Access to the Collection All Day, Every DayIt used to be that you could only discover and experience the works of art in the Museum’s distinguished collection if you happened to be physically in the galleries while a given object was on view. In the last decade, however, all that has changed. The internet has allowed an audience of art lovers the world over to access the collections in unprecedented ways, and now we’re entering a new chapter in this growth with ART 24/7. The goal of ART 24/7 is to make the entire diverse and dynamic collection accessible to everyone, everywhere, at any time, by publishing detailed records and high-quality photographs of each object online. With 227,000 works of art among the Museum’s holdings, it’s an enormous and ambitious undertaking. Each one of these objects is a treasure that tells its own unique story about time, place, and the connecting threads that weave cultures and eras together. With ART 24/7, these stories can always be available for your study and delight whether the physical object is on display in the galleries, on loan to another museum, being cared for, or in storage for safekeeping due to fragility. Accomplishing this involves giving each object a new life—a digital life—with unlimited reach and scope. It’s an ongoing, multi-faceted project that has actually been evolving for some time. ART 24/7 is off to an exciting start, and the possibilities are only growing. Be a part of the future of the collections, and help make each object’s story known, by making a gift to ART 24/7 today.
Giving Each Object a Digital Life
In 2001, the Museum began entering objects into a collections management database known as The Museum System, or TMS. Every print, painting, textile, sculpture, decorative object--indeed, every single one of the Museum’s holdings, has a spot in this growing database. Many of the object records are incomplete, but as the project proceeds, staff will add updated information, interpretive material, and photography available for each object. Documenting the collection is a huge project that requires the tireless work of many behind-the-scenes researchers, photographers, media managers, and more. Objects need to be photographed, and the resulting images need to be processed. Information is checked, enhanced and edited. Before an object can be published online all the information needs to be checked again, and any image rights need to be secured. After an object record is published online, the task is still not completed--each record is continually checked to make sure that the online database always reflects any subsequent additions or changes that are made to it. Your support of ART24/7 allows this critical work to continue. In addition to being checked regularly and updated as necessary, web-published objects may be enhanced with any number of features: audio tours or video clips, links to an artist biography or a gallery of similar objects, maps of both the object’s origin and where it resides in the galleries, and educational resources. By publishing object information online--images, audio, video, and other digital assets--we are opening up the entire collection for you to explore and use in your own way. You may share your favorites and educate others via social media, use our collection to deepen your understanding of art, help others find connections, and anything else you can imagine. This initiative is made possible by generous support from The Annenberg Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Young Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rubin Family Foundation, and individuals including Martha Hamilton Morris and I. Wistar Morris III, Lisa D. Kabnick and John H. McFadden, and David Kowitz.