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Godwin-Ternbach Museum To Digitize Its Collection


Phyllis Cohen Stevens
Deputy Director of News Services

(718) 997-5597

Maria Matteo
News Assistant
(718) 997-5593


-- Info on Borough’s Only Comprehensive Art Collection
Will Be Transferred to New Computerized Catalog System --

FLUSHING, NY, August 24, 2007 -- The Godwin-Ternbach Museum’s 3,500-piece collection—including a Rembrandt, a Chagall, several Warhols and rare pre-Columbian artifacts—is going online, thanks to a $90,000 grant awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s museums and libraries.

Amy Winter, director and curator of the Godwin-Ternbach, part of Queens College, says the grant will enable the museum to archive its complete holdings on an updated museum collections management program, a project expected to take five years. Under the grant, the museum will also be able to hire a full-time collections manager to organize and update information on the collection’s holdings of cultural and historical objects.

This documentation process involves many steps: noting the objects’ provenance (history) before they arrived at the museum, as well as their condition, significance and value. All objects in the collection will also be digitally photographed; thereafter images will be uploaded into the new system and entered into a catalog that will be accessible through a redesigned website.

“In all senses, physical and virtual, the documentation process helps us preserve the artworks,” says Dr. Winter. “We also want to sustain their use by providing the public with greater access to the collection. Users include the Queens College and City University of New York communities, the academic and museum communities, and the general public.

“This grant is an educational boon for the museum, for Queens College and for the community,” she continues. “It will assure the success and visibility of the Godwin-Ternbach by increasing public awareness of its role as a steward of art and culture. The award will also afford fuller use of the collection for loan, and expand the public’s opportunity to view the only permanent assemblage of artistic, historical and archeological artifacts in the borough of Queens.”

The Godwin-Ternbach Museum previously received operations and collections assessment funding from the IMLS. In the last two years, the museum has won over $150,000 in other grants, including $35,000 from the Coby and Lily Auchincloss Foundations and $6,500 from the Heritage Foundation’s Conservation Assessment Program to help the museum assess the needs and priorities for preserving and conserving (treating) its artworks. Determining which objects should be conserved and in what order is based on many factors, Dr. Winter explains, including deciding which are most “at risk” and which are most important to the overall collection.

Most recently, the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the Solow Art and Architecture Foundation, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs awarded the museum $15,000 for the exhibition “Spirit and Power in African Art,” which will be on view from October 1–December 15, 2007.

With its 3,500 objects dating from ancient to modern times, the Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College is the only comprehensive collection of art and artifacts in the borough of Queens. The mission of the GTM has grown over time from a teaching museum for the benefit of art and art history students to a museum embracing all disciplines and, increasingly, a broader and more diverse community. All exhibitions and programs are free, including lectures, symposia, gallery talks, workshops, films, concerts, and tours.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit


 Office Information

Deputy Director of News Services
(Position vacant)

(718) 997- 5597

Maria Matteo
Assistant Director of News Services
Queens Hall, Room 270B
(718) 997-5593

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