• MOCA Exhibition Archive

    An archive that features three decades of museum installations

An installation repository containing the contents of MOCA installations from over thirty years of exhibitions

Thirty Years of Artistic Expression

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Library has kept records of artist installations at the museum since 1983. The records, kept in an internal system, were not available to public until the launch of this project. The MOCA Exhibition Archive takes the records and directly publishes them to the Web, allowing visitors and scholars to browse, search, and explore past installations at one of the world’s premier modern art museums.

The look of the site is understated and modern, matching MOCA’s graphic style. The simplified design ensures that the site emphasis is squarely on the installation records and images. The MOCA Exhibition Archive main page, built in Adobe Flash, uses animated rollovers to link to the exhibition detail pages. These dynamic images offer visitors a visual means of engaging with the archives. Visitors can also browse by year or conduct full-text searches. Individual records include photographs and container lists (of objects that were in the installation). Full-screen version of the photographs can viewed and some installation records include audio files as well.

Along with developing a Flash-based browser for the front page of the site, Ideum developed a content management system (CMS) using Ruby on Rails. This custom application pulls project descriptions, installation views, and contents of the exhibitions into the Exhibition Archive site from standard (and existing) Encoded Archival Description (EAD) files written in XML. These files automatically generate the Website and provide thumbnails for the front-page browser. MOCA Library personnel upload EAD files through a web-based CMS, making it easy to modify or add new exhibitions to the public archives.

To browse past installations at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles you can visit the Exhibition Archive. To learn more about the MOCA Library, see their Website.

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