Balancing Art and E-commerce for the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust

Our tasteful website spoke with multiple audiences, sold and showcased artworks, and integrated seamlessly with purpose-built e-Museum software

The Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust was established by the Scottish artist Wilhelmina Barns-Graham in 1987. The Trust enhances the reputation and understanding of one of Britain’s most significant 20th century artists.

Supporting and Celebrating

Through Barns-Graham’s legacy, the Trust supports young people to fulfil their potential in the visual arts. Alongside this activity, the Trust, through exhibitions, research and publications, celebrates the artist’s life and work.

A Website fit for an Artist

A new online presence was required; a multi-functional website to celebrate the artist, publicise the Trust and host a high-quality virtual museum.

Understanding that only a visually-splendid site would do, we got to work designing a beautiful and functional creative space – one that would operate also as a fully functioning e-commerce portal.

Telling Two Tales

The website would recount both the story of the Trust and of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham herself. It would be important to present these stories separately. In telling the artist’s story, an attractive Chronology feature was suggested.

Showcasing the Collection

To display the works at their best, a built-for-purpose system would be integrated into the wider website. Our experience told us that the eMuseum platform would be a fantastic fit.

Enabling e-commerce

With quality merchandise to offer, the Trust asked us to include a shop feature. It was crucial that this element maintained the high standard characterising the rest of the site.

Announcing Events

Finally, in continuing the artist’s legacy, the site would offer an events calendar. This would encourage repeat visits and confirm the webspace as the natural port of call for those interested in the Trust and the artist.

E-commerce Functionality, Integration with E-Museum and Chronology Feature

42% Increase in Users, 32% Increase in Traffic to the Art Collection, 14% Increase in Transactions.

Appreciating the Artwork

Great care was required in uniting the stunning works of art with beautiful, sympathetic website design. We opted for a pared-back, simplistic approach, allowing the bold paintings to speak for themselves.

Presenting a Searchable Collection

Engaging visitors further, we offered an extensive Collection feature. Easily accessible, this component was built on the market-leading eMuseum platform. Categorised via themes and criteria like medium, chronology and exhibiting history, the Collection was fully searchable. The result was an invaluable go-to resource and a real win for both the website and for visitor UX.

Offering Tasteful e-commerce Functionality

With many books, catalogues and prints on offer, Hookson ensured an attractive shop layout was underpinned by robust e-commerce. Items for sale presented in an uncluttered grid system. At purchase, a PayPal-powered transaction provided a simple route to purchase – even for visitors without a dedicated PayPal account.

Delivering Messages

Turning visitors into supporters, strong key messaging was employed to introduce the legacy, the artwork and the values of the Trust. Guiding the user journey: clear calls-to-action throughout.

Content for a Wide Audience

Extensive content including the artist profile, events calendar, shop and funding information ensured the website appealed to disparate visitors. Targets included students, academics, arts professionals, collectors and journalists.

Seamless Integration

Relying on extensive experience of third-party experts and their systems, we worked alongside eMuseum developers. This ensured our interface and eMuseum’s system operated seamlessly. Both components were thoroughly tested prior to launch, guaranteeing smooth journeys across mobile, tablet and desktop devices.

Visit the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust website