INFO: Open Access in Art Museums
One of the key missions of museums is to “acquire, conserve, research, communicate and exhibit the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment” (museum definition in the ICOM Statutes, 2007).
More and more institutions are translating these missions to the digital realm, by “communicating” and “exhibiting” their collections through online platforms. This allows them to guarantee not only a physical access to the small fraction of artefacts on show, but also a virtual access to a greater part of their holdings. “Open Access in Art Museums” is the subject of an interview with Neil Stimler, Senior Advisor at the Balboa Park Online Collaborative. As former project manager for the MET’s Open Access program, Stimler gives practical information about the implementation of Open Access in art museums and expounds the benefits for the institutions. He also gives examples of concrete applications, such as The Next Rembrandt, a programme which algorithmically generated a “new” painting by the Dutch Master using data from the public domain amongst others.