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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Henry Has a New Web Site!

posted by on October 7 at 8:59 AM

I’m excited. Very excited. Images from the collection will be online. The site launched this morning.


I only had five minutes to check the site just now because I’ve got an interview at 9, and I had several annoyances. First off, one of the exhibitions currently up (Rauschenberg’s “Booster”) has no images with it. ??

I had to sign an agreement telling me not to violate the copyright of the collections images. This is a first for me on a museum web site. Necessary??

The font is annoying.

On the front page, the images are laying over the titles of the shows so that I can only read them partially. Is it my browser??

I realize this is only a beginning, but…

RSS icon Comments


A URL is inherently in the public domain, hence a link to their Web site is not a copyright infringement.

Posted by raindrop | October 7, 2008 9:11 AM

Ugh. Flash. Ugh. And I'm getting the same overlap (FF 3.0.3).

Posted by Fnarf | October 7, 2008 9:23 AM

It looks awful in Google Chrome. Things are all over the place.

Posted by sprizee | October 7, 2008 9:24 AM

Chrome sucks. (And so does flash)

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 7, 2008 9:31 AM

Keep poking around. I watched this in development (I'm married to part of the redesign team). The aesthetics are aggressive (and pretty cool, I think), but the tools are really intelligently put together, especially around the calendar.

Posted by Eric F | October 7, 2008 9:33 AM

i am definitely not smart enough for this website.

Posted by paul | October 7, 2008 9:45 AM

horrible. Such an uninviting homepage; I have no desire to poke around.

Posted by fARTing | October 7, 2008 9:45 AM

Guys, I think what you're seeing IS the design. They have a calendar on the front page with horizontal bands that stretch across with repeating words, overlapped by images. I checked on IE6, FF3 (Mac) and Safari 3.1, and it actually looks pretty much the same in all browsers, so I think what you're seeing is supposed to be a feature, not a bug.

Posted by David | October 7, 2008 9:46 AM

As a contemporary art museum, we work with living artists and photographers. Our goal is to protect their rights and intellectual property. Many artists have asked us to take these steps. As a public institution, and part of the University of Washington we are also obligated to protect works in the collection. The T&C only need to be accepted once by the visitor, then a cookie is set.

As for any other comments, feel free to send them to

Thanks - and the link to the site (not in the post) is

Posted by Betsey | October 7, 2008 9:49 AM

I know you're into BREAKING NEWS, but why not take a few minutes to look at the site after your interview instead of glancing at it and hurriedly enumerating its launch day faults?

Posted by josh | October 7, 2008 10:04 AM

Why don't you take a minute to shut the fuck up? It's called frames, they aren't there, so you can judge the living shit out of the whole thing. Free pass.

Posted by Professional Slogger | October 7, 2008 10:16 AM

You're kidding. You didn't realize the calendar layout IS the website? And you review art? Nice eye. Snap judgments made in a hurry without engaging what is being reviewed. Sounds like you have a future in art criticism.

Drag the month and year around. This is an awesome website. Especially for an arts org.

Posted by john | October 7, 2008 10:24 AM

it was confusing for the first couple of minutes but once i started playing around, it's got tons of great info that's easily accessible.

the site was created by If/Then (who also did KEXP, Top Pot and National Geographic's websites).

i like it.

Posted by joey | October 7, 2008 10:28 AM

The courier new NEEDS to go. Ugh. The navigational items need more pop. Other than that it's a pretty decent website.

Posted by w7ngman | October 7, 2008 10:30 AM

I'm not seeing any overlapping images. (Big 20+" monitor, IE 7.) But I'm also not seeing the calendar at all, and I've clicked everywhere.

Posted by EmilyP | October 7, 2008 10:33 AM

In ten years, everyone will love Courier.

Posted by jim courier | October 7, 2008 10:37 AM

This is an innovative new site. It offers a vast amount of historical information about the Henry Art Gallery. Over 80 years of exhibitions are featured on the calendar timeline. Past, present, and future events can be examined and related media downloaded. As a contemporary art museum, copyright is an issue, so please do not assume the fact many exhibitions are missing images is due to disinterest.

