The IMA often creates a special web presence for major traveling exhibitions, but for To Live Forever, a special opportunity presented itself. Both the IMA and the Brooklyn Museum are institutions that have a significant interest and investment in building online communities. It seemed only natural to combine those goals in the making of this web site.
Who did what?
Staff from both museums contributed to the content in a variety of ways. While the IMA did the majority of the backend development work, Brooklyn Museum staff provided a ton of images, digital content from their own site and special access to exhibition related content, in addition to consulting about site components. It is not so important to look at the list of tasks and note how many each institution completed, but rather to acknowledge that the information and communication was free flowing throughout the site development process. Each institution benefited from the expertise of the other.
What happens to the site content?
Both the IMA and the Brooklyn Museum hope you will enjoy the content on this site throughout its run in Indianapolis. The IMA hopes that at least some components of this To Live Forever site will travel on to other exhibition venues through licensing. When all of the objects return to Brooklyn, the IMA will license the content to the Brooklyn Museum for free use on their site.
Why are you telling us all this?
"Canned" exhibitions are often created by museums and travel around, sometimes without much dialogue between the organizing institution and host venues. We wanted to create an on-going discussion between our museums that would address what our audiences want to know about the exhibition while strengthening each of our digital content skill sets through collaboration. We feel this approach is an innovative one that we hope will inspire other museums to reach out not only to new audiences, but also to each other to create more dynamic, engaging and meaningful content.