Neighborhood Public Art in Boston
Boston is home to a rich variety of publicly displayed art, spanning from the colonial era up to now. Multiple organizations in Boston are committed to collecting information
on the city’s rich public art, including the Boston Arts Commission, the City of Boston Office of Arts and Culture, the Boston Public Library, the Monument Lab, universities, museums, and individual Boston-based artists. The Boston Research Center aims to consolidate the information from these different sources so that artists, researchers, and community members can easily access, navigate, and add to this
data, which will continue to grow over time. The goal is to engage with the Boston community, creating a platform where Boston community members can all take part in recording and researching the city’s public artwork.
To do this, we developed two main components for our project. One is the Neighborhood Public Art in Boston WikiProject hosted on Wikidata, which is the platform we use to organize the data and is open for all to view, edit, and add to. In addition to being easily accessible to the public, it allows for the organization of multiple attributes for each artwork and artist. These include images, location, dates founded and/or demolished, funding schemes, the material of the artwork, the biographical information of the artists, and others.
Initially focusing on Roxbury, South End, Chinatown, and East Boston, we want to particularly emphasize artwork in Boston’s historically underserved communities and highlight Boston’s rich and diverse history of public art. Learn more about the project at our website, https://publicart.library.northeastern.edu/.