Rob Stein (IMA)

About museums and technology during the conference 'Museums and the Web 2012'.

Robert Stein has served at the Indianapolis Museum of Art since 2006, where he first worked alongside Maxwell L. Anderson in bringing the museum international recognition as a leader for innovation, creativity, and the use of technology. As Deputy Director for Research, Technology, and Engagement since 2010, Stein has overseen a broad segment of the museum’s professional staff, including departments of audience engagement, conservation, libraries and archives, public programs, publishing and media, information technology, and a software development team called IMA Lab. In 2010, he was involved in a comprehensive strategic planning process for the IMA and helped guide a significant reorganization of staff.

In 2009, Stein headed a team of staff at the IMA to create, a niche content portal for digital video about art and artists. Among the largest technology collaborations of museums in recent history, ArtBabble features contributions from 35 important international organizations including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, Museo Nacional del Prado, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Van Gogh Museum among many others. ArtBabble stands out as the first significant effort in the cultural sector to use cloud computing technology in service of cultural history.

In 2009, Stein also founded the IMA Lab, a commercial software consulting arm inside the museum, dedicated to the creation of open-source software for the cultural sector. In addition to the fiscal benefits of the IMA Lab, the museum has also seen significant benefit from being able to use the tools created as part of those efforts given the Lab’s focus on open-source software.

Stein also worked closely with Anderson on initiatives dedicated to promoting ethics and transparency in operating practices. In 2007, he helped launch the IMA Dashboard, the first real-time online museum platform that shared strategic metrics of the organization with the public. The IMA Dashboard has remained an important means for the staff to understand the long-term performance of the museum and is considered a gold standard of museum transparency.

Robert Stein has been appointed as Museum’s Deputy Director of Dallas Museum of Art, effective April 19, 2012.


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