Wikipedia talk:GLAM/Philadelphia Museum of Art

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Philadelphia Museum of Art


Regarding the Special Exhibitions section: this content is constantly changing. I believe it would make more sense to make a general statement about the Museum's exhibition program like we've done here and then link to the PMA site list of current exhibitions. Does that seem acceptable? As a PMA employee, I will refrain from making these kinds of edits to the PMA article without input from other GLAM/PMA contributors. Boite-en-Valise (talk) 18:52, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Yes, we normally avoid trying to keep up with exhibitions in the text. Johnbod (talk) 20:42, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
Is this a change that we can make, or is someone willing to tackle this paragraph for us? Boite-en-Valise (talk) 14:32, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
Done: merged to lead. Johnbod (talk) 14:53, 10 May 2012 (UTC)


  • Can we get rid of the material on Rocky, or is it just too well-known?
Since the Rocky Steps have their own article, perhaps the Rocky material currently listed in the PMA article could be moved. Boite-en-Valise (talk) 14:45, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Should the Perelman Building article be merged into the PMA one?
I think it should stay a separate article. The Cloisters is a satellite museum of the Metropolitan, and the many museums of the Smithsonian are covered in separate articles. BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 06:36, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
The Perelman Building is not a satellite museum--it's not a separate institution at all. It is simply another facility of the PMA with more offices and gallery spaces. Boite-en-Valise (talk) 14:17, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
The Cloisters is not a separate institution, it's a satellite museum of MMA. Think of this from the point of view of someone not familiar with Philadelphia. There is already so much to cover for each - collections, history, architecturally-significant buildings - lumping them together will create confusion (and probably overload). There are how many (6?, 8?), Fairmount Park Houses that are also satellites of PMA. Should the PMA article include sections on each of them? BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 23:42, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Actually, yes it probably should, if they contain gallery space. Johnbod (talk) 02:43, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
The article is currently at least 50% on the architecture of a 1926 building which was only bought by the PMA in 1999 (was it). I'd tend to keep it as it is, but repeat the gallery information in the PMA article. Johnbod (talk) 02:43, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
In that case, it would make sense to me if the Perelman Building article focused on its history, architecture and then referred to the main PMA article for a discussion on the galleries and its life as part of PMA. This could be discussed after a section on the PMA Main building and followed by mention of the Fairmount Park Houses which are administered by PMA (Cedar Grove and Mount Pleasant). Once these both have their own articles, a link to those would make sense. Boite-en-Valise (talk) 15:34, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

Commons gallery[edit]

I removed "to create a proper gallery of PMA images at Commons" from the aims for now. The problems are: 1) Commons galleries are a bit of a plague in my view, especially when they have the same name as the main category, as then a search takes you to the gallery not the category, and I'm sure 80%+ of our readers never realize the category is there. If a gallery page is done it should be called something else, & not hog the main term. 2) The PMA images currently are loads of paintings, mostly in the usual poor Yorck Project etc reproductions, but very little indeed from the many other strong areas of the collection. So at present a gallery can't give a balanced view of the collection.

Has the museum considered a release of some of their images of 3D stuff? It doesn't have to be as big as the Walters. Johnbod (talk) 21:47, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Yes, we would like the article to reflect a more balanced view of the collection. We will investigate copyright concerns and release our images for those objects already listed (if possible) and for any objects we wish to write articles on (and hopefully have someone include in the PMA article!). The selection of these objects may take some time internally, but we can prioritize those objects with stub articles or those without quality images. What's the best way to single those out? Boite-en-Valise (talk) 15:35, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

When it comes to paintings there are well over 100 on Commons now, but some may be especially poor quality. 3D objects hardly have any, but probably few will ever get an individual article. Personally I'd just pick the most outsttanding, and then some representative items. People are unlikely to write articles on objects if there is no image, & stubs are easily produced. Johnbod (talk) 17:46, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
I'll set up the article assessment matrix shortly (this weekend, I hope), and then we can go around tagging the stub articles. We can use the "importance" criteria to prioritize those. If this sounds confusing, it will make more sense when the matrix is built. - PKM (talk) 01:41, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

I had this posted in the article[edit]

but decided that this is a better place for it.

Particularly I'd like to see someone figure out the copyright issues and post the photograph here. Then perhaps come up with some ideas about identifying the sculptors. A discussion that can be carried out at that article.

whooops Einar aka Carptrash (talk) 15:31, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

Of interest?[edit]

I noticed that we don't seem to have an article on the "Athenaeum portrait of George Washington" by Gilbert Stuart (perhaps under another name?) of which the PMA has one of about 130 copies made by Stuart. This is the "dollar bill" portrait, and has mentions of a paragraph or so in about 4 articles. We do have a Lansdowne portrait article (hanging in the White House). Would a full article on this be relevant and of interest to anybody to work on?

