Rauschenberg Research Project

By Stephanie Rebick | Posted on July 15th, 2013

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The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art may have closed its physical doors to embark on an ambitious expansion, yet the museum continues to activate its collection in innovative ways to reach a broad public. Last week they launched the Rauschenberg Research Project, an online database that both documents and contextualizes the vast number of works by the modern master in SFMOMA’s collection. Far more than your standard collections database, the Rauschenberg Research Project includes scholarly essays that were commissioned specifically for this website, in addition to images, video and archival material such as detailed condition reports that collectively detail the history of each work of art. While the site design might not be the most flashy or innovative, it is extremely easy to use and allows the rich material to take centre stage. I love that all of the images, as well as excerpts from magazines and books, are available to download for personal use, which really makes this work of scholarship a tremendous resource for researchers. Produced as part of the Getty Foundation’s Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative, the Rauschenberg Research Project is a powerful argument for the embrace of digital publishing by museums.


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