There is lots to explore in the beta release of the Cooper-Hewitt’s new collections portal.
First, check out the way the images are displayed. The thumbnails are giant and all square, but when you mouseover, you see the full image in its original aspect ratio (as I’ve done in that image on the right up there). They use close ups to lead the viewer in, trusting them to click on and explore more deeply objects that interest them.
Secondly, there are about a million ways to explore the collection, including by COLOR! Super fun way to remove a barrier to entry that lots of people who aren’t art historians (like me!) experience.
They have detailed a lot of their process (and have released some of their codes) in this blog post, which is a good read: http://labs.cooperhewitt.org/2013/b-is-for-beta/
And once you’be poked around on the Cooper-Hewitt’s collections portal, consider checking out the Rijksmuseum’s, from with the C-H folks borrowed pretty heavily. The Rijksmuseum’s collections portal is a fabulous resource, fun to explore, and they’ve made high resolution images of their objects available for download under a Creative Commons license. https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/explore-the-collection If you haven’t already done so, make sure to play with the Master Matcher tool to find works that you’re a total match with: https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/mastermatcher