Smallbones (talk) 17:57, 9 May 2012 (UTC)


  1. The collection consists of over 227,000 objects .
  2. The paragraph about the lack of ancient objects in the collection is unsupported, but I think the statement "However, the Museum keeps a few important pieces for special exhibitions" is simply incorrect. Is any of this noteworthy though? If so, I can try to find documentation on the reasons why we hold certain ancient objects still.
  3. The first two paragraphs under Collections don't seem to have anything to do with the actual collection.
  4. We have switched to using the BCE and CE date descriptors rather than B.C. and A.D., but I don't know if that's something Wikipedia would necessarily want to mirror.
Boite-en-Valise (talk) 20:07, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
If there is nothing important it can just be cut. See WP:ERA - consistent use in an article of either BC or BCE etc is ok; I don't think anyone will object to the change. I've done some of this, but it is an inefficient way of working. Much better if you just update stuff & let us check it over! Johnbod (talk) 20:42, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
Lori's email indicated the preference was for PMA employees to not make any change to the main article. That's why I'm just logging suggestions here. I will do whatever the community at large thinks is best. Boite-en-Valise (talk) 21:06, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Lori's advice. There's no question of conflict of interest if someone else makes the changes. - PKM (talk) 00:48, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

I copy edited and got everything but #2. What's the story here - are there ancient objects? At worst it needs a good source to explain what's going on. Smallbones (talk) 02:18, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

Is the issue worth explaining? I feel it's strange to discuss what we don't have when there's much more to be said about what we DO have. I know the story, but I don't have any published sources (and I suspect there might not be any) to use to support what I know. I've pieced together an idea of what happened because I've read most of the Museum's object files and accession books. Boite-en-Valise (talk) 14:02, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
If there is almost no ancient art, then there is a reason to BRIEFLY explain it. Smallbones (talk) 15:49, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

Does anyone here have any COI objections, to my directly editing the Notable Holdings? I don't think the van Doesburg that was just added belongs there, and, if it must stay, it needs to have the correct title.Boite-en-Valise (talk) 14:02, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

This is where folks get upset about COI - when you delete what they just added. For better or worse, on Wikipedia everybody's opinion is equally worthy. That's one reason we de-emphasize opinion and emphasize reliable sources. Is there any documentation of what the Museum, or any other expert, considers to be the major works at the Museum. We wouldn't have to follow it religiously, but it would give us a leg to stand on if we were to actually delete things from our list. For now it should stay with the title "Composition".
Related topic: there are videos on certain works put out by the Museum on YouTube. Is there a complete list, perhaps available from the Museum's website. I'm thinking of writing an article on the Staircase Group by Charles Willson Peale, and I think others might enjoy writing articles on specific works. BTW, I think most editors would agree that curators can write pieces on works directly into Wikipedia - who better? But they'd have to get used to the ideas that they can't just express an opinion (but they can quote themselves from a reliable source!) and that other editors have equal rights to edit those pages.
All the best,
I would suggest that the Museum's Handbook be the source for what PMA considers "notable." The van Doesburg is not written up in any edition of the Handbook, which is why I questioned its place there. I'd like to resolve the issues with the main page before we (meaning PMA contributors) move on to writing articles for objects. But personally, I would like to have an article for each of the works we suggest as notable. Boite-en-Valise (talk) 16:12, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
400 objects in the Handbook? It might serve as a basis to exclude some objects. Is it (or just the list) available anywhere online. Also I have to check out the local library (or maybe come in to the Museum library). Can you suggest any other good books on the Museum. The best would be a comprehensive work, not written or published by the PMA, but a comprehensive book of any source would be valuable. Smallbones (talk) 16:34, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
The Wikipedia definition of WP:NOTABILITY (meaning things that could justify their own article) would embrace a much greater number I'm sure - for example any painting with an entry in a proper catalogue raisonné is likely to be regarded as notable in WP terms, though obviously only a small fraction are ever likely to get articles. We should really avoid using the term in articles where there are easy alternatives - I'll change to "highlights". By all mean suggest a list of these, but people often write articles on what catches their fancy, regardless of any list. Johnbod (talk) 16:44, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm still confused...there is no citation justifying the inclusion of the van Doesburg work as a "highlight," but we have to keep it because the user thinks it belongs there? I thought the whole idea was to keep this space free of unsupported, personal opinions? Boite-en-Valise (talk) 15:23, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
5. The Kienbusch collection is not the only collection worth highlighting. However, there are quite a few that could be listed in parallel. Rather than describe the Museum's holdings by their acquisition groups, I think it makes sense to highlight them by type or curatorial department. The collections (acquisition groups) can be mentioned in the history section more appropriately. I understand the Kienbusch collection information was merged from a separate article, but would someone simply change the formatting to eliminate the heading "The Carl Otto Kretzschmar von Kienbusch Collection"? I think right now the section heading makes it look like this is the most significant holding in the Museum, and that is misleading. Boite-en-Valise (talk) 13:53, 17 May 2012 (UTC)


