Curator Susana Tejada and curatorial intern Jessica Hollister are working together to catalog Martin House museum objects using the collection management database system, EmbARK. The goal of this cataloging project is the systematic creation of uniform records that accurately describe each museum object, while also adhering to data standards and structured vocabularies developed by the art museum community in the United States. Susana and Jessica must research each object, and increase the quality and accuracy of object information in order to preserve the history of the Martin House collection for the future. With all this investigating, you might say the curatorial team are like museum detectives! Currently, the main focus of the project is on cataloging the hundreds of art glass objects found throughout the Martin House estate.
In addition to cataloging museum objects, Susana and Jessica are enhancing records to include integral supplementary information about artists, donations, conservation treatment, fabrication, or whether an object has ever been on loan for an exhibition. With this information, Susana and Jessica can create museum records that reflect the full history of each object. At the end of this project, all museum object records will not only be easily findable by Martin House employees, but the system can be applied to a public-facing web platform as well. This will allow Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiasts and researchers from all over the world to access and learn from the Martin House collection. So if you are in the Martin House and see Susana and Jessica having an intellectual discussion on whether “a door is considered nonrepresentational art,” you’ll now know why!