Yale Center for British Art innovative online art journal wins AAM award

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Yale Center for British Art innovative online art journal wins AAM award
Sir George Gilbert Scott and Francis Skidmore, Hereford Screen.

NEW HAVEN, CONN.- The Yale Center for British Art and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art announced that their jointly-published, open-access digital journal British Art Studies won a gold-level MUSE Award from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).

The two institutions were presented with the award during a champagne reception on May 7, 2017, at the AAM’s annual meeting in St. Louis, Missouri. Part of the MUSE Open Culture category, the award recognizes British Art Studies for its high standards of excellence in the use of media and technology for Gallery, Library, Archive, and Museum (GLAM) programs.

The MUSE Awards competition received more than 200 applications from a wide variety of institutions internationally. This year’s entries included videos and films, interactive kiosks and installations, VR experiences, applications and APIs, digital communities, websites, audio tours, and more.

“We are extremely proud to have received this award,” said Sarah Turner, Deputy Director of Research, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and Managing Editor of British Art Studies. “The journal remains a current source of widely accessed art historical research and a validation of the intellectual gains derived from open source collaboration, for both academic communities and the public.”

“Since its initial launch in November 2015, the journal has continued to expand in multimedia formats, using film, photography, and original art research and analysis. The contributors continue to challenge assumptions about the limits of scholarly publication through the materials they submit, using evolving technology that also allows real-time collaborations of a diversity of voices from around the world,” said Martina Droth, coeditor of the journal and Deputy Director of Research, and Curator of Sculpture, Yale Center for British Art.

Anne Young, Manager of Rights and Reproductions at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, chaired the Open Culture category for the competition. She noted the category encompasses many different types of projects. Young said that British Art Studies typifies what “open” means and aims to set a new standard for digital publishing. “Through utilization of an innovative web platform, a Creative Commons license applied to all content not just text. With overall careful consideration of the myriad copyright and access details, this project presents one of the most elegant solutions to the sharing and reuse of peer-reviewed, published research while actively applying fair use and fair dealing exemptions of copyright laws.”

Neal Johnson, Senior Digital Projects Manager at the Bullock Texas State History Museum, and chair of AAM’s Media and Technology Professional Network, said the Open Culture award allows the alliance to see and demonstrate projects that may not otherwise get the attention they deserve. “The quality of this year’s entries demonstrates an ever-increasing sophistication in the way GLAM organizations are leveraging both traditional and cutting-edge technologies in service to their public audiences,” Johnson said.

Over ninety GLAM professionals from across the globe participated as jurors in the process of reviewing and scoring entries. Programs were judged on outstanding achievement in content, interface, design, technical merit, innovation, utility, and appeal. Now in its twenty-eighth year, the MUSE awards competition recognizes outstanding achievement in GLAM media and technology efforts. The competition is administrated by the American Alliance of Museums Media & Technology Professional Network.

“We are thrilled that the AAM has honored British Art Studies with this award. The journal’s open-access policy reflects the mission established for both the Yale Center for British Art and the Paul Mellon Centre by our founder, Paul Mellon (Yale College, Class of 1929), which requires that our resources are free and available to all. This publication serves as a dynamic way to emphasize our shared commitment to providing the public with updated, critical research on British art and culture,” said Amy Meyers, Director of the Yale Center for British Art.

“This has been not only a transatlantic endeavor on the part of both our institutions but one that uses today’s technological advances to allow global participation. We greatly appreciate how AAM has helped inform the public about this open-access journal, sharing information with wider audiences through its highly acclaimed competition and awards program,” said Mark Hallett, Director of Studies at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.

British Art Studies publishes new research and scholarship on British art, architecture, and visual culture using an innovative interactive, multimedia platform. It publishes on a digital platform, extending research and scholarship beyond a traditional print format. Its open-access policy requires no subscription, fee, or password to access the journal. The journal was also awarded the Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums Innovation (GLAMi) People’s Choice Award at the twentieth annual Museums and the Web conference, held in Los Angeles in April 2016.

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