'90s Redux: Museums' Early Web Sites Unearthed

Oh, internet, how you've grown.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    LACMA
    Museum Nerd has a list of early '90s web sites from big institutions. On the lofty roster? LA's own LACMA.

    What's forever?

    The sun, the cosmos, time, love, nebulas and, yes, the internet.

    The photo of you with a red plastic cup balanced on your head, from 2002, is probably still floating out there, as are the, er, basic '90s web sites of some of our loftier institutions.

    No judgment, of course: Back in the 1990s, everybody was a newbie when it came to the internet, save a few scientists rockin' the early dial-up scene. (We always picture them in lab coats standing sternly next to a super computer; you, too?)

    And these early museum sites, shared by Museum Nerd, definitely covered the information people needed on places like The Met, San Francisco's own MOMA, and, yes, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

    So, what was LACMA's early site all about? Well, let's say it was dang linky, but so was just about ever portal back in the day. It used the photo above, which is still one of the classics of the Wilshire Boulevard behemoth. (Behemoth said with all affection, of course; LACMA has some magnificent spread going.)

    The words "virtual visit" are used, too. And LACMAweb.

    Smiles. But, please; you know the future will totally cock an eyebrow over the 'net style of now. We say bravo to the designer, who published all of the pertinent museum information in an easy-to-use format. You couldn't say that about a lot of sites of two decades back.

    Wait. The '90s were two decades back? Oof.

    Things evolve, and few places know that better than a museum. Museums are in the business of finding older stuff and buffing it up, for lack of a prettier description, so coming across a bit of a museum's online past charms.

    And LACMA's clearly tickled, too; they've posted the '90s screen grab on various social media sites, and gotten some kindly shout-outs from sister institutions like the Hammer.

    Is this the equivalent of a snapshot of us in denim overalls and a wave haircut surfacing? LACMA, the '90s totally worked for you.

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