Just the Beginning

By: Jane Weinke, curator of collections/registrar on October 16th, 2019

Owen J. Gromme, Departure from Lake Katherine, 1977, oil on canvas

Roger Tory Peterson, Gyrfalcon, 1979, watercolor and acrylic on illustration board

Fifteen years ago, at a long-range planning meeting, I set a goal to offer access to selections from the permanent collection on the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum’s website. Funny thing about goals; they can be elusive.

The definition of “goal” is not surprising: the object of a person’s ambition or effort; secondarily: an aim or designed result. While goals usually are good and encouraging, they are not always easily attained. Some of us resolve to lose a few pounds, exercise more, eat better, or perhaps have a more positive attitude, but often there are obstacles to success.

Such is true developing an online, searchable database of collection artwork. Originally, I thought gathering the information about the artworks and capturing digital images would be the biggest challenge. Alas, that proved the easy part.

Even now, I’m still in awe of the coordination it takes to realize an online collection database. I don’t want to get into the technical specifics because I don’t truly grasp all the intricacies. You need website space, a webpage design to share the information and image, a computer programmer to make the search function work, many proof readers to check text, and hours and hours to ensure images are with the correct texts.

I’m happy to share this link that provides access to more than 700 artworks from the Woodson Art Museum’s collection. As promised, this is just the beginning. I’m now working on adding a few hundred works soon. Look out team, we’ve just begun.


Frank W. Benson, Chickadees, 1938, watercolor on paper

Gaston Lachaise, Peacocks, 1922, bronze

Andrew Wyeth, Swifts, 1991, watercolor on paper


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