Press Release

Museum Launches Enhancements to Online Collection

Event Date: 
11 August 2017
Dallas, TX

The Encyclopedic Collection Reaches a New High of 24,000 Works of Art

The Dallas Museum of Art today announced the unveiling of a new way to access its online collection of encyclopedic art at DMA.org. The development of the enhanced site is part of the Museum’s ongoing digitization initiative to expand access to its encyclopedic collection. The DMA simultaneously announced that its global collection has reached more than 24,000, with the collection growing 10% in recent years.

The expanded online collection portal features an updated design that enables access to a larger quantity and variety of information now providing a multitude of entry points and pathways to the Museum’s robust online resource. The enrichment of the Museum’s online content is supported by a grant from the O’Donnell Foundation, bestowed to the DMA in November 2013, to offer the entire collection online. Part of this initiative included photographing the entire permanent collection, a task completed this past spring. By digitizing the DMA collection, the Museum created one of the world’s most sophisticated online art collections, leading the field in the quality and depth of content available to all.

“The DMA welcomes everyone to explore art and learn about the cultures represented in the Museum’s collection. Today we take an exciting next step in bringing works of art from all cultures and periods to audiences of all ages and backgrounds from around the world,” said the DMA’s Eugene McDermott Director Agustín Arteaga. “Our commitment to developing our content online is to provide audiences both in Dallas and across the world with new ways to become inspired, to discover and to learn even more about our extraordinary collection of more than 24,000 works. We are deeply grateful to Edith and Peter O’Donnell and the O’Donnell Foundation for their continued generosity toward the DMA Digitization Project, and their enthusiasm for its success.”

New additions to the online collection include an expanded screen layout that allows web visitors to explore catalogue essays, summaries of historical periods, artist biographies, and descriptions of techniques and their importance in certain regions or cultures. Previously, no contextual information, apart from the object’s general description, was available online. The fresh design also features teaching ideas produced by the Education Department alongside art historical essays.

With an increasing number of visitors bringing Wi-Fi–enabled devices to the Museum, the new online collection provides on-demand, rich content about works of art on view and in storage, allowing a broader reach for exploration of the collection. While the option to search the collection is still prominently displayed, the remainder of the landing page contains broad topics broken into multiple object and content groupings for optimum investigation. For those unsure of where to begin, the optional entry points include user-friendly categories, from materials, depicted motifs and narratives, to prominent colors or visual characteristics represented across the collection.

Highlights from the collection that illustrate some of these new features include:

• Frederic Edwin Church, The Icebergs, 1861 This painting is a visitor favorite and the new features available through the online collection allow a more in-depth experience with this work, including supplemental photos and fun facts; for example, the work was labeled as “household items” to discourage would-be-thieves when it was first shipped to the Museum in the late 1970s.

Black-and-white checkerboard tunic, Perú, Inca (Inka) culture, 1400–1540 In addition to its accompanying fun facts and rich educational content, the tunic, a highlight of the Museum’s pre-Columbian collection, provides insight into the McDermott Art Fund, allowing viewers to easily explore other works acquired with these funds.

Kneeling female figure with bowl (olumeye), Olowe of Ise, c. 1910–1938 This impressive work from the Museum’s acclaimed African art collection features an extended artist biography and an essay on African art, as well as multiple audio recordings and other content, all available from one page.

“This most recent iteration of the online collection is both a quantitative and qualitative update to the DMA’s web presence. In addition to the expansion of digital content available online— audio and video files, teaching resources, scholarly essays and the like—we’ve also made significant upgrades to the design and functionality of the site, with new full-screen image zoom, social sharing and improved search,” said Shyam Oberoi, Director of Technology and Digital Media at the DMA.

All images available via DMA.org continue to be freely available for non-commercial and educational use. High-resolution images of all works in the public domain will be released for public use. Access to high-quality images and accurate data about each object will significantly enhance research and learning about the DMA’s collection in a way that has not been possible until now.

About the Dallas Museum of Art

Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is among the 10 largest art museums in the country and is distinguished by its commitment to research, innovation and public engagement. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 24,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Located in the nation’s largest arts district, the Museum acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations. Since the Museum’s return to free general admission in 2013, the DMA has welcomed more than 3.2 million visitors. For more information, visit DMA.org. The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of DMA Members and donors, the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

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