Featured Museum Site
August, 1999National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
From what I can tell from a bit of online sleuthing, the National Museum of Wildlife Art is pretty much the only museum dedicated to animal or wildlife art in the world. And as not everyone gets to Wyoming every year, it's great to see that they have a web site of note.
The web site has a nice uncluttered style, with well-designed icons. It's broken down into pretty much the same areas as almost every other museum site: Information, Education, Membership, Collections, Events, and the Museum Shop, which seems to be powered by a standard shopping cart application.
Now it's great that they have an Information section, where you can read a letter from the board of trustees, and an events calendar and membership info for potential visitors. But let's get to what most people are going to be interested in: the artwork available online.
There are over 50 works on display here, but to get to the main portion you have to go to the "Collection" section and select "Highlights" (not "Featured Artworks"). You'll see 4 works here, and if you scroll all the way to the bottom, you'll see a button allowing you to advance to the next 4 works. (I mention this because it took me a long time to realize the button was there.)
Once you get in here, the only way to find what you are looking for is to keep clicking "next 4" and see what pops up. So overall I'd say the navigation is OK but could be improved.
The thumbnails of the artworks are good, but most of the full-sized images could stand to be larger. I've noticed this problem with a lot of frame-based sites: you lose so much screen space to the frame that you are very limited in what you can display.
I personally dislike frames for another reason. It makes it hard for me to link to the work of individual artists. For example, the NMWA has several works by Carl Rungius, and I have no choice but to link to the URL of one section of the frame, which looks a little strange and can be confusing when you try to go elsewhere on the site. The alternative, giving surfers a little road map to each image, is unthinkable: Click on "Collections", then on "Highlights", then scroll down and click the "next 4" button 7 times...
|Previous Featured Museums|
|July, 1999:||Museum of Modern Art, New York|
|June, 1999:||Carol Gerten's Fine Art|
|May, 1999:||National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C.|
|April, 1999:||Fine Arts Museums Of San Francisco|
|March, 1999:||The Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam|
|February, 1999:||The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia|