Dallas Museum of Art Launches New Online Collection on DMA.org

Access to the DMA’s Entire Collection for the First Time

Dallas, TX—August 19, 2014— Maxwell Anderson, the Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art, announced today the launch of an exciting redesigned digital database for the Museum’s collection of encyclopedic art through its website, DMA.org.  This marks the first phase of an initiative to dramatically improve online access and representation of the Museum’s global collection of more than 22,000 works of art. 

By digitizing its entire collection, the DMA is creating one of the world’s most sophisticated online art collections, providing open access to its entire collection, and leading the field in the quality and depth of content available to visitors, students, teachers, and scholars.  In addition, whenever permitted by existing agreements, the DMA will release all images, data, and software it creates to the public under Open Access licenses for free personal and educational use.

Since January 2013, general admission to the DMA has been free to everyone.  With an increasing number of visitors bringing web-enabled devices to the Museum, the new online collection provides on-demand, rich content about works of art on view and in storage, allowing a broader reach for exploration of the collection.  Supplemental information, when available, will accompany objects as well as location information.  It is now possible for visitors to determine which works of art are on view and where they are located.  Additional features include high resolution object images with superior zoom functionality and the ability to share images and information on social media platforms and through e-mail.

In November 2013, an anonymous $9 million gift was announced to ensure free general admission to the DMA and enable the Museum to publish its entire collection online, including photographing the entire permanent collection.  This announcement marks the first milestone of the digitization project to be completed by 2016 or earlier.

Prior to this launch, only 7,000 works of art were published online.  Of those, approximately 3,000 were illustrated with images.  Today, the Museum’s entire collection of over 22,000 objects is available to the public via DMA.org, and nearly 11,000 of those objects are illustrated with digital images.  The DMA is currently researching “orphan works” (copyrighted objects about which copyright information is lacking) and other works without clear or immediately discoverable copyright restrictions.

With this launch, images for over 4,500 objects are now available for free download without licensing fees or content restrictions. All images available via DMA.org continue to be freely available for non-commercial and educational use. Over time, additional high-resolution images of all works in the public domain will be released for public use. Access to high-quality images and accurate data about each object will significantly enhance research and learning about the DMA’s collection in a way that has not been possible until now.

“It is only fitting that as one of the country’s ten largest museums and the region’s only encyclopedic art museum, the DMA should provide free access to its global collection online,” stated Robert Stein, Deputy Director. “We are striving to make the DMA among the most innovative and openly accessible museums in the country and could think of no better way to continue that process than to enhance the public’s access to the art we care for here in Dallas through this project.”

“A portion of the DMA’s collection has been available electronically for a number of years, but this new platform allows access to the Museum’s entire collection with increased content and functionality,“ added Shyam Oberoi, Director of Technology and Digital Media at the DMA. “Over the course of the next few years we will be able to refine, improve, and expand the collection content available on our website.”

About the Dallas Museum of Art
Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is among the 10 largest art museums in the country and is distinguished by its commitment to research, innovation, and public engagement. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 22,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures.  Located in the nation’s largest arts district, the Museum welcomes some 600,000 visitors annually and acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations. In January 2013, the DMA returned to a free general admission policy and launched DMA Friends, the first free museum membership program in the country, which currently has over 70,000 members. For more information, visit DMA.org.

The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of DMA Partners and donors, the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.