Pigment to Pixel: Digitizing the Permanent Collection

The permanent collection–100 plus years in the making and numbering over 10,000 works of art in a variety of media–remains the cornerstone of the Art Gallery of Hamilton. Yet, at any given time, visitors to the Gallery are only able to view three to five percent of the collection physically on display in the exhibition spaces, signaling the great need for increased access through innovative means.

An integral step towards realizing this goal comes in the form of the AGH’s digitization project, which began mid-2022 and is generously funded by the Government of Canada’s Museum Assistance Program. This project aims to increase the digital assets of permanent collection works by almost 50 percent. Pigment to Pixel: Digitizing the Permanent Collection, is a combination documentation lab and exhibition space that highlights the central methods of the digitization project by bringing “back of house” activity to the front. Visitors will catch a glimpse into some key practices related to collections management including how artworks are photographed, scanned and documented, as well as learn the many steps involved in making the physical digital.

The exhibition will feature a rotating schedule of permanent collection works, installed on a temporary basis, with special consideration given to works that have not left the vault in a number of years, works by artists currently under-represented in the collection, as well as fan favourites and some surprises!

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