Recently we had the chance to chat with Jennifer Neuburger Talbott, Deputy Director for Operations and Innovation at the Spencer Museum of Art.
The Spencer Museum is part of the University of Kansas system and the two have a long-standing relationship in pioneering the digitalization of museums and positively impacting the state of Kansas. Jennifer has a special connection to KU in that she doesn’t just work within the system, she’s also an alum. In our discussion, we talked about the unique intersection of art and technology and how the Spencer Museum of Art has been at the forefront of integrating museums and universities into their surrounding communities.
The Spencer Museum of Art uses zetcom’s MuseumPlus software to manage their collection, which consists of more than 48,000 art and cultural objects, and many other content assets, including events, exhibitions, research, educational resources, archives, and more. From this foundation, the Spencer fulfills its mission of exploring and joining in conversation with audiences about art and artists by continuously growing database records to share and expand with the university community of students and researchers, local and regional K-12 classes, and a global audience. The integration of art and technology with the aforementioned education resources, specifically for K-12 lesson plans, has been critical in the Spencer’s goal to integrate their collections into classroom teaching throughout the state of Kansas.
Recently, the Spencer Museum of Art received a federal grant to upgrade to the cloud version MuseumPlus, after using the server-based MuseumPlus for over two decades. With this upgrade, the Spencer will be able to leverage even further their digital assets by ensuring ease of navigation and record management. Jennifer mentioned that the timing of this grant will be pivotal in achieving their digital goals, as it sets alongside a second federal grant to complete redesign and reimagining of all its website applications, including their Online Collection, University Curricular Resources Database, and K-12 lesson plans.. From this, and its MuseumPlus update, a suite of five browser-based apps will allow audiences to access the Museum’s data and support visits to the galleries, classroom instruction, and more.
“We have strived to make MuseumPlus our single source of truth over the past two decades by aggregating over 100 years of museum history and seamlessly serving content to our audiences through our online applications. We look forward to the improved functionality of the cloud-based MuseumPlus and reimagined web resources to more fully serve our global audiences.”
This is the latest in a series of innovative steps the Spencer Museum of Art has taken towards continuing to be a pioneer in the digitization of its collection and its subsequent impact in the surrounding communities.