We welcome visitors to try out the features using a variety of devices (iPhone, PDA, etc.). You can jump or scroll back to 1927 using the exhibition calendar. Change the view to a month or even year view to see what took place at the Henry. Upcoming events can be added to your pergonal Google and Outlook calendars. We have launched an online search of nearly 100% of our permanent collection objects (>20,000 objects!). We are working to include accessible images for all objects without copyright restrictions. In addition, a collection search kiosk is launching in the gallery this week with extensive information and additional, detailed images.

We appreciate feedback, especially with regard to exhibition or event information that we might be lacking. Please send comments to

Thank you.

Posted by Erin | October 7, 2008 10:41 AM

Wow. That is really bad. Shame on you Henry! You should pay someone to design your site instead of having your little brother do it on an old commodore 64. It makes me seasick.

Posted by Paul Morrison | October 7, 2008 10:52 AM

I like Courier.

Posted by Fnarf | October 7, 2008 10:54 AM

Ugly site which is difficult to navigate. I like the Henry but I hate the site.

Posted by Suz | October 7, 2008 11:15 AM

Everyone's a web expert these days, and feels the need to crap on anything new or different. I like the fact that a museum site tried something bold. Not everything works, but the creativity is commendable.

Posted by rjh | October 7, 2008 11:50 AM

I was a little overwhelmed at first- all the info on the front page??
But it's pretty awesome to navigate with all the info on the front page- and I love the super cool retro ibm font- it's the right kind of casual.
It's a museum site that is not boring and easy to navigate! Wow!!

Posted by Sara | October 7, 2008 11:51 AM

I love the 'add to calendar' feature. I just found it- this is an addendum to my first comment.
This site is the shit.
It does exactly what I want it to.
Maybe if you could add contests? Prizes? That's the only improvement I can suggest.

Posted by sara | October 7, 2008 11:57 AM

I love the 'add to calendar' feature. I just found it- this is an addendum to my first comment.
This site is the shit.
It does exactly what I want it to.
Maybe if you could add contests? Prizes? That's the only improvement I can suggest.

Posted by sara | October 7, 2008 11:58 AM

@ 20

Do you remember the old site?

Posted by Likes New Things | October 7, 2008 12:28 PM

As a public institution, and part of the University of Washington, you are also obligated to serve the educational and fair-use interests of the public. Which is often at odds with copyright absolutism. Just sayin'.

Posted by litlnemo | October 7, 2008 2:48 PM

I think a good way to approach the Henry's new website is the same way you would approach one of their exhibitions. Spend some time with it, bring an open mind and you may just experience something new.

Posted by iheartart | October 7, 2008 3:16 PM

Personally, I'm going to nominate it for the Daily Sucker at Web Pages That Suck. New, innovative and creative is not necessarily good web design, especially when there are contrast issues that make readability difficult, and Flash limits your SEO. So, do you want search engine optimization? Don't do it in Flash until someone has a program that can read it. Google is working on it, but it isn't there yet. Did you make the website to serve your creative needs, or the visitor's need for information? If it's not the latter, you've done it wrong. BTW, Vince Flanders at Web Pages that Suck is an expert in web design. The Daily Sucker on WPTS should be required reading for anyone doing a website.

Posted by Silverstar98121 | October 7, 2008 7:31 PM

@28 after playing around in the exhibitions and all content parts of the site, and especially after viewing the site sans-css, i'd say the henry knows a little something about web standards and seo.

also, i think anyone with half a spark of aesthetic imagination would cancel their henry art gallery membership if their site looked anything like the great web design 'expert' vincent flanders's work. yeah, eww.

Posted by nik | October 7, 2008 9:51 PM

It seems that there is no home page on this site. No place where one might feel centered enough to even choose where to go next, aesthetically or conceptually. Yes it is hip and full of great stuff, but kind of like an ADD nightmare to behold.

Posted by Sue Talksaboutart | October 8, 2008 10:22 AM

It looks like the perfect site for Henry employees (and perhaps anyone else that lives for the Henry) to be just ONE CLICK away from anything one might possibly want to know about anything happening at the Henry at any time. For the rest of us occasional visitors: Are two or three clicks really so bad?

Posted by Sue Talksaboutart | October 8, 2008 10:30 AM

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