Art Information Commons

Request for Information

August 2020 - October 2020
In the summer of 2020, the Art Information Commons team developed a Request for Information (RFI), asking vendors to help us make the most connections between our art information that involves the least amount of staff effort. We want to empower individuals who are familiar with our art information data but not the technology. We need to make our vision a reality; making the aspirational implementable. Our focus is on building a prototype for Black artists, histories, and representation art information.

We solicited proposals from 19 data management consulting firms and interviewed 13 interested vendors, 11 of which submitted a proposal. We created a scorecard to evaluate each vendor based on their strategic vision and leadership qualities, how well they seemed to align with the museum’s culture, their technological approach and experience with linked data, how they would engage and communicate with the team and staff, and project and time management skills. We narrowed our choices down to three finalists.

After follow-up discussions with the finalists, we chose Ltd. They recommended to create our proof of concept for data integration with a focus on Black artists, as mentioned previously. Takin completed an initial analysis of the Black artists dataset to inform the statement of work, and partnered with the development firm Advance Services to build the platform and integrate this work with our website API. The timeline of the work and proof of concept for the prototype was originally scheduled for the length of a year, but has now been extended to complete the original scope in addition to new items necessary for the completion of the prototype.

The Art Information Commons at the Philadelphia Museum of Art has been made possible by the Mellon Foundation.