Digital Initiatives


Increased digital accessibility is a key feature of The Wolfsonian’s strategic plan and provides an endless host of possibilities for the museum’s audience to encounter, and interact with, the collection.

The Art of Illumination: Illuminating the Arts

In 2010 the museum was awarded a $500,000 challenge grant from the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation for a project titled The Art of Illumination: Illuminating the Arts to transform the exterior façade into digital exhibition spaces using lighting and digital technology to display continuous exhibitions using still images, text, and video. Designed by the internationally acclaimed firm, L’Observatoire International, this innovative project launched in 2013.

Digitizing the Collection

The museum’s commitment to digitize the collection and enable greater access to thousands of items began in earnest 2002 and in 2011 surpassed 40,000 digitized objects. These efforts were intensified in 2010 with the purchase of a suite of digital photography equipment that allows for the digital documentation of objects that are either three-dimensional or too large to scan. Since that purchase, the museum’ has completed digital documentation of many such items, including posters, paintings, sculpture, furniture, and other decorative art objects. Library staff has already documented more than 20,000 images from a variety of rare books and ephemeral material using this new equipment. Also in 2010, The Wolfsonian hired a digital asset manager, a new staff position to spearhead initiatives to enhance online public access to our collection of more than 180,000 objects and rare books. This website includes a continually growing online catalog that allows viewers to explore our collection.