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AMICO Logo Art Museum Image Consortium: enabling educational use of museum multimedia
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AMICO Press Release

The Art Museum Image Consortium (AMICO) Library Is Now Available to Subscribers. Two New Members Join the Consortium.

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July 1, 1999
AMICO Headquarters; Pittsburgh, PA

With the July 1st launch of the AMICO Library, the Art Museum Image Consortium (AMICO) officially makes multimedia documentation of artworks from the collections of leading museums across North America available to universities, colleges, schools, and public libraries. The 1999-2000 edition of the AMICO Library documents over 50,000 different works of art, from prehistoric goddess figures to contemporary installations. More than simply an image database, works in the AMICO Library are fully documented and may also include curatorial text about the artwork, detailed provenance information, multiple views of the work itself, and other related multimedia. As Jennifer Trant, AMICO Executive Director, notes, "potential subscribers find the AMICO Library of interest because it combines the immediacy and accessibility of the Web with the persistence and academic weight of traditional library reference sources."

As the University Testbed project displayed, the AMICO Library can be used in ways that traditional resources can not. For instance, students may curate online exhibitions using AMICO images, professors can make "on the fly" enhancement to lectures by searching the AMICO Library in real-time class settings, restricted-access course web sites could be created for review purposes with AMICO images incorporated in them, and much more. The recently completed year-long University Testbed project consisted of participation by 16 universities across the United States and Canada, including the Rochester Institute of Technology, the University of Alberta, and Boston College. Mark O'Connor, Director of the Honors Program at Boston College, observed, "the AMICO Library has this great serendipity factor. The size of the database, the rapidity with which you can scan, allows you to see art and its relation to culture in a far more expansive way, and so to fall upon connections you otherwise would not have seen, and in this way to pull upon the threads which tie together human culture."

Testbed participants' findings were recently presented to each other and AMICO Member representatives at a Review Meeting held on June 3rd and 4th in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The presentations were stimulating for all participants and many of them may be reviewed on the AMICO web site at "It was inspiring to see the varied and creative ways that Testbed participants applied the Library to their academic pursuits," remarked Thom Sempere, Graphic Studies Manager of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. AMICO Members look forward to collaborating with educational users in many new and innovative teaching and research projects.

The AMICO Library is accessible over secure networks to institutional subscribers, including universities, colleges, libraries, schools, and museums. Designated users can include faculty, students, teachers, staff, and researchers. Educational institutions may subscribe to the AMICO Library by contacting one of its distributors. These include the Research Libraries Group (RLG) and the Ohio Library and Information Network (OhioLINK). A subscription to the AMICO Library provides a one-year license to use works from the compiled AMICO Library for a broad range of educational purposes. Images of artworks from museums such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the J. Paul Getty Museum are included in the AMICO Library. A recent agreement with the Artists Rights Society provides AMICO Library users unprecedented access to modern and contemporary works. Interested subscribers may preview a Thumbnail Catalog of the AMICO Library and get further information at

The Art Museum Image Consortium is pleased to welcome two new Members. The McMichael Canadian Art Collection located in Kleinberg, Ontario, Canada and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles, California. The McMichael Gallery is devoted to showcasing exclusively 20th century Canadian art ? magnificent works by the renowned Group of Seven as well as First Nations, Inuit, and contemporary Canadian artists. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is the premier visual arts museum in the Western United States. Its holdings include more than 150,000 works with collections in Ancient and Islamic art, costumes and textiles, Modern and Contemporary art, and much more. These two exciting additions will further enhance the breadth and depth of the AMICO Library, as well as contribute to the strength of the Consortium.

The AMICO Library is a product of the Art Museum Image Consortium (AMICO). Founded in October 1997, as a program of the Association of Art Museum Directors Educational Foundation, Inc., AMICO was separately incorporated as an independent non-profit corporation in June of 1998, ending its direct connection with the AAMD. The Consortium is today made up of 28 major museums in North America. It's innovative collaboration (not seen before in museums) shares, shapes, and standardizes information regarding visual data collections and enables its educational use.

Contact Information:

Jennifer Trant
Executive Director
Art Museum Image Consortium
2008 Murray Avenue, Suite D
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Phone (412) 422 8533
Fax (412) 422 8594

In June of 2005, the members of the Art Museum Image Consortium voted to dissolve their collaboration. This site remains online for archival reasons.