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A Brand New

Today, the IMA launches it’s first major refresh of its website since its initial launch in February 2010. The refreshed site includes an updated information architecture, a minimal, responsive design, and loads of new content.


The new

The redesign centers around a more structured hierarchy of information as well as a renewed simplicity around the site navigation and a refreshed appearance throughout. With mobile traffic on the rise, the responsive design makes the site accessible across a broad range of screen sizes and devices and provides a more seamless digital experience. Through the collaboration of the IMA’s digital production team, the site was built entirely in-house.

Though the refresh has been applied to most major sections of the site, some additional sections will continue to be updated over the next year, including areas devoted to the IMA’s collection and blog.

We’re excited to bring you expanded and more timely content on your favorite devices through our new website. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Filed under: Around the Web, Design, New Media, Public Programs, Technology


ArtBabble 24 Hour Sprint

As ArtBabble turned three this past spring, the ArtBabble Team at the IMA convened and started to think about all of the major changes we wanted to make to the site. This summer the team, which consists of IMA Lab developers, designers, educators and producers, got to work planning the redesign, including establishing a new brand and getting a staging site running to start transferring content.

Inspired by SmallBox‘s 24 Hour Web Project, we decided (perhaps foolishly) to hold a 24 hour sprint to implement the new ArtBabble. This gives the nine of us a chance to collaborate closely on the project, as well as do focused work without other office issues interrupting. We decided to get away from our usual space, and are excited to be sprinting at the Speak Easy, an awesome co-working space in Broad Ripple.

So finally, today is the day! The sprint is upon us, and we have gathered with much caffeine to babble our little hearts out.

The team sets up and gets to work.

Charlie Moad, Director of IMA Lab, and I will be live blogging the progress here, so check back for updates or follow us on twitter at @ArtBabble. We guarantee some middle-of-the-night dance party madness and at least a few shots of us eating pizza.

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Filed under: Around the Web, New Media


Google Art Project + IMA

This morning, in a room at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, I joined a group of museum colleagues (representing 151 institutions, from 40 countries!) and journalists for the launch of the next iteration of the Google Art Project. For those of us who worked on the project, this was our first look at the results of an all-hands-on-deck effort to prepare images and gather contextual information about the works in our respective collections. Each participating museum’s logo flashed on the screen as the revved up to the big reveal. Sorry for the blurry photo, but I got a little excited at this moment!

The big reveal

Google has made an incredible 30,000 + high-res images available in this wave of the project. At the IMA, we selected over 200 works from our collection to feature – a number that will continue to grow as we add more to the site. For us, this opportunity came at a moment when we were beginning to re-assess the content that’s available on the collection pages of our own website, coinciding perfectly with a major effort to expand this information and re-think the layout of these pages (more to come on this later!).

Art Project organizer Amit Snood revealed a number of features throughout the site demo, including search options that allow users to browse by artist’s name, artwork, type of art, museum, country, collections and the time period. To highlight the cross-collection capabilities, Amit walked us through a search he did for Van Gogh’s The Bedroom, which revealed not only the three versions on view at the Art Institute of Chicago, Van Gogh Museum and Musée d’Orsay, but also pulled in an artist he was previously unfamiliar with named Kyung Min Nam, who was inspired by Van Gogh’s work.

Search functionality demonstration

Users have the capability to create their own collections by saving their favorite works into galleries, adding comments, and sharing with friends.  Amit also featured the expanded street view and gigapixel options with a view of the galleries below us at the Musée d’Orsay:

Street view of the Musée d'Orsay

Of course, as soon as the demo was over we all made a beeline to the computers in the hallway to check it out, necks craning over shoulders to scope out our neighbor’s museum and our own.

Exploring the site for the first time, plus another shameless IMA plug

I’m looking forward to delving into the site further to look at the IMA’s collection in context with other works of art across the globe. Looking around the room this morning, Google’s goal of developing connections and providing access seems to be off to a pretty good start. Take a look and see what you think.

