 2008

I wish they'd go back to free Tuesdays. I love the AIC but am perennially poor.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:51 AM on July 13, 2008

This sculpture by Felix Gonzalez-Torres was my favorite thing at the AIC when I was a kid. I didn't really understand how it was art, but who doesn't appreciate free candy?
posted by bassooner at 11:21 AM on July 13, 2008

I'm not crazy about the information architecture; don't like having to go to the detail page and then the enlarged view of the artwork, esp. as the provenance info is duplicated on the enlarged view page. Klunky.
posted by DenOfSizer at 11:51 AM on July 13, 2008

this is great, thanks!
posted by milestogo at 12:14 PM on July 13, 2008

Holy shit, The Straightener, that was the first thing I looked up. Guess it made an impression, huh?

I am so happy about this. Their site was impossible before and now I can visit whenever I want!
posted by fiercecupcake at 4:49 PM on July 13, 2008

*weeps for Lester Bowie and Malachi Favors*
posted by Wolof at 12:04 AM on July 14, 2008

Displaying search results in category American.
Displaying records 1 - 10 of 769.
*searches for "View All option*

Such an awesome idea. I hope someone with even basic knowledge of usability drops by their next maintenance meeting.
posted by SpiffyRob at 8:06 AM on July 14, 2008

I'm managing the process of digitizing the collection at a much, much smaller art museum, and from what I've dealt with, I'm amazed that anybody ever even comes close to getting it right (and I think AIC got most of it very right). So many internal constituencies want to have a say in every point of the process that things like usability turn into just one more side detail to keep in mind.

It's pretty amazing, watching art museums (well, all museums, but art museums have a pile of aesthetic considerations that others don't have to struggle with as much) try to figure out the best ways to engage the web. It's like everybody knows there's a really, really important place to get to, but nobody's quite sure where it is.
posted by COBRA! at 8:16 AM on July 14, 2008

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