Object resources: PMA Publications--anyone can access a list of objects on the PMA site that are web published and included in the Handbook by going here and clicking "sample objects from this publication." We've published the object write-ups from the book on our site as well, so if you can't get a copy, you can still read about the objects on their individual pages. This project covered a number of PMA publications, any publication that has a "sample objects..." link on it also has object write-ups.

Object resources: videos--see the Museum's YouTube channel for all the published video by the Museum.

History--The history published on the Museum's site was developed with the PMA archives, and it would be a good place to start for writing a history section in the main PMA article.

Brownlee, David Bruce. Building the city beautiful :the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the Philadelphia Museum of Art /David B. Brownlee. -- Philadelphia, Pa. : The Museum, c1989. ISBN 0876330812.
Roberts, George, 1900- . Triumph on Fairmount :Fiske Kimball and the Philadelphia Museum of Art /by George and Mary Roberts. -- Philadelphia : Lippincott, 1959.


Brownlee, David Bruce. Making a modern classic :the architecture of the Philadelphia Museum of Art /David B. Brownlee ; preface by Robert Venturi ; color photography by Graydon Wood. -- Philadelphia, Pa. : Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1997. ISBN 0876331118.


Eberlein, Harold. "The Philadelphia Museum of Art." reprint from Architectural Forum, July, 1928.
Kimball, Fiske. Bibliography, ed, by Mary Kane. Charlottesville: Univ. Virg. Press, 1959.
Kimball, Fiske. "The modern museum of art." Architectural Record, 66 (Dec. 1929): 559-590.
Lee, Anne. "Color sculpture and architecture. Philadelphia revives the ancient art of Greek polychrome. (from The Mentor, 16 (May, 1928) 41-44)
Maher, James. Twilight of splendor: chronicles of the of American ·palaces. Boston: Little, Brown, 1975.
The New museum and its service to Philadelphia. ---Philadelphia: Pennsylvania-Museum and School of Industrial Arts, 1922,
Philadelphia. Commissioners of Fairmount Park. Scrapbooks of publicity on the Phildelphia Museum of Art, 1913-1933. 7 vols.
Philadelphia Museum of Art. Bulletin~ Ingersoll, R. Sturgis. "The creation of Fairmount. 11 v. 61, no. 287/288, Fall, 1965/Winter, 1966, 22-29.
PMA Bulletin Articles concerning the building on Fairmount:
v. 15, no. 57, Jan., 1917, 12-13.
v. 23, no. 115, Oct., 1927,3-4.
v. 23, no. 117, Dec., 1927/Jan. 1928, 3-4.
v. 30, no. 165, Nov., 1934, 3-31.
Putnam, Edward. 'Architectural polychromy, the Greek revival in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.' Art and Archeology (no date) 15-20.
Roberts, George and Mary. Triumph on Fairmount. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1959.
Solon, Leon. "The glory that was Greece: Philadelphia Museum of Art." Atlanta, Ga.: Atlantic Terra Cotta, 1927, vol. viii, no. 11.
Solon, Leon. Polychromy; architectural~ structural, theory practice. New York: Architectural Record, 1924.
Webster, Richard J. Philadelphia preserved: catalog of the historical Temple University building survey. Philadelphia: Press, 1976.
This bibliography was digitized, but I tried to fix the significant scan errors. Boite-en-Valise (talk) 20:57, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Other--I will look into resources on the Museum not published by the Museum to help improve the main PMA article. This is still our "top" priority at the moment. I will do the same for the Rodin Museum; this is another top priority for us internally. Boite-en-Valise (talk) 14:45, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

If you can access JSTOR, that is an excellent place to look for articles on PMA, Rodin Museum, etc. Many are of course published by the PMA. Boite-en-Valise (talk) 18:48, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
This is a great help. In particular, I can get the Fiske Kimball book anytime. Smallbones (talk) 03:27, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Rodin Museum: History/Building/Collections

Tancock, John L. The sculpture of Auguste Rodin : the collection of the Rodin Museum, Philadelphia / Boston, MA : Godine, in association with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, [1989]. ISBN 0879231572

Rodin Museum: Collections

Rodin Museum (Philadelphia, Pa.) Handbook / [Philadelphia] : Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1969 (third printing). ISBN 0876330081
Boite-en-Valise (talk) 19:02, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Article Assessment[edit]

The article talk page template and associated categories have been created. See Talk:The Gross Clinic and Talk:Philadelphia Museum of Art for examples of use.

