“This is not an end. It is the beginning.
We realize that we can keep doing this.”
Judy Metro, Editor in Chief, National Gallery of Art
All of the OSCI partners are already working on new catalogues, some of which provide new challenges in presentation of information and the creation of templates.
- The Art Institute of Chicago has already released online collection catalogues on Caillebotte, Gauguin, Pissarro, and Roman Art, as well as three exhibition catalogues and in-gallery interpretive kiosks that use the OSCI Toolkit technology. An additional seven catalogues are in production.
- Subsequent to the OSCI initiative, Tate published Henry Moore: Sculptural Process and Public Identity (2015), The Art of the Sublime (2013), and part of its J. M. W. Turner collection of sketchbooks, drawings, and watercolors, and is continuing to add to its Turner catalogue.
- After completing the OSCI publication, the Freer and Sackler Galleries released two more online catalogues on ancient Chinese jades and Korean ceramics.
- LACMA is in production on an online publication for the Carter Collection of Dutch Paintings.
- The National Gallery of Art has released two more online catalogues, Italian Paintings of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries and American Paintings, 1900–1945, and is currently in production on two other catalogues: Nineteenth-Century French Painting (Van Gogh and Gauguin) and Sixteenth-Century Italian Painting (Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese). Several others are slated for production in the years ahead.
- SFMOMA received a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to investigate and publish five areas of the collection, working in conjunction with the artists themselves: photography in the 1970s, Bay Area high-tech design, and the work of artists Ellsworth Kelly, Vija Celmins, and Julia Scher. These investigations will be published using the tools developed during the OSCI project.
- SAM plans to produce an online catalogue for its collection of Japanese paintings.
- The Walker Art Center is developing content on interdisciplinary artists to add to its Living Collections Catalogue, and also plans to add new volumes for upcoming collections-based exhibitions.
While it remains to be seen how many other museums will take up one of the OSCI approaches, momentum is building for the publication of permanent collection catalogues online. In addition to the museums participating in OSCI, the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Dallas Museum of Art have used the OSCI Toolkit to publish scholarly presentations of their collections to the Web. Other approaches have also emerged; they range from the free, open source Wordpress platform to the customized publishing tool being developed by Getty Publications (more information available at www.getty.edu/publications/digital).
As the museum field carries digital publishing forward, there will no doubt be new tools, new approaches, and new challenges. Technology is ever-changing, and museums must continue to adapt to keep up and maintain relevance in this connected, digital world. What will not change is the contribution of the pioneering OSCI museums in developing important first steps and demonstrating that online catalogues are possible.