Hundreds of Artworks Now Available to View Online
The Berman Museum of Art rolls out the first phase of its collection digitization project.
In today’s post-pandemic world, it has become increasingly vital for museums and archives to provide their audience with online access to their collections. Digitization ensures long-term access to the artwork for students, educators, scholars, and members of the public.
The Berman Museum’s collection is comprised of more than 8,000 works of art, including works on paper, paintings, sculpture, photographs, and Pennsylvania German cultural material. Building digital records for these works is a strategic priority for the museum, and it has partnered with Artwork Archive to store and present the collection effectively.
The hundreds of pieces now publicly available on the Berman’s website represent the first phase of the digitization project. Thus far, the Contemporary, Works on Paper, and Photography collections have the most to explore. While this does not represent the full scope and breadth of the Berman’s collection or reflect any prioritization within the museum’s holdings, the newly accessible records and images represent a significant step forward for the institution.
Digitization provides another avenue through which the Berman Museum can activate its mission of art preservation and accessibility.
“Even the best care can’t guarantee the longevity of a piece. But digitizing the pieces ensures the long-term preservation of the art in its current state.”
- Catherine Sirizzotti, Collections Manager
The growing collection is an important resource for teaching and outreach across diverse college and community audiences. Ensuring the integrity and preservation of the artworks and artifacts is an ongoing responsibility sustained in public trust.
Catherine Sirizzotti, the Berman’s collection manager, believes digitization fulfills that responsibility in a way that a preservation care plan alone cannot. “Even the best care can’t guarantee the longevity of a piece. But digitizing the pieces ensures the long-term preservation of the art in its current state,” she says.
The other facet to the museum’s mission, fostering a greater understanding of visual art’s role in society and the learning process, depends on the collection’s visibility and accessibility. The permanent collection is an indispensable teaching tool, so it is crucial to ensure everyone can benefit from it.
As a result of the Berman’s digitization project:
- Researchers will benefit from access to high-quality images before visiting the collection in person.
- Students who visit the museum during class time can revisit pieces of interest online for additional study.
- College faculty can incorporate artwork in classroom discussions more thoroughly.
- K-12 teachers will have an easier way to incorporate art of a specific medium or period into their curriculum.
- Members of the local and global community can learn more about art from the comfort of their home.
To access the permanent collection online, select a category from the Permanent Collections page in the Collections tab. Artworks are organized by medium and time period, and results can be narrowed by artist and title using the search bar. For a larger image size or more information on a piece, click on the image. Keep an eye out for updates as more works become available to view online in the months ahead.