To use the template, place this tag on the article's talk page: {{WikiProject Philadelphia Museum of Art|class= |importance= }}


Quality (Class): The Wikipedia grading scheme assigns articles to classes by quality. See the guidelines here.

Importance is subjective to each project, and should help us decide which articles to work on first. Before we get too far with article tagging, we should develop some guidelines for determining the importance of an article to this project. There's a good example of importance guidelines here.

As a suggestion, we might decide that the objects in the Museum's handbook that are Stub class should be Top importance for improving, while Start class or higher articles would be High importance.

How to update the matrix[edit]

The assessment matrix on the project page will update automatically every three days or so. To update the matrix manually, go to and choose "Philadelphia Museum of Art-related" from the drop-down list. - PKM (talk) 01:45, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

I assigned importance from PMA's perspective based on the object being in the Handbook or otherwise considered an important work where there was already an article. These articles classed mid or high are the ones for which I will pursue internal resources first. If I can help with other articles, I will, but these are the first priority for us. I did make a mirror list internally to work from, as I understand there might be disagreement as to importance. I just thought I could lay some groundwork. Boite-en-Valise (talk) 18:44, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Diana (Saint-Gaudens) is a great piece of art with an interesting history behind it, prominently displayed at the Museum. Our article, at first glance, looks pretty good and has several pretty good photos. It would be nice to include one at the PMA. I've tried this myself, but have failed spectacularly. Among my problems is the numbers of people walking on the stairs, the distance required by the stairway, lack of a tripod (prohibited by the Museum?), and the lighting. This is a long winded way to ask, can the Museum provide a photo with a free license (CC-BY-SA would be fine)? Smallbones (talk) 19:27, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Part of this project for us is creating a policy regarding contributions under the creative commons license. When we have that worked out, I'll come back to this. Boite-en-Valise (talk) 19:45, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Great work! I suggest a version as it is now is taken as a jpg & tucked away somewhere, to allow before & after comparisons later - here's the British Museum one, as used here (and in conference presentations all over the world...). I'm too lame technically to do this. Johnbod (talk) 13:52, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Good idea! I have a screen grab program I can use to get it into Photoshop, so I'll get the "before" shot. Boite-en-Valise (talk) 14:14, 15 May 2012 (UTC)


Here is a new article structure along with some PMA online resources that might be used to gather initial information. The History was written with the help of our Archivist from primary sources such Board Meeting Minutes and Annual Reports. These can be independently accessed here on site or with JStor.

1. Overview 2. History (see side bar for detailed sections)

3. Building/Architecture

4. Collections

4.1. Notable Holdings (Museum selections from the Handbook of the Collections?)
4.2. OR Major Gifts and Acquisitions listed in the History sections

5. Exhibitions (possibly?)

6. Research (possibly?)

6.1. Library
6.2. Archives
6.3. Conservation
6.4. Provenance

7. Education (possibly?)

7.1. Available resources
7.2. Programs

8. Relationship to Philadelphia

Boite-en-Valise (talk) 14:06, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

So I'm confused about why this was moved? There was already a section on Organization, haphazardly put together by me a while back. I replaced it with a more thought-out version. Do such revisions have to go at the bottom? Sorry, still new to this. Boite-en-Valise (talk) 17:53, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Yes new sections go at the bottom - I didn't realize this was a replacement, but the bottom is where people look so it's probably best left here. But revert me if you prefer by all means. It looks good to me btw. Johnbod (talk) 19:07, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Ok, makes sense. Thanks! Boite-en-Valise (talk) 20:10, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

GLAM: Philadelphia Museum of Art update[edit]

Hi GLAM PMA folks! I wanted to update you about some recent events related to our fantastic Museum. I met Jessica Milby, PMA Collections Information Project Manager, at Wikimania in July. Jessica was looking for ways to improve articles on Wikipedia about the Museum and its artists/collections. We followed up a few weeks later at the Perelman Building in downtown Philadelphia where we discussed ways to increase participation in the GLAM/PMA project.