The IMA on Google Art Project


Filed under: Around the Web, Technology, The Collection


Trapped in the White Cube

Ahh, finally, my first blog post.  This post actually started weeks ago.  I’ve been patiently awaiting the return of some questions I had sent out in relation to my Flickr galleries “Trapped In The White Cube.”  The galleries are a series of images that have been captured by various photographers visiting museums around the world.  Sometimes the galleries appear to be captured in solitude, other times they are alive with a visual cacophony.

As one of the two photographers here at the IMA, I am responsible for capturing the IMA galleries in a similar fashion.  At times I capture galleries alive with its patrons.  At other times I document for posterity the space free of human distraction.  I, as those participating in my questionnaire, enjoy seeing the galleries in various degrees of these states – the sole visitor reflecting on a work of art, the mass of humanity flowing between its walls, the gallery alone asking us to reflect on the images presented, or the gallery free of any artwork or person and completely desolate.

Below are a few of those images and the responses from the photographers.  If you are interested in the photographs presented, please follow the gallery series on Flickr.

 Witold Riedel:
Witold Riedel is a creative director at one of the largest advertising networks in the world. He is responsible for a worldwide campaign, which “involves a good amount of travel.”

This image was included in the “Trapped In The White Cube” series. An excerpt from Witold’s responses to the questionnaire is below:

(via Flickr)

 What made you capture and share the image you created?

Are we talking about the picture of the nun and the dinosaur? Oh, it was just a very sweet moment at the Museum Mensch und Natur in Nymphenburg, in Munich. I had missed my flight to Moscow on that day and after visiting the BMW Welt, Nymphenburg felt like the perfect contrast. The room was very small, I had to be close to the nun to take the picture. I only had one chance to expose the photograph without disturbing the composition. I was lucky. I had set the exposure and aperture and the focus on my Leica correctly. I like that there are some parallels in the expression of the dinosaur and the nun. The picture is certainly not intended as cultural criticism. I have nothing against dinosaurs or the Catholic Church.

What type of museum objects do you enjoy the most?

I like to return to some not very loved paintings, just to discover that I have changed more than they have. And I also like to see that they are still there, in their own place. Or maybe in a new place.

I  used to stand next to the Mona Lisa at the Louvre sometimes and just look at the people coming to visit. I actually have two photo series about this on my old website. It was interesting how many visitors were not actually interested in the work, they were more interested in having a picture taken with the work. It really is about that connection sometimes. The Mona Lisa is now in a different place within the Louvre. It is now easier to take pictures with her. But it is much more difficult to see her. That might be one of the reasons why I prefer the not so loved paintings sometimes. Though they obviously must be incredibly special already, just to make it to the galleries. What percentage of the work never makes it out of storage? Some museums have created galleries that feel almost like open storage. I like that idea quite a bit.

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Filed under: Around the Web, Art, Photography


Ten Reasons to Vote for the IMA as the BEST Museum in Indy

Today’s blog post was written by Public Affairs intern Dori Thayer. Dori is a recent graduate of DePauw University where she studied Art History.

IndyChannel recently launched their A-list ballot for 2011 – a yearly poll that highlights the best of Indy. The IMA is proud to say that we have been nominated as a contender for best museum. The wide-ranging list below, in the form of a TOP ten, are just a few reasons why you should vote in support of the IMA as Indianapolis’ BEST museum. We know you already agree but we hope to reassure you anyway.

10. First and foremost, the IMA is an ART museum, even though it provides films, talks, events, galas, and workshops that may convince you otherwise, the enormous and comprehensive collection is at the heart of our existence. The IMA strives and achieves in providing an art museum environment that is friendly and non-threatening to those without an artistic background, embracing the community as a whole. Those with a love and passion for the arts can mingle amongst peers and schedule an entire weekend of events solely with IMA activities.

9. The IMA has had a remarkable year which included a recent performance at the Venice Biennale, representing the US on a global venue. As you know, the IMA has been working tirelessly on this event, which has garnered amazing responses to Allora & Calzadilla’s works. The IMA represented Indianapolis and the US in an authentic and innovative way through this artistic duo. Did I mention the IMA represented the ENTIRE UNITED STATES? Just checking.

