Thank you for your interest in the Clyfford Still Museum. Please review the available employment, contracting, and volunteer opportunities below.
The Clyfford Still Museum (CSM) is currently accepting proposals to design, develop, and execute an online interface to present CSM’s art and archival collections. The successful party will collaborate with CSM staff to understand user needs and museum resources; to define interface structure and features; to design an intuitive front-end that upholds CSM’s aesthetics and standards of quality; to advise the CSM on technical best practices to ensure accessibility, sustainability, and longevity of the platform; and to work with existing databases and internal systems to develop a back-end interface that can be maintained and updated by a non-technical staff.
Context: Clyfford Still Museum
The mission of the Clyfford Still Museum is to advance the understanding and appreciation of Clyfford Still’s art and legacy through the presentation, research, interpretation, preservation, and stewardship of its unique collections.
Considered one of the most important painters of the 20th century, Clyfford Still (1904–1980) was among the first generation of Abstract Expressionist artists who developed a new and powerful approach to painting in the years immediately following World War II.
After the artist’s death in 1980, the Clyfford Still Estate was sealed off from public and scholarly view. Still’s will stipulated that his estate be given in its entirety to an American city willing to establish a permanent museum dedicated solely to his work, ensuring its survival for exhibition and study. In August 2004, the City of Denver was selected by Still’s wife, Patricia Still, to receive the collection. In addition to Still’s artwork, which represents 95 percent of the artist’s lifetime output, the Museum’s collection also includes Still’s complete, intact archival materials—studio records, photographic materials, personal effects, the artist’s tools and materials, his personal library, and extensive documentation pertaining to his art, career, and life. In light of this history, CSM desires to disseminate these artworks and archival materials in as wide and as creative of ways possible.
The Clyfford Still Museum opened in 2011. The Museum allows visitors the unique experience to understand the legacy of Clyfford Still, an artist whose life had been shrouded in mystery and the bulk of whose work has been hidden from public view for more than 30 years prior to the Museum’s opening.
Context: Qi (Collections Management, Content)
For its Collections Management System, CSM uses Qi, a cloud-based, relational database developed by Keepthinking. Qi is used to manage both the art and the archival collections. Information about the objects includes, but is not limited to, identification, description, publication history, exhibition history, related objects and photography. Qi is used primarily by CSM’s collections team (Curatorial, Archives, Conservation, Registration).
Context: LUNA (Digital Asset Management)
CSM uses the Digital Asset Management system (DAM), called LUNA, to organize, store and manage digital assets, curate digital collections, and deliver content to users. The DAM houses all media assets (images, audio, video, and pdfs) for the art collections and archives in one central location.
LUNA delivers full support for the IIIF Presentation API.
- The Presentation API provides IIIF handling and support for cross-collection search results, media groups, and formats (including BookReader) for display in IIIF Viewers.
- With this latest development, LUNA collections and content can be easily explored in the expanding arena of IIIF Viewers.
CSM is currently working with the developers of Qi and LUNA to integrate the two systems so that LUNA can upload current data from Qi and so that Qi can pull images from LUNA.
*Both Qi and LUNA host their content on Google cloud.
Context: Digital Initiatives
Digital initiatives at CSM are informed by the following key principles:
- Audience: Understanding audience needs, values, and priorities should be placed at the center of CSM’s offerings. Projects with deep or wide audience impact are given the highest priority. The ability to measure and track audience impact in key phases of the project development as well as after launch is highly desirable.
- Accessibility: Participation requires access. To increase participation CSM must actively identify barriers for engagement, and lower them wherever possible. CSM believes in using open technologies and broadly used standards wherever possible to ensure broad use (and reuse) of CSM’s work.
- Connections: CSM will use technology to leverage its ability to present non-linear and layered narratives, and to enable connections to concepts, objects, and ideas both among and beyond its assets and interfaces.
- Agility: Digital initiatives are developed with agility and efficiency in mind. Iterative design processes are prioritized whenever possible in order to test hypotheses and provide learnings for creating smart and nimble projects.
- Sustainability: Projects are considered with regards to their long-term benefit to the organization. Evaluating and implementing new tools and processes that improve staff collaboration and streamline communication are key functions of achieving sustainability in project design. Pilot projects are structured to provide insights into audience expectations, behaviors, and desires.