  • The first idea is to do some outreach to the GLAM:PMA project members, including mass messages updating you all about plans and, seeking feedback about new ideas, and hearing your thoughts about what's in the works.
  • The next step is a drive to improve the main Philadelphia Museum of Art article. The article is currently 'B-Class', but Jessica was confident that with the abundance of high quality sources about the Museum that it could be improved even further. Jessica recommended this extensive source from the Museum's website.
  • Another idea that came out of the meeting was a project within the Museum to assess which PMA-related topics are missing articles on Wikipedia.
  • One of Jessica's ideas is to have the knowledgeable curators of the Museum provide recommended reading lists for PMA-related articles. That should be a great first step to guiding editors towards the information they need to expand and improve that content.
  • Also raised for discussion were some ideas about how to engage the broader community. There is interest in setting up a tour/edit-a-thon, but this remains in the preliminary stage. Would you be interested in participating in such an event?
  • We have new stats! These 24 articles are all under the PMA project. I compiled the last 90-day page views and then annualized the results. PMA-related articles get almost 800,000 view per year!
See the stats!
Article Importance Class View last 90 days Views annualized
Philadelphia Museum of Art Top B 22,790 91,160
The Concert Singer High B 783 3,132
Crucifixion Diptych (van der Weyden) High C 1,500 6,000
Perelman Building High C 986 3,944
The Gross Clinic High C 12,897 51,588
William Rush and His Model High C 1,038 4,152
Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 High Start 26,892 107,568
Rodin Museum High Start 5,323 21,292
Soft Construction with Boiled Beans (Premonition of Civil War) High Start 11,026 44,104
The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even High Start 13,639 54,556
Wedding dress of Grace Kelly High Start 5,810 23,240
Étant donnés High Stub 7,464 29,856
Bird in Space High Unassessed 10,365 41,460
Diana (Saint-Gaudens) High Unassessed 1,450 5,800
Interior (Degas) High Unassessed 2,434 9,736
The Bathers (Cézanne) High Unassessed 7,166 28,664
Three Musicians High Unassessed 9,421 37,684
The Fairman Rogers Four-in-Hand Mid C 736 2,944
Anne d'Harnoncourt Mid Stub 1,266 5,064
Lansdowne House Mid Stub 3,763 15,052
Portrait of Leslie W. Miller Mid Unassessed 362 1,448
Yellow Odalisque Mid Unassessed 817 3,268
Rocky Steps Low Start 41,341 165,364
Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial Low Start 304 1,216
Total 189,573 758,292
views per quarter views per year

It's exciting to have a partner in Jessica Milby and there should be a lot of good work coming out the collaboration within the next 3-6 months. Please stop by the GLAM/PMA project page and leave your thoughts. What ideas do you have? How can we move forward on the above projects? I Hope you're all well. Cheers! Ocaasi 19:02, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Some random thoughts[edit]

As I only became a fan of the museum through watching Andrea Fraser's "Museum Highlights", I put the template on her talk page. Would it be possible to release bits of her presentation in small video segments on Wiki Commons? I think that would be a great way to introduce the building and at the same time show how the museum mixes the old with the new. Looking over your project page, you should make a list of all pages that actually link to the museum today, and then tag those, plus make a list of articles you think *should* link to the museum, and finally the articles you wish would be created. It's easier to improve and clean up than make new stuff, but a short list of wanted biography articles would be a good place to start. You may want to take a look at the WP:Teylers challenge pages for the odd descrepancy between what we thought we wanted vs what we got, which ended up being so much better. Jane (talk) 19:47, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

And I forgot to mention asking them to take part in WP:WLM of course, in case there are any monuments there that aren't on Wiki commons yet. Collaboration goes two ways ya know...Jane (talk) 19:51, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Popular pages[edit]

I'm going to request that the articles under this project be indexed with the popular pages tool. Cool? Ocaasi t | c 19:08, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Edit-a-thon Invitation[edit]

CHF small logo
Please join the Chemical Heritage Foundation Edit-a-Thon, June 20, 2013.
Build content relating to women in science, chemistry and the history of science.
Use the hashtag #GlamCHF and write your favorite scientist or chemist into Wikipedian history!

If anyone at PMA would like to visit the Chemical Heritage Foundation Edit-a-thon next week, we would be delighted. Congratulations on the terrific work you've been doing with the Art Museum! Mary Mark Ockerbloom (talk) 20:42, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

ThatCampPhilly Edit-a-thon Invitation[edit]

CHF small logo
Please join the Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at THATCamp Philly, September 27, 2013, held at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. Bring your own content to work on, or get an early start on Ada Lovelace Day with our resources about women in science, chemistry and the history of science. Mary Mark Ockerbloom (talk) 20:21, 24 September 2013 (UTC)