M O W A *

Amy Stone proclaims at family dinner that there should be a museum on the web dedicated to art done exclusively for the web. Her brother in-law doesn't think it's the worst idea he's ever heard.

Stone convinces partner, Mark Kaproff, that the Museum of Web Art must exist, and that they're the ones who should do it.

Virtual Groundbreaking...
Domain name and server space are procured, a logo is born, and the Amy Stone collection of buttons and wallpaper designs are the first exhibits to go up.


"Floorplan," navigation, and signage are addressed, with emphasis on the questions, "How many "steps" (mouse clicks) will a visitor take before losing interest or getting irritated?" and "How much of an environment can be created without sacrificing efficiency or employing non-standardized technologies?"

Stone and Kaproff agree that MOWA needs a "human element" in order to create an appropriate museum atmosphere. Sara, Ben, and Lillian become first MOWA volunteers, and are put on a rotating, 8-hour shift in the Visitor's Center. The order of their appearance also changes every month, in deference to both the visitor and the volunteer. Each are given their own email address in order to respond directly to visitors' questions.

"Construction" begins on the Kids Wing, signage is implemented, and Dot is hired as the Fun Activities Director.

An Exhibit doorway is created that will either symbolize or depict the actual (virtual) exhibit space, depending on the exhibit. A doorway template maintains dimensional uniformity, while inviting a unique, "inner" treatment.

Virtual brochures are designed and implemented in the Visitor's Center.

The sponsorship issue is addressed relative to impact on layout and design. A generic sponsor logo is created (to avoid incurring lawsuits) with simulated link, to demonstrate how sponsorship would function within the MOWA environment.

Consideration is given to creating press release announcing completion of MOWA scale model. This idea is eventually abandoned, as the scale model looks more like the Amy Stone Gallery than a museum dedicated to web art from around the globe. Instead, focus shifts to the procurement of art.

Not surprisingly, great art is hard to find, particularly in a world where the great artists have yet to establish names for themselves. MOWA will help change that.

The "Counters" exhibit opens in the East Gallery, featuring the work of Ashley Cheng and Yoshiaki Hagihara.

An "Installations" exhibit opens in the North Gallery, with four interactive pieces by Aaron Calhoun.

The work of Nathan Robinson, Adriaan van Roeden, Corey Marion, and Malte Maas is added to the Counters Exhibit.

Debbie Salemink's "fod" goes on display in Installations.

Red Sky Interactive approves display of award-winning "Pong" banner for Hewlett Packard.

Anonymous, Untitled work from MetaDesign's FUSE98 Lab becomes sixth installation.

iXL, Rubin Postaer Interactive, and Entropy8 Digital Arts' Auriea Harvey contribute animation for upcoming "Classic Promos" exhibit.

First visitor arrives from search engine, and Stone screams. The "/robots.txt" document that was supposed to disallow automated site indexing by robots and spiders has failed, mainly because "someone" forgot to upload it to the server.

The Classic Promos Exhibit opens in the West Gallery.

01 by goes on display in the Installations Exhibit.

Seven countries are now represented in the virtual gallery space of MOWA: China, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, United Kingdom, and United States.

The Gateways Exhibit opens in Linker Hall, specifically designated for exhibits defying categorization. The splash pages of frogdesign, Auriea Harvey, Michael French, and iXL comprise elements of motion, change, and interactivity.

Nofrontiere approves the display of Ali Szadeczky's "Janek Section" as an interactive installation.

November / December
MOWA receives an "A+" from Education World for grades 9–12, as well as three diamonds from ArtQuest and the Medaille d'Or for Web Site Excellence.


Otis College of Art and Design contributes animated "O" to the Classic Promos Exhibit.

MOWA visitors can now get online help.

The "Janek Section" installation goes on display in the North Gallery.

The Kids Wing is remodeled in honor of new work, including two musical stories from "The Lizzys" series, by Susan Finley, with music by Tom Beyer; and the "Polychromatic Millipede" by Rachel Hefter.

