Digital Plans at the Reynolda House Museum of American Art

Posted in museums by Editor on February 27, 2014

Press release (12 February 2014) from the Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina:

Joseph Blackburn, Portrait of Elizabeth Browne Rogers, 1761, oil on canvas (Reynolda House Museum of American Art)

Joseph Blackburn, Portrait of Elizabeth Browne Rogers, 1761, oil on canvas (Reynolda House Museum of American Art)

As metropolitan museums across the country begin to focus personnel resources on digital content and new media strategies, Reynolda House Museum of American Art has created a new position to develop the extension of the museum’s desired impact and mission to an online audience. Trish Oxford has been named Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications, a position that will focus on the evolving need for digital communications. In this role she will create synergy between on-site experiences and virtual experiences through management of the Museum’s new website, email, social media, and other digital platforms. Oxford will also work closely with the curatorial staff to explore ways to enhance the visitor experience. She first joined the museum part-time in 2012 as Audience Engagement and Communications Specialist.

Oxford’s new position is part of a larger Reynolda House initiative called the Digital Engagement Project launched in 2010 with the digitizing of the museum’s collections. The federally funded project included cataloging each object in the museum’s collections, redesigning the museum’s website to facilitate access to collections, and creating new opportunities for people to interact with the museum online. Allison Perkins, Reynolda House executive director, said in her new position Oxford will invite museum visitors, online and in-person, to contribute their own interpretations and ideas, making all interactions with Reynolda House more impactful.

“We are on the leading edge of this trend in the museum field to dedicate staff to digital engagement,” said Perkins, noting recent, similar announcements from the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. “While you can never replicate an in-person visit to Reynolda, we want to further explore what the Reynolda experience means online. We’re well on our way to using our collections and historic site to inspire people, no matter where they are.”

Reynolda House launched its first presence on social media in 2008, and has since grown its digital audience exponentially with active profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. Its new website, reynoldahouse.org, launched in September 2013. As an example of its new approach to engaging an online audience, Reynolda House is working with Museum Hack, a New York-based company that specializes in unique visitor experiences, to develop an online gallery for its new site. The museum also will present a paper on its new ‘digital wing’ at the prestigious Museums and the Web 2014 conference in Baltimore in April. Oxford’s position was announced on the social platforms Vine, Instagram and Twitter.

Oxford received a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Masters of Fine Arts in painting/drawing with a concentration in video art from the California College of the Arts. She serves on the board of ConvergeSouth, the Piedmont Triad’s premier conference for technology and creativity in business. Starting in March, she will write a biweekly blog series focused on connections between the museum collections and the local community. Follow her on Twitter @trishoxford1; Instagram, instagram.com/trishatreynolda; and Facebook, facebook.com/trishatreynolda.

Reynolda House Museum of American Art is one of the nation’s premier American art museums, with masterpieces by Mary Cassatt, Frederic Church, Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O’Keeffe and Gilbert Stuart among its collection.  Affiliated with Wake Forest University, Reynolda House features changing exhibitions, concerts, lectures, classes, film screenings and other events.  The museum is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in the historic 1917 estate of Katharine Smith Reynolds and her husband, Richard Joshua Reynolds, founder of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Reynolda House and adjacent Reynolda Gardens and Reynolda Village feature a spectacular public garden, dining, shopping and walking trails.

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