Sculptures dot the hallways and rooms alongside works of art representing more than 7,000 artists in the National Historic Landmark, the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Within the many-tiered Luce Center 15 people gathered; their quest, to embark upon an edit-a-thon focused on 30 different masterpieces hand picked by the museum Director, Elizabeth Broun. Before the program began, she spoke to everyone about how putting the museum’s art on Wikipedia is one of her overarching “subversive goals”.
Following a tour and a scrumptious lunch provided by the museum, everyone filed into the Luce Center conference room and started working. Many participants had never edited Wikipedia, but it wasn’t long before they whetted their first tooth. From artist Childe Hassam to a created article on the Nakoda Wikipedia everybody contributed something to the world’s largest online encyclopedia.
Georgina Goodlander, the Web and Social Media Manager at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the wonderful lady without whose efforts this event would not have been possible, has now got an appetite for Wikipedia, she says. A definite success, she plans to make Masterpiece Museum a series instead of a one-time event. Some meetings may even take place on a Saturday to catch those who cannot leave work during the week.
Lisa Marrs, Outreach & Program Coordination, Wikimedia DC