- Quality: Projects should exemplify the Clyfford Still Museum’s commitment to a high-quality experience. CSM’s brand is elegant and its projects should reflect CSM’s high standards in content and aesthetics.
Project Scope and Features
The primary goal of this project is to open CSM’s collections up to a broad public. CSM endeavors to illustrate the breadth and range of Clyfford Still’s work and the Museum’s vast holdings. CSM wishes to enable professionals and researchers to do surface-level research on its collection, and to provide a clear path for follow-up for deeper research.
Upon its initial launch, CSM’s Online Collection will house roughly 2,000 objects culled from the art collection (paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints). A selection of photographs and ephemera from CSM’s extensive archival collection may also be included.
The Online Collection will be a discovery layer built on top of CSM’s two collections-related databases. To date, LUNA houses the high-resolution images of the collection, and Qi houses the collection data. Both Qi and LUNA include an API and LUNA has an IIIF API functionality. For tombstone information (object metadata) CSM would like to display the data values as entered into Qi (for metadata and content). CSM’s hope is that the interface would work with its existing content management system and DAM and that CSM will not be manually exporting data out of these systems into a separate and siloed system.
The front-end interface should feature (high to low priority):
- Advanced / multi-faceted search
- Sort capabilities
- Ability to display related works (paintings related to drawings, vice versa, etc.)
- Ability to display related interpretive content in various media and formats (text, image, audio, video, etc.)
- Full-screen and deep-zoom capabilities
- Ability to download low-res complimentary images with copyright info and/or watermark
- Styled print screens for object or collection views
- Ability for users to easily “share” low-res assets through social media, email, etc.
- Ability to provide “curated” views of the collection upon initial load of main page
- User ability to create-your-own collections
- Responsive design
- Accessibility to visually impaired persons
Deliverables and Timeframe
The deliverables for this project are provided below. Guidelines for delivery are listed in parentheses as the number of calendar days after the beginning of the project contract that the products will be prepared and delivered.
- High-fidelity wireframes articulating the front-end design concept, which incorporates CSM feedback. (30)
- Development site with a private, online prototype of the front-end interface (MVP) with a few live assets, working links, and basic or high-priority features implemented. (45)
- Private launch of beta site with complete assets. (90)
- Public launch of site; documentation due; training of staff to be completed. (120)
All project activities and deliverables will begin no later than May 15, 2017, and be completed no later than September 15, 2017.
The contracted party is expected to have high design standards; sophisticated technical skills in database assets/configurations as well as software and web development; and excellent project management, presentation, and leadership skills. Successful candidates will be able to collaborate with CSM staff through a variety of communication modes, and be able to travel to Denver at key project intervals. Familiarity and/or experience with art museums, art collections, and collections management systems is highly desirable. The contractor is expected to have demonstrated capabilities to align content products and processes with strategic goals.
Please submit a project proposal that includes the following:
- Description of the team members for this project, including the roles and qualifications of each member of the team.
- Describe specifically which aspects each team member will be contributing to the project and/or be responsible for, and his or her previous experience in performing these duties.
- Outline the various phases of the project. Include key activities, relevant benchmarks, estimated cost/hours, and timeline.
- Provide at least three examples of previous work and describe how these demonstrate a successful track record related to the requirements specified here.
- Provide at least three client testimonials and/or references. Include contact information for follow up with references.
- Provide your proposed rates or fee schedule.
- Please include any standard form contract your firm generally uses for projects such as this.
All proposals in response to this RFP are to be received electronically no later than 8:00 am MST, April 17, 2017, via email to: email@example.com.
CSM will evaluate all proposals based on the following criteria. To ensure consideration for this RFP, your proposal should be complete and include all of the following criteria:
- Overall proposal suitability: Proposed solution(s) must meet the scope and needs included herein and be presented in a clear and organized manner.
- Organizational Experience: Bidders will be evaluated on their experience as it pertains to the scope of this project.
- Previous work: Bidders will be evaluated on examples of their work pertaining to online collection projects. Relevance to art museums and/or art collections is prefered.
- Value and cost: Bidders will be evaluated on the cost of their solution(s) based on the work to be performed in accordance with the scope of this project.
- Technical expertise and experience: Bidders must provide descriptions and documentation of staff technical expertise and experience.