Photos by Andrew Bordwin.

8. In recent years, the opening of the Randall L. and Marianne W. Tobias Theater, aka The Toby, has drawn some big-named speakers into our Indianapolis sphere. Most recently Stefan Sagmeister came to speak about design and happiness from his personal studio, Sagmeister Inc, which was founded in 1993. Sagmeister has designed for the likes of The Rolling Stones, HBO and the Guggenheim with his maxim’s made of both conventional and unconventional mediums using his words and design as a “tool for social renewal.” The Toby has also hosted, Temple Grandin, a woman living with Autism, who is praised with her humane design for handling livestock facilities. An HBO film biography on her won seven Emmy awards! With an amazing turn out for the Toby’s first year (almost 37,000 visitors) the future only looks brighter. Who will the Toby draw in next?

Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial7. Not only does the IMA host galleries filled with ancient arts and artifacts from cultures around the world, it also hosts its own contemporary art wing from a world-wide net. Do-Ho Suh’s contemporary work, Floor is  a very awe inspiring piece. Viewers are allowed and meant to step upon this expansive platform where hundreds of male and female figurines seemingly hold you up. The hundreds of figures that cover the underside of the 32 individual squares allow each viewer’s weight to be held up by their tired plastic arms. The IMA has a contemporary collection worth noting as well as artist showcases, presently being Mr. Thorton Dial—whose exhibition Hard Truths runs through September 18.

6. Spring has sprung and summer is fully fledged! 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park is an amazing outdoor experience that is definitely worth its own visit to the IMA. On these beautiful Indianapolis summer days, 100 acres is a perfect getaway from the bustle of the city (even just for a few hours)! With eight sight-specific works commissioned, the park shows how art and nature intertwined in a contemporary style. Joep van Lieshout, with his studio Atelier van Lieshout, created Funky Bones, and interactive large-scale sculpture of a Halloween-esque skeleton to be multifaceted, as both art and as functional benches. Plus, where else can you row out to an artist-inhabited island? Pretty sure we’re the only one.

5. In 2008 the IMA was named an Energy Star partner with a pledge to reduce energy consumption. In turn, we reduced natural gas consumption by 48 percent and electricity by 19 percent. In 2010 the IMA was named one of 11 museums to receive recognition by the Environmental Protection Agency which sparked the IMA’s own “greening committee”- displaying art and protecting the environment, one day at a time.

4. We love to collaborate! The Indianapolis International Film Festival has again paired with the IMA’s Toby theatre and DeBoest Lecture hall and will be running from July 14-July 18. This festival will show films from all over the world of varying genre, skill level and lengths. From one minute films (Check out Dinosaur Ballet) to full length feature films, this festival will have a film to suit everyone’s taste. The IMA bringing a small piece of the world to you through this collaboration is sure to be an eye-opening experience. (It also includes a film by one of the IMA’s own staff, be sure to check out Type A!)

3. A certain buzz has been generated from the unveiling of the enigmatic Miller House and Garden in Columbus, Indiana. This acquisition marks an expansion that the IMA knows no bounds and will restore and display art of many forms while also showcasing Indiana’s architectural gem, the city of Columbus itself.

2. Summer Nights is a summer film series that has been widely received by the Indianapolis community. Not only can you sit amongst your friends, and enjoy a great film in the evening, but you can lounge in an amphitheatre setting reminiscent of the ancient Greeks and enjoy food and refreshments. This series is widely popular and lets you escape from the air-conditioned doldrums of the standard blockbuster while enjoying an acclaimed film and a nice summer breeze. Are you convinced yet?

1. In the words of a beloved YELP reviewer: “…an art museum that’s free? Must be a joke or not worth going to. Turns out that I was wrong.” You heard right, to everyone’s utter amazement and enjoyment, admission is FREE! VOTE NOW for the IMA as the BEST Museum in Indianapolis!

Filed under: Around the Web, Current Events, Local, Polls


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