Academy of World Wide Web Arts and Sciences (AW3AS) approves display of splash page in the Gateways Exhibit, right before "going dark."

MOWA becomes Project Cool Sighting of the Day for February 28th. Also becomes Yahoo! Entertainment/Arts and Humanities Cool Link, and is awarded Best of the Cool by CoolStop.

MOWA is nominated by Archives & Museum Informatics for best Online Exhibit for 1999 (fellow nominees include: Guggenheim Museums, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Smithsonian Institute, and Walker Art Center, among others).

Kids Wing is remodeled in honor of new arrivals feautring Susan Finley's musical stories, "The Lizzys," and Rachel Hefter's fanciful and interactive "Polychromatic Millipede."

MOWA is awarded Britannica's Site of the Day for March 8th and wins the Chicago Internet Review Bronze Trophy.

Giga's extraordinary "Millennium Diary" goes on display in the Time Exhibit in the East Gallery.

Fischer West contributes two interactive pieces from his "Zen" collection, to go on display in the Installations Exhibit and Kids Wing.

The time to address some of the undeveloped areas of the museum has finally arrived: The Information Exchange and the GiftShop are given their own "coming soon" splash pages; the courtyard is still having difficulty overcoming some of its initial obstacles.

The integration of Kelly McLarnon's superb "Ivy League" textile in the Wallpaper Exhibit results in a facelift of the entire exhibit. Ahhhh, much better!

The Gateways Exhibit expands to include the fluid and captivating opening credit sequence of "The Winter 1999 Further Maturation Exhibition for The Remedi Project" by renowned Flash expert Josh Ulm.

Adrian Cotter's "Nonsense" becomes newest "Fun" piece in the Kids Wing.

MOWA is featured as a USA TODAY Hot Link for the Weekend Edition beginning April 23!

May / June
The Wallpaper, Too Exhibit opens in the South Gallery featuring kinetic textiles for the Web page. This is momentous from the standpoint that only the newer browsers (4.x) can support an animated gif as a background image, and many will undoubtedly think: Just because you CAN, doesn't mean you SHOULD! A forum for open debate will soon be online in the Information Exchange.

The Tech Museum of Innovation features MOWA as a Top Ten Website for May, 1999; and HOW Design gives MOWA top billing on its "Top Links" page.

MOWA gets its first real press coverage from Wired.com, the Boston Globe, and Andover.Net, and is STILL HERE! :}

MOWA makes Yahooligans! HyperSite for June 26th. The write-up is so glowing, Stone has to convince her mother in-law that no palms had been greased at Yahoo!. Unfortunately, the editorial is so complimentary that the actual MOWA experience may likely pale in comparison.

The Information Exchange finally opens on July 1, offering visitors the opportunity to send electronic MOWA cards or participate in discussions.

A minor redesign and a major restructuring of the Main Entrance makes for a cleaner, less "scrolly" page. Mouseover treatments on the arrows enable people to see status-bar readouts of relevant exhibits and attractions (browser permitting).

Two new wallpaper patterns go up in the Wallpaper Exhibit, one by David Siegel (of Killer Websites fame), and the other by a MACHINE!

The Gateways Exhibit gets two new additions: Ruder Finn's animated, Shockwave-driven, audio masterpiece; and Venu Interactive's flawlessly stylish and elegantly playful splash creation.

September / October
A long summer culminates with two features on CNN Headline News. MOWA representatives Kendra, Lillian, and Dot are on national television, along with Ruder Finn Interactive's splash page, iXL's animated identity, Adrian Cotter's "Nonsense," Rachel Hefter's "Polychromatic Millipede," and Thomas James Allen's animated wallpaper, "Spiral."

Tricia MacArthur's elegant "Blue Silk" background, which was originally discovered at the highly acclaimed "Learning About Leonardo" website, is added to the Wallpaper Exhibit.

Antropica's stunning, galactic splash page for Capstar Broadcasting goes on display in the Gateways Exhibit.

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