PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Photographs from the 1963 March on Washington. Rare portraits of artists and socialites taken by Andy Warhol. Early conceptual sketches of scenes from “Blade Runner.” A seldom-studied Rembrandt painting.
There’s a wealth of artwork to explore in the David Winton Bell Gallery’s permanent collection at Brown University — and now, its treasures are easier to find than ever.
The Bell Gallery, a contemporary art gallery at the University, recently launched a new web-based database where scholars, curators and members of the public can easily search through more than 7,300 unique works in its collection, which includes photographs, paintings, drawings and sculpture spanning more than 500 years. While much of the collection had been searchable, its online catalog is now more search-friendly than ever, with more images of the artworks and much more comprehensive metadata available.
The refreshed database comes after more than a year of inventorying and re-cataloging led by Nicole Wholean, curator of campus collections and registrar at the Bell Gallery, and two Brown undergraduates. The work was made possible by a $49,975 Inspire! grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
“We have this amazing permanent collection at the Bell Gallery, and so few people use it,” Wholean said. “Lots of people might not know it exists at all. The idea behind this grant was, let’s get the word out about this collection in the Brown community and in the academic community more broadly. Let’s enhance access to this collection, because it has the power to catalyze new thoughts and ideas.”