Students at Radford University are digitizing more than 2,500 pieces of art
Below ground in the basement of the Radford University Art Museum, students are at work cataloguing more than 2,500 pieces of art from the museum’s permanent collection for a new online database.
This collection includes work by Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Dorothy Gillespie, as well as pieces that Radford students have created over the years.
“Which is really cool. [They] could then be part of a permanent collection for years to come,” said Theresa Rykaczewski, who manages the permanent collection at Radford University Art Museum. “And students could see what their art looks like after fifty years.”
Rykaczewski is overseeing the crew of 16 Radford students who are digitizing the collection.
Art History Major Anne Cassett said after writing research papers about art, she loves getting behind the scenes and learning how a collection is preserved and organized. “I think the most valuable skills [are] hands-on work, and so getting that experience is really important,” Cassett said.
She and most of the students working on the digitization project are studying to work in museums, but there are also nursing majors and fashion students.
Several, like graduate painting student Ashleigh Hillen, are also artists themselves. As part of her work with the museum, she’s also learning how to properly hang hardware on paintings to prepare them for display.
“I can do this on my own and not have to rely on other people, save money,” Hillen said. “And it’s just nice to be able to do every part of the skill set, like from beginning to end.”
The students have already uploaded hundreds of pieces to the online database, and by next spring, they’re hoping to have the majority of the art available for anyone to view.
The database can be viewed here.