“If the platform fits, wear it.”

“If the platform fits, wear it,” with these words Megan Brett assured me that using Pinterest to store blog posts was not a shameful thing.   In fact “no shame” has been a constant phrase of reassurance as the participants in the Rebuilding the Portfolio Institute continue to explore Digital Art History.

There may be no shame but there is plenty of chagrin (at least on my end)… chagrin for the fact that I had no idea what platform the Illinois Women Artists Database uses.   I still don’t but at least I can now make an educated guess:  Omeka.


Source: “If the platform fits, wear it.”

An Introduction to the Illinois Women Artists Project

The Illinois Women Artists Project (IWA) is an online database containing biographical information on over 450 female artists producing work during from 1840-1940 in Illinois. The project is an ongoing collaborative effort bringing together the work of independent researchers, students and academics.   The database is used by students participating in Gender in Art classes and, and also serves as the focal point for a biennial symposium, “Midwestern Women Artists.”

Although the number of entries in the IWA database is expanding, the way in which the information is being used and presented remains unchanged.   This project seeks to find ways of representing the biographical data in a more visually engaging and informative manner. Currently the site exists as a “Wikipedia” of Illinois Women Artists, accessed via a couple of indices. In this format the information remains stagnant.   How can digital mapping transform the way users see and understand the contents of this database? How can the contents be made more accessible, more engaging, and more useful?

These questions will be considered over the next two weeks: follow the blog (or contribute to the comments) to see what solutions emerge and what problems surface.

Sarah Glover, Associate Professor of Art History, Bradley University


Source: An Introduction to the Illinois Women Artists Project