1. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: Artscope
Explore 3,500 objects from the SFMOMA collection, arranged in a continuous, map-like grid. Users can zoom in on images, search by keyword or artist, or just have a look around. This feature allows for wandering and the chance to discover artworks users may never have seen before.
2. Metropolitan Museum of Art: Connections 2011
Each Connections episode (a 4 minute video) explores a broad theme through the subjective and personal viewpoint of a MET staff member.
3. Brooklyn Museum: Record completeness feature
This feature provides users a visual meter that indicates the completeness of the record and asks users to contribute information. Here’s a 2010 blog post about this feature by Shelley Bernstein, Chief of Technology at the Brooklyn Museum.
4. Los Angeles County Museum of Art: Remix
Allows users to search the collection by a curated tag cloud. The remix button in on the top left of the screen. There’s also a way to select a letter from the alphabet and see a selection of artists. Here’s a quick blurb about the feature in a 2010 Flavorwire article.
5. Indianapolis Museum of Art: Deaccessioned Artworks
IMA provides a list of deaccessioned objects along with an explanation about the museum’s deaccessioning process. IMA is one of the only museums that provides this type of transparency.
My Top 5 list only includes art museums in the U.S. The list excludes collection-based exhibition websites, such as MoMA’s Abstract Expressionist New York; websites created specifically for net art, such as The Adobe Museum of Digital Media; and multi-institution, online collections initiatives, such as the Google Art Project or Smarthistory.
With a background in museum education and collections management, Rachael Faust is interested in how museum collections can become more accessible. Faust is Assistant Curator of Collections and Academic Programs at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle, where she manages the museum’s Study Center and collections presence online. At the Henry, she is currently experimenting with ways to facilitate meaningful online access to collection objects and resources. Faust holds an MA in Museum Studies from John F. Kennedy University in Berkeley and a BA in Art History/Criticism from the University of California, San Diego.
Have any online collections that you love? Share it with us!