Request for Proposals: Enhancements to the Institutional Web Presence of the Walters Art Museum

1.    Introduction

The Walters Art Museum is soliciting proposals for enhancements to its primary website (thewalters.org). A new design for the website should align with current best practices for online accessibility and usability. The site’s content items and core functionalities need revision as well. In particular, we seek a mobile-responsive design.

The Walters has two other websites – the online collection and the digitized manuscripts.   The new thewalters.org design should not seek to mimic either of these websites and should surpass the quality of their design, while at the same time preserving the Walters brand identity.

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The Clothilde Missal

In 2016, the Walters Art Museum purchased a unique and fascinating Edwardian era manuscript from 1906, known today as the Clothilde Missal (W.934) after its creator Clothilde Coulaux. This exciting acquisition greatly enriches the Walters manuscript collection, which includes only a small handful of manuscripts made by women. Clothilde was a young French woman living in Molsheim, a city in German-occupied Alsace, France, and her lovely manuscript is a testimony to her artistic skill, imagination, and ability to find beauty in an uncertain world.

A self-portrait by the artist graces one of the last pages of the missal.

While the text of her manuscript is traditional and religious, Clothilde illustrates all 174 pages with a rich variety of imagery including not only devotional subjects, but also scenes of everyday life, music, feasting, courtship and child rearing, death, warfare, and regional architecture. Her religious illuminations often draw upon prints by Albrecht Dürer, Hans Holbein, and other early masters, as well as art she possibly encountered in her environment such as stained glass, sculpture, and liturgical instruments. Much of the other imagery, however, is uniquely her own, and seems to play around the edges of a text to which it does not entirely relate. Personal touches like her cat gazing out the window, or a tiny figure spilling an enormous ink pot, add whimsy and humor to the pages. The book is her canvas, and the text a background and excuse for her art.

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Q&A with Katherine Kasdorf on Ferocious Beauty

Katherine Kasdorf is the Wieler-Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow and curated Ferocious Beauty: Wrathful Deities from Tibet and Nepal with a team of educators, conservators, designers, and registrars. The exhibition features 12 paintings, sculptures, and ritual objects depicting deities that appear fearsome, but are meant to help their devotees. Their fearsome qualities are intended to frighten and conquer things that hinder the path to enlightenment. We caught up with Katherine to dig a little deeper into the meanings behind these works and what makes them so intriguing.


What was the purpose of these works/ How did people use them?

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Illuminating Medieval Manuscripts in the Digital Age, Part III

The Walters recently launched a new website that houses its digital collection of manuscripts: manuscripts.thewalters.org. Featuring a user-friendly design, the site provides visitors with intuitive search options, including the ability to refine their search by date, geography, subject, culture, and more. 

Lynley Anne Herbert is the Robert and Nancy Hall Assistant Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at the Walters. She started working at the museum as a fellow in 2010, and was soon brought on board as a part-time cataloguer of Western manuscripts for the NEH-funded manuscript digitization project. It often took her and the digitization team up to two weeks to catalogue and digitize a single book.

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Illuminating Medieval Manuscripts in the Digital Age, Part II

The Walters recently launched a new website that houses its digital collection of manuscripts: manuscripts.thewalters.org. Featuring a user-friendly design, the site provides visitors with intuitive search options, including the ability to refine their search by date, geography, subject, culture, and more. 

Lynley Anne Herbert is the Robert and Nancy Hall Assistant Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at the Walters. She started working at the museum as a fellow in 2010, and was soon brought on board as a full-time cataloguer of Western manuscripts for the NEH-funded manuscript digitization project. It often took her and the digitization team up to two weeks to catalogue and digitize a single book.

Continue reading Illuminating Medieval Manuscripts in the Digital Age, Part II →

Illuminating Medieval Manuscripts in the Digital Age, Part I

The Walters recently launched a new website that houses its digital collection of manuscripts: manuscripts.thewalters.org. Featuring a user-friendly design, the site provides visitors with intuitive search options, including the ability to refine their search by date, geography, subject, culture, and more. 

Lynley Anne Herbert is the Robert and Nancy Hall Assistant Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at the Walters. She started working at the museum as a fellow in 2010, and was soon brought on board as a full-time cataloguer of Western manuscripts for the NEH-funded manuscript digitization project. It often took her and the digitization team up to two weeks to catalogue and digitize a single book.

Continue reading Illuminating Medieval Manuscripts in the Digital Age, Part I →

Try Out The New Mobile Guide

Visit the Walters Art Museum and try out the new Mobile Guide to discover the stories behind the collection.

Did you know that William T. Walters bought most of his art with money he made from a whiskey business? Or that William’s wife, Sadie, became the toast of high society by introducing the waffle iron? Visit the Walters Art Museum and try out the new Mobile Guide to discover the stories behind the collection. Through photographs, letters and historic material from the museum’s archives, get to know members of the Walters family—father William, wife Ellen, son Henry and their daughter Jennie. Read stories created around the themes of family, food, travel and collecting, while looking at important works of art in the galleries. The stories are modern-day reinterpretations, based on the lives of the Walters family, drawn from the museum’s archival records. Over time, the Mobile Guide will grow as new objects and stories are added.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

  1. Bring your own device and use the Wi-Fi to go to mobile.thewalters.orgMobile_In_Hand_Photo
  2. Look for red labels near select works of art in the galleries. 00_Flashing_Sign-Labels-Square
  3. Enter the keywords you find to discover stories about the Walters family. 01-Enter_Keyword
  4. Collect all the keywords and discover more about the collection! 02-Explore_Story-400x464

    The Mobile Guide is generously supported by PNC Bank.

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