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Wikipedia entries – It’s just lunch

Wikipedia is fun…Well, that went off with a resounding and hushed thud. I was sure my last blog entry would garner heaps of new Wikipedia entries, a personal lunch celebration from the IMA’s Director, and an interview on the Today Show; but instead I got some publicity from other bloggers.

Though I appreciate the pub, I would have preferred people take me up on the idea of creating Wikipedia entries about IMA outdoor sculptures. And, no, I’m not crazy enough to think we would have an IMA wikimarathon to rival the art wikimarathon, but I really thought my post would have generated at least one entry by now.

There was a suggestion by this guy to give away free t-shirts for folks that created entries, but I really couldn’t do that so easily, what with t-shirt slogans so difficult to come by in this era of clever t-shirts that we live in.

Instead, I’ve negotiated a free lunch at Pucks with the aforementioned IMA Director (or equivalent member of the Nugget Factory) for the first 5 people (you’ve got to find your own way here) that create Wikipedia entries about the IMA’s outdoor sculpture. Mind you, it took some tough negotiations on my part.Seriously, you could have lunch at Pucks with the IMA’s director or one or even the entire set of “Nuggets” just for creating a Wikipedia entry! But wait, there’s more! If you act now, I’ll have your picture taken in front of the IMA sculpture for which you make a Wikipedia entry and then post it on the blog! That’s as close to stardom as I can get. So, what do you say?

Filed under: Conservation, New Media

17 Responses to “Wikipedia entries – It’s just lunch”

  • avatar
    Liesl Downey Says:

    I say you need to make a stop to Ruth for rights and repro clearance before taking my picture in front of any sculpture. I feel only a little creepy being the first to comment. Trust me, I am not stalking you from South Carolina….waaay too much Tennessee in the way with way too many enticing mega-discount fireworks. I respectfully will not be in state for my lunch with Mr. Anderson, however any coupons or mail-able leftovers would be appreciated in lieu of my prize. Maybe some spaceman ice cream.

    Wait…was i supposed to say something about the Nugget Factory?

  • avatar
    Richard Says:

    Thanks, Liesl, for this comment. I hope things are going well for you in your new venture down in South Cackalacka.

    I’m happy to have your mention of the IMA’s Ruth, who works here in “Rights and Reproduction.” For those that don’t know, she’s helps folks finds images they can use for publications and the like (think calendars, books, magazine articles, etc.). As far as I know, all museums have a Ruth, but we happen to have the original one (I’m glad, too, because she’s not only smart and helpful but very nice). But I digress.

    I bring this up to say that the IMA does have a photography policy that basically says what you can do with a camera on your visit. Here it is:

    And of course, Liesl, I talked to Ruth about the Wikipedia idea before I posted it (you think I’m crazy?). She pointed out that folks are welcome to use their images of IMA owned artworks as long as they don’t intend to profit from their use. So, in short, you’re free to take pictures of our artworks and post them in Wikipedia entries, on Flickr, or whatever (okay, well, not really “whatever;” you’d better read that policy to be sure).

    I’d be happy to consider sending you some Pucks leftovers in the mail, but first I’m going to have to see the entry that you made about one of the IMA’s outdoor sculptures.

    And, finally, I’ll only occasionally respond to comments about the Nuggets.


  • avatar
    Christina Says:

    There you go. It’s raining today, but I’ll get out and take some pictures of the fountain tomorrow, and try to fill out some more detail. It’s a start! Maybe people will add to it.

  • avatar
    Richard Says:

    Nice work, Christina! You’re in.

    I thought for sure the first one would be the mighty LOVE sculpture since Tyler Green from Modern Art Notes suggested it on his blog:

    Anyway, I can’t wait to see the picture on the site too. Since it’s a visual work, I think pictures are a must-have for the entries. I’ll send you an e-mail with some more info.

  • avatar
    Nina Alles Says:

    I would have put a wikipedia entry in for the LOVE sculpture or even 0-9, but I don’t know how. I could probably figure it out, but I also don’t have any pictures that I know where they are. I may go and try to take one (although it’s probably not very pretty out there right now), can you let us know which of the outdoor sculptures have been entered?

  • avatar
    Richard Says:

    Hi, Nina —

    Thanks for your comment.

    You can learn how to make new entries in Wikipedia here:

    If the IMA’s has a picture of an artwork, it is available on its collection database here:

    I checked the entry for LOVE and there is a picture there, but it seems about a year old (the sculpture looks a bit different now, but that’s another post). Plus, I’m pretty sure you would have to site in your entry where you got the picture. I think it would be cool if you could come around and take your own pictures and use those for the entry.

    Here’s the link for the LOVE on the collections database:

    If you do take some pictures, you can upload them to a Flickr account and then link that to the Wikipedia entry, like Christina did.

    Also, did you know that the Nuggets made a youtube video of some work we did on LOVE in 2006? You can check it out here (I’m the tallish guy with a light-blue shirt and tan pants; see if you can find me):

    As far as I know, there’s only one entry that has been made, and it was Christina’s Sutphin Fountain (see link above).

    So, there are four more spots at the table for the lunch.


