An exciting new initiative in online art documentation has recently been mounted on the Internet by the Brooklyn Museum as part of an ongoing digital initiative to increase access to the collections held in the Libraries and Archives.
Digital Collections: African Art Exhibition of 1923 brings together correspondence, gallery installation photography, the exhibition catalog, clippings and other textual material pertaining to the Brooklyn Museum's Primitive Negro Art, Chiefly from the Belgian Congo exhibition.
Quoting from the web site's home page,
The exhibition opened in April 1923, and displayed African objects [curator Stewart Culin] had acquired in Europe from dealers. Along with his colleagues, Culin set the parameters for cultural representation in museums through his collecting decisions and innovative installations. The cultural terms he used in his writings and exhibitions are representative of terms in use during his time, and his opinions and biases are evident throughout the collection.
Documents and photographs in the Culin Archival Collection, the Museum Library, and other departments in the Museum that relate to this African art exhibition have been digitized and are described in this presentation.
Deirdre Lawrence, Principal Librarian/Coordinator of Research Services at the Brooklyn Museum, gave an advance presentation on the Brooklyn Museum's efforts at the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) conference last May. The session, Online Access to Exhibition Histories: The Role of the Art Museum Library [pdf file], showcased three projects to provide access to exhibition documentation across the spectrum of traditional document types and the coordinating role art museum libraries can play in gathering and web publishing these materials.