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🔖 How Do Institutional Philosophies Manifest in Online Collections?

Undertaken while the museum is closed for a transformational expansion, SFMOMA Lab is conducting a series of explorations into key questions of contemporary museumhood. As part of research focused on digital storytelling, we’re investigating how museums (and their GLAM peers) communicate internally, interinstitutionally, and, in particular, with their many audiences. We’re also interested in how an institution’s professed mission, brand identity, and culture — its philosophy — help shape the various communications, engagements, and experiences it provides for its audiences. Here we address that question by examining the ways such institutional philosophies manifest in online collection presentations at three peer museums. To help inform our internal thinking on this topic, we interviewed experts from those institutions as well as key members of the SFMOMA team. What follows is a survey of our findings and some speculation on SFMOMA’s future direction in this arena.