The Walters Art Museum
announces the launch of its redesigned works of art website with the removal of copyright restrictions on more than 10,000 online artwork images through a Creative Commons license . In addition to being able to download these images for free, the site introduces a new look and feel, and enhanced searching, tagging and community collections features. The website now has additional information about the artworks, including nearly a century of history concerning exhibitions and conservation treatments. It is also substantially more accessible to users with disabilities due to its increased compliance with the United States governments internet accessibility standards.
By adding conservation histories and exhibition records to our works of art site, the Walters is demonstrating its belief that openness and transparency are key components to holding artworks in the public trust, said Director Gary Vikan.
As an additional element to eliminating admissions fees at the Walters, the works of art site does away with barriers of access to the museums collection and allows a depth and quality of information on artworks that will appeal not only to scholars, but also to art enthusiasts, students and the casual online visitor.
A goal of the works of art site is to make the Walters artworks better known and shared with national and international audiences. Website visitors from around the globe can become online curators by selecting a favorite piece of art, clicking a button and adding the artwork to a personal collection that can be shared via Twitter and Facebook.
Our viewership has increased by over 240% since 2007 when we first started putting art objects online. The Walters website has received almost one million unique visits this year with the works of art site contributing 24% of that viewership, said Manager of Web and Social Media Dylan Kinnett. We hope that this percentage will continue to increase as new users share images on social networks, tag objects and curate their own exhibitions.
The upgrade to the Walters works of art website was funded by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Design and implementation support was provided by Fastspot.