Where I’ve Been: Part 1 — Making a Website

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Hello (again) world.

For the past eleven months I’ve been working on creating a new website at my day job at the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College. Not that I’ve created it. The design firm Linked By Air (which is awesome) did the design and development work. Everyone on staff at the museum pitched in with ideas, research, and content. I just helped to shepherd the thing through. The site launched last month. You can find it at: http://skidmore.edu/tang.

My goals going in were (1) bigger images, (2) responsive design, and (3) social sharing.

Linked by Air sought to emphasize the museum as (1) a contemporary art museum, (2) a museum with a growing collection, (3) an institution that is a model for college teaching museums.

The “teaching museum” aspect, I find, often requires explanation. The first question I got from a journalist just last week went something like: Do you find that your mission as a “teaching museum” limits what you can exhibit?

The short answer is no. The longer answer involves explaining that the museum’s mission is central to the college’s liberal arts mission. I often say that the museum itself is the realization of the college’s liberal arts ideals. That realization manifests itself in many practical ways, through various levels of museum use by staff and faculty in all departments, including visits to exhibition or to select objects in the collection; “study exhibitions,” in which a class helps develop and research work in an exhibition; and interdisciplinary exhibitions curated by the museum and members of the college faculty.

So, yes, my last post was more than two months ago, but in that time I’ve been hunkered down (mostly — more tomorrow in Part 2) on the new website. How well the new site meets its goals, I’ll leave for you to discover. Let me know what you think in the comments.

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