This month, the Chapman University Art Collections Department is excited to announce that we are featured as a case study on the home page for Gallery Systems, a software company that provides industry-leading art collection management systems. The company is known for their flagship product, The Museum System (TMS), and they work with over 800 institutions around the world, including Getty, LACMA, The Metropolitain Museum of Art, Tate, and Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien. To date, Gallery Systems has only highlighted a small handful of international museums and galleries in their case study features; we are humbled and proud to be recognized for our creative use of TMS in a university setting.


Student tour discussing Roslyn Mazzilli, OBID (Oh Boy I’m Dancing).

The article “Chapman University Art Collections: Cataloging a Museum without Walls” emphasizes the uniqueness of having an art collection spread throughout campus, rather than being centralized in one location, and the creative organizational solutions that this demands.

In 2013, Chapman began working with Gallery Systems to find a modern and sustainable system for cataloging it’s ever-growing collections of art. A few years later, collections registrar and preparator, Natalie Lawler, spearheaded the implementation of Chapman’s first comprehensive, industry-standard collection management system, TMS. For the past year, Natalie and student workers in the Art Collections Department have been perfecting and clarifying their databasing strategies with this powerful software.

Through an individually-customized use of TMS, we have been able to better manage the collection and increase efficiency. This has facilitated the development of new exhibitions and enhanced the curatorial process. The best part of our use of TMS, though, is how much it benefits the students. Being able to quickly identify where pieces are located has facilitated collaboration with different departments on campus and allowed faculty to incorporate works from the collection into their class assignments. Art Collections student workers have also greatly benefited from the experience of using TMS: many major institutions, including our local friends at Bowers Museum, also use TMS, and having the opportunity to learn how to use it while an undergrad provides student workers a leg up when applying for future internships and jobs. Furthermore, TMS has facilitated student worker research of the collection, which is used for blog posts and exhibitions that the whole Chapman family can enjoy.



Student tour discussing Michael Reafsnyder, Floating.

Be sure to read the full article here:

And we hope you are as proud as we are that during this month, every visitor to Gallery System’s website is immediately greeted by a cheerful picture of our sunny campus and one of our stunning outdoor sculptures by Tony DeLap.


Featured image: Tony DeLap, The Levitation of the Enchanted Princess, Escalette Permanant Collection of Art.