Each volume of the Living Collections Catalogue includes media-rich essays on broader themes as well as in-depth investigations of specific works of art. Featured works link to records in the Walker’s collections database, where additional information about the artists and artworks is available. Implicit in the concept of a “living catalogue” is the dynamic nature of an online volume about the Walker’s collections. Information in the database is updated as new research and presentations occur, while essays are versioned and citable with assurances of a permanent address to the information referenced.
In 2009, the Getty Foundation invited the Walker Art Center and eight other museums to participate in an initiative to create new models for the future of scholarly collection catalogues. As a contemporary art center dedicated to presenting the most innovative visual, performing, and media arts of our time, the Walker conceived an online serial publication that would be tied to its acquisition strategies and collections-based exhibitions.
With its Living Collections Catalogue, the Walker aims to create a sustainable publishing platform that will be of service to academics and art enthusiasts. The designs adopt a visual aesthetic for navigation and page layouts blending the best qualities of the book, magazine, and online forms. With the release of new volumes, we anticipate adding new features and making improvements as our understanding of this hybrid environment—the intersection of a collections database with printed catalogue and digital reading environments continues to evolve.
The first two volumes of the Living Collections Catalogue are generously funded under the auspices of the Getty Foundation’s Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative. As part of the Walker’s Interdisciplinary Initiative, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, volumes III and IV will be published in Spring/Summer 2020.