One of the things we are always striving to do is share our collection in new and unique ways. This can be seen in many areas of the physical building, from our cross-collection approach in American Identities to other installations like Luce Visible Storage. After reading a recent article in Wired, I started to realize why Facebook’s application platform makes it different from its peers and it got me thinking about how we could utilize their API to bring greater visibility to our collection.
As it turns out, one of our programmers here, Mike Dillon, had been poking around Facebook on his own and was eager to develop on this platform. We had a brief conversation about it and the rest, I have to say, is all his doing. By the way, I’m posting on this because Mike is more the punk-rock-i-don’t-do-blogs type, but have to give credit where credit is due ’cause ArtShare rocks!
What can you do with ArtShare? Well, you can select works from the Brooklyn Museum collection to display on your profile. But then, because social networking is about connecting and seeing what others contribute to the social fabric, anyone can also use ArtShare to upload their own work and share it with others. You can use ArtShare to select a wide variety of work, then each time your profile is loaded a different work will be displayed at random from your selections.
For the past week, we’ve been uploading (OK, well, Francesca Ford has been uploading…thanks, Francesca) our collection highlights into the application, but then we hit a snag when we got to our Contemporary collection. Since artists often retain the copyright on contemporary works, we stopped uploading and started making phone calls and sending emails to artists and galleries seeking permission to include their work in the first phase of this project. I have to extend my thanks to the artists (Jules de Balincourt, Barron Claiborne, Anthony Goicolea, Rashid Johnson, Lady Pink, Kambui Olujimi, Suzanne Opton, Andres Serrano, Swoon, Yoram Wolberger) who saw the worth in this kind of endeavor and said go for it. We will continue to contact more of the contemporary artists in our collection and add to these initial works, but we wanted to pause now and launch ArtShare for beta testing.
If you work at another institution and want to share your museum’s collection this way, we can set you up with your own tab in ArtShare. When we set this up for you, your institution’s logo will be displayed alongside the works that you upload, so they are easily identifiable as being a part of your collection. More information on the specifics of how to do this can be found here.
Have fun, help us test and let us know the bugs so we can iron things out. Oh and, while you are there, add me as a friend.