The Pomona College Museum of Art Launches New Website
This summer, the Pomona College Museum of Art staff with the College’s Office of Communications has undertaken a massive overhaul of the Museum website to create a new web space that reflects the Museum’s visual identity, exhibitions, programs and collections.
The Museum recently redesigned its visual identity, including a new logo, and the new web design is part of that plan. But also important were structural changes, which make it much easier to update quickly information on shows, events and news. “As our programming increased, with additions in the area of academic support and the launch of Art After Hours, we needed a way to keep our visitors, both virtual and physical, up to date and to provide support for faculty and students using the museum," notes Museum Director Kathleen Howe.
The most notable change of the new Museum site is a greater emphasis on imagery. Visitors can view large format galleries of works from upcoming, current and past exhibitions, as well as the Museum’s permanent collections, which include a large collection of Native American objects; extensive holdings in photography and graphic arts, including etchings of Francisco de Goya; the preparatory drawings for Jose Clemente Orozco’s mural in Frary Dining Hall, Prometheus; the Kress Collection of 15th and 16th-century paintings; 20th-century paintings; and information about visiting Dividing the Light, the Skyspace architectural installation by James Turrell ’65.
Additional features of the new site include improved navigation, easy-to-find events listings, information on academic resources, and news archives.
“We want the site to reflect our growth and progress, and we want the site to be as good a tool as our programs are for representing the museum, its programs, collections and exhibitions,” says Senior Curator Rebecca McGrew. “We also were very hampered by not being able to rapidly and efficiently make changes, post news, announce events, and we wanted a site that made this much easier to work with. Ultimately, it was both an issue of aesthetics and function that led to our wanting a new website.”
The Museum worked with the design firm Department of Graphic Sciences, which also designed the new logo and collateral materials and previously designed some Project Series publications. “The creative process was long, intensive, challenging and really quite fun. I spent a lot of time with DGS staff, walking them through our building and galleries, showing them exhibitions, talking about our mission,” says McGrew. “They have a great aesthetic that combines a dynamic freshness with a classical simplicity and elegance.”
After the design was completed, it was developed by the web team in the Office of Communications with the same technology that the main Pomona website uses, the Hannon Hill's Cascade content management.
The new web launch was planned to coincide with the opening of the Museum’s most ambitious exhibition to date, It Happened at Pomona: Art at the Edge of Los Angeles 1969-1973, which premieres August 30. The Museum has been preparing for the past four years for this three-part series of exhibitions. The web design and expanded content makes available the scholarship and first-person accounts of that important period.
It Happened at Pomona chronicles an era of intense intellectual and artistic ferment at Pomona College and the art history of post-WWII Los Angeles. From 1969 to 1973, a series of radical art projects took place at the Pomona College Museum of Art. Hal Glicksman and Helene Winer curated landmark exhibitions by young local artists who bridged the gap between Conceptual art and post-Minimalism, and presaged the development of postmodernism in the later 1970s. Artists such as Michael Asher, Lewis Baltz, Jack Goldstein, and Allen Ruppersberg, among others, formed the educational backdrop for a generation of internationally renowned artists who spent their formative years at Pomona College, including alumni Mowry Baden '58, Chris Burden '69 and James Turrell '65.
It Happened at Pomona consists of three distinct, but related, exhibitions curated by Rebecca McGrew and Glenn Phillips: “Part 1: Hal Glicksman at Pomona” on view August 30 to November 6, 2011; “Part 2: Helene Winer at Pomona” on view December 3, 2011 to February 19, 2012; and “Part 3: At Pomona” (studio art faculty and students) on view March 10 to May 13, 2012. The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated timeline, a substantial publication, and a series of public programs including a lecture by Thomas Crow on September 17, a reading by Judy Chicago on October 9, and “Performance at Pomona” on January 21, 2012, with projects by Judy Chicago, James Turrell and John White.
“It Happened at Pomona” is part of a collaboration of more than 60 cultural institutions in Southern California to tell the story of the birth of the Los Angeles art scene. This six-month initiative, Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945 – 1980, is supported by grants from the Getty Foundation.