Evaluation of proposals will be conducted from April 17 through April 28. If additional information or discussions are needed with any bidders during this period, the bidder(s) will be notified. The selection decision for the winning bidder will be made no later than May 5, 2017. Upon notification, the contract negotiation with the winning bidder will begin immediately. Contract negotiations will be completed by May 15.
Notifications to bidders who were not selected will be completed by May 19, 2017.
A successful bidder will be required to execute an appropriate contract acceptable to CSM. Bidders who have issues with CSM’s required contract terms and conditions should include a brief explanation and propose alternative language in their response.
Bidders’ submission of a proposal constitutes their acknowledgement that they understand and agree to comply with CSM’s non-discrimination requirement included in Appendix A.
The Clyfford Still Museum Research Center (CSMRC) develops multidisciplinary programs and furthers humanities research spanning the twentieth century, the period encompassing Clyfford Still’s life.
Clyfford Still’s graduate studies at Washington State College in Pullman, WA stimulated his deep interest in and knowledge of the humanities—ranging from philosophy and music to poetry and literature. This fellowship program employs the Clyfford Still Museum’s (CSM) resources to facilitate research across disciplines.
CSMRC Fellows will have an opportunity to access materials from the CSM archives and art collection, as well as other collections, including materials from two adjacent institutions, the Denver Public Library (DPL) and the Denver Art Museum (DAM). DAM’s modern and contemporary art collection includes thirty works by Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell. DAM also holds internationally recognized collections of Pre-Columbian Art, American Indian Art, and Western American Art (and houses the related Petrie Institute of Western American Art), all of which can help provide resources and context for Clyfford Still and other research fields. The DPL has extensive holdings, including a photography collection of approximately 30,000 images depicting the American west, as well as other humanities-based resources. The presence of several Denver-based colleges and universities add to this unique opportunity for intellectual exchange.
The CSMRC is integral to CSM’s mission of creating and supporting the scholarly understanding and interpretation of Still’s work within the broader context of Modern Studies to provide a lively and intellectually engaging environment that produces new ideas while furthering its commitment to involving a variety of audiences through dialogue.
Fellows are selected in two categories: Senior Fellows (scholars who hold a doctorate or appropriate terminal degree and have been active in their field for at least five years) and Junior Fellows (MA candidates, advanced PhD candidates and/or post-doctoral scholars who have recently entered the field).
Fields of Research:
CSMRC Fellows may explore the broad range of 20th-century humanities disciplines. Qualified scholars working in the areas of 20th-century modernism, abstraction, Abstract Expressionism, modern Canadian art, and color theory are especially encouraged to apply. Other fields including Classics, Anthropology, Literature, Music and similar disciplines, considered through the lens of the 20th-century, are also desirable.
Location and Duration:
All Fellows are expected to be in-residence in Denver, Colorado, and fellowship terms may range between eight to twenty-four weeks, based on the project needs of the fellow. Applications should specify a desired term.
Senior Fellows will receive U.S. $1,250 per week, or $5,000 per month
Junior Fellows will receive U.S. $875 per week, or $3,500 per month
Stipends are intended to cover accommodations in Denver, round-trip air travel between Fellows’ home cities and Denver, and living expenses, among other things.
Each Fellow agrees to present one public lecture relating to the Fellow’s research in process on a mutually agreeable date. It is also the expectation that the research will be disseminated in other ways and lead to a tangible contribution to the field.
CSM interns and staff members may be available to assist Fellows. The Fellows offices are located within the Denver Art Museum’s administrative office building, just steps from the Clyfford Still Museum. Each office is equipped with a computer and other hardware.
Applications are accepted throughout the year. Applicants should submit a letter stating their interest, research intent, desired fellowship duration, and other relevant information, not to exceed 500 words. Qualified applicants may apply by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. No formal application is necessary.
The Museum prohibits making any employment decisions or basing any terms and conditions of employment on the basis of a person’s race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, height, weight, national origin, ancestry, or ethnicity, sexual orientation, transgendered status or gender expression or identity, marital status, disability, political affiliation, military or veteran status or any other basis now or in the future protected by federal, state or local law, ordinance or regulation.
The Museum follows this policy in all terms and conditions of employment including, without limitation, recruitment, hiring, testing, training, certification, promotions, demotions, terminations, performance evaluations, leaves, and use of Museum facilities.
The Museum expressly prohibits any employment-based retaliation against anyone who brings a complaint of discrimination or who assists the Museum in the investigation of a complaint of discrimination.