CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Krannert Art Museum recently launched an expanded, redesigned website that will allow online visitors to search the museum’s art collection.
“As the second-largest general fine arts museum in the state of Illinois and a major cultural institution on campus, we strongly believe it is important to make the art collection as accessible as possible. Building the means to access the collection online is an important part of that,” said Kathleen Harleman, the museum director and the interim dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts. “Online visitors will have access to the breadth of work we do in teaching, conservation and research as a top academic art museum at the University of Illinois.”
Kimberly Sissons, the collection manager at the museum, was instrumental in the behind-the-scenes work required to put the collection online.
“Each record needs to be checked over to make certain its data displays correctly and is searchable to users. At launch, we have around 2,700 works of art accessible via the web, which is more than 25 percent of the collection. It’s a good start, and we will continue to build on it,” Sissons said.
The new website at kam.illinois.edu has been in preparation for two years. It builds on information available in the previous format, which at the time of its creation in 1993 was the first art museum website in the United States.
The redesigned website enables visitors to learn more about the museum’s collection, galleries and institutional history; gives teachers resources to bring art into their classrooms and learn more about the public engagement program Krannert Art Museum – Week at the Museum; and gives students and art researchers access to original curatorial research related to exhibitions at KAM.
New features of kam.illinois.edu include:
- Overviews of all collection galleries, including the Bow and Trees Galleries, the Decorative Arts collection, Art of the Ancient Mediterranean and Art of Ancient Peru, and the award-winning Encounters: The Arts of Africa.
- Access to exhibition portfolios and more than 2,700 works of art in the permanent collection, the number of which will continue to grow.
- A growing collection of artist profiles, conservation articles, provenance information, and original curatorial research, available online for the first time, including images of artwork and a growing library of museum-produced videos.
- A search interface powerful enough to enable online visitors to search website content and the artwork database in a single place, as well as an advanced search function to facilitate more targeted research.
- A clean, responsive design that works well in all browsers and devices, making it easy to explore the site and share content via social media.
An added feature for museum donors is an expanded support section, which highlights the experiences of museum volunteers and students, as well as the support the museum receives from external funders and university partners, including the College of Fine and Applied Arts.
Julia Nucci Kelly, the communications and marketing coordinator for the museum, managed the project.
“We started with research into the current site to see what worked and what needed improvement,” Kelly said. “The new site will enable museum visitors, whether they are students or alumni or community members, to see the range of our work as an academic art museum. We hope it will inspire learning, exploration, research and visits to see the artwork in person.”