  • avatar
    Best of 3 Says:

    Hi Richard

    Thanks for your feedback on my post. I really didn’t mean to smear you with the astroturfing reference, so much as expand the para I quoted.

    I think the ‘astroturfing’ conundrum is a hard one for institutions. On the one hand, you want to share information and encourage users/visitors to join in and add more; on the other, art galleries writing about themselves or their collection items on Wikipedia etc is, I think, likely to be perceived as inauthentic (or something the marketing team put you up to, which is a whole ‘nother perception problem!). Yet who better to start off the Wikipedia entry than people who know a lot about the work?

    I think that was where I was going with the notion that CreativeNZ (New Zealand’s government funding body for the arts) could fund people to improve the level of info available about NZ art and artists on sites like Wikipedia. While it might be of great benefit in terms of putting info and resources about our artists, composers, dancers and writers out into a space where people are (rather than building sites and hoping people come to them), the fact that it’s being done by a government agency is likely to be viewed a bit dimly.

    So I think you took the right tack – encouraging your audience to take part. I was mostly drawn to your post because I’m interested in the ways institutions could be forming relationships with their audiences online, and while it’s easy to find great projects, it’s rarer to find people reflecting on their success. Please accept my apology, keep up the good work on this blog, and I hope that your visitors get on board with your idea.

  • avatar
    Richard Says:

    Best of 3 —

    Thanks for the reply. I’m happy to have your critique. I think your astroturfing point is a good one, and something that the IMA must keep in mind. (Though In Wikipedia terms, I would like to propose the deletion of your offer to apologize on the grounds that it is unnecessary – please come around as often as you like.)

    “Conundrum” is right. We’re not really selling anything here at the IMA. We’re kind of like a church in that way: we believe in art and want to influence you so that you understand why we believe in it. And if I really stretch this analogy to its limits, then this blog is a kind of proselytizing and my commenting on other blogs is a kind of missionary work. But I digress, gratuitously. Forget I even brought up the church analogy. In any case, I think we’re trying to advance something positive and for the greater good.

    We’ll see what comes of all this ….

    I would like to share an article about what it’s like to make entries in Wikipedia that a friend sent today:

    The Charms of Wikipedia

    That I like this article so much may be a true sign that I may be a little too geeked-up about Wikipedia. I was literally laughing out loud during lunch with all my colleagues today while I read the bit about Pop-Tarts and the deletion of the article on and apparently by Plamen Ognianov Kemenov, which read, in its entirety: “Hi, my name is Plamen Ognianov Kemenov. I am Bulgarian. I am smart.”

    Man, if only everything was that simple and true.

  • avatar
    Jasmine Says:

    Ok. So I made a Wikipedia entry about the “Numbers” sculpture. I must say, that I consider myself to be pretty computer savvy and Wikipedia just gave me my first headache of the week.

    Anyhow, here’s the link:

  • avatar
    Richard Says:

    Hey, nice work, Jasmine! You’re in! (Now there’s only 3 spots left.) I like how you linked your article back to the article about Robert Indiana and footnoted it to the Smithsonian’s Art Inventories Catalog.

    I’m sorry to hear of your headache. I know that it took me a while to get used to the software, too.

    I’ll send you an e-mail with some more info.

  • avatar

    Is it really true that nobody created any more Wikipedia entries? That seems crazy. It takes like 10 seconds to do one.

    I created one for “Mega Gem”. I can actually create small entries for all of the artwork in that area of the grounds if you want me too. I also have pictures of all of the works from many angles, but they would all appear to be copyrighted art works.

    The Sculptures in Central Park one is nice, but that might actually obviate the need for any individual pages, given the short length of what was created. Wikipedia’s guidelines would appear to preclude me making any editorial statements on the art works, which tends to limit things to bare facts.

    A better approach might be a category page, which I’m also happy to make.

  • avatar
    Richard Says:

    Hola, Urbanophile —

    Mega-Gem? Wow, cool!

    According to my math, we now have 4 articles. But there is still one more day left …

    Here’s the current list:

    Christina’s Sutphin Fountain:

    Jasmine’s Numbers

    Urbanophile’s Mega-Gem

    And, just this evening Joelle made one for the LOVE:

    Not bad: 4 new articles about IMA sculptures. I’ll start working this week to get some times from Max as to when he can have lunch at Pucks with you all – and maybe one more, if someone makes one on the 30th? I think Max is going to be stoked to meet you, and the food will be pretty good.

    Also Urbanophile may have considerably raised the bar in this wiki business. I think he’s right, individual pages would be most preferable, rather than one big page. And if I understand correctly the category page would be the way to go. I think he’s made such a think in his Mega-Gem article.

    What’s odd is that the images for the Numbers and Sutphin fountain have been removed because they were missing “missing essential information” or “unkown”. I wonder if anyone else has a good handle on why these images were removed ….

    I love how Joelle has interlinked these sculptures. Very cool.

    I’ll be in contact with you all via e-mail this week.


  • avatar
    Jenny Says:

    Note to Jasmine, I’d like to merge my attempt at Wikipedia-ing the Numbers sculpture with yours. I got the title wrong when I initially wrote about it–duh! Here’s what I have: Given the form of the sculpture, maybe it’s appropriate that the Wikipedia entries for this piece are somewhat jumbled up…

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