Ringling Unveils Innovative New Website
SARASOTA, Fla. - Sept. 23, 2005 - Technical innovation coupled with easier site navigation will delight web visitors to The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art's new website, www.ringling.org, unveiled last month after nearly a year of unprecedented interdepartmental website development input.
Because the Ringling Museum's website has averaged as many as 78,000 visitors per month, particularly in the peak January-February months, total redesign and multi-faceted improvement were virtual givens. Now, with numerous additions and features, the number of visitors to the site will increase 20 percent to peak at nearly 90-95,000 visitors per month.
Along with the enhanced look and feel of the new site, many fascinating objects, both paintings and sculpture from the Ringling's vast collection, are now displayed in greater detail and adding more images than before. Researchers can now go online and view many of Ringling objects previously unseen in any of the 21 galleries.
In addition to slicker graphics, the website now utilizes a top of the line, state-of-the-art e-Museum feature from The Museum System (TMS) from Gallery Systems. Used by such notable institutions as New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and California's J. Paul Jetty Museum, it represents the zenith of collections management systems and revolutionizes the way worldwide users can access the Ringling's collections. Online researchers can access the collections for academic or personal projects.
"Thousands of objects have been digitized already and plans are underway to do thousands more," said Mina Ajrab, the Ringling's webmaster. "In collaboration with the Circus Museum Curator Deborah Walk and Assistant Curator Jennifer Lemmer, we expect to have 5,000 rare, vintage circus posters from the Howard Tibbals collection online in the near future. Currently there are 1100 posters, so the best is yet to come."
The new website lists in greater detail the many events sponsored by the Ringling. Large, tabbed sections direct visitors to areas with detailed information such as scholastic programs, conservation and research, and membership, to name a few. Still available are the fascinating virtual tours of the Museum of Art, the Circus Museum and the Cà d’Zan, the Ringlings' exotic winter mansion on Sarasota Bay.
Even potential brides can get detailed information about weddings at the Ringling. Since the new website debuted, the Museum's Events department has received three times the number of inquiries. News & Media will continue to enjoy access to current and archived news releases along with a schedule of noteworthy media events.