Documenting Your Collections
Info-Muse Network Documentation Guide

Les guides électroniques de la SMQ

The Info-Muse classification system for fine arts and decorative arts museums

Since 1995, the Info-Muse classification system for fine arts and decorative arts collections has been based on the Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT),1 with the approval of AAT authorities. The system is based on painstaking research work done by Thérèse Labbé, at the time a museology consultant, who successfully completed this job for the Info-Muse Network. Representatives of the David M. Stewart Foundation, the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, the David M. Stewart Museum, the Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts, the Musée des Sœurs grises de Montréal, the Musée du Québec, CHIN and the Info-Muse Network also contributed.

The system was revised again in 2006 to reflect changes relating to the increasing diversity of practices in contemporary art. Thérèse Labbé, researcher-documentalist at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, agreed to lead a discussion group on the subject. Representatives of the Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery, the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec, the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the City of Gatineau were involved in the work.

The two subdivisions of the AAT's "Art" subgroup, namely "Fine Arts" and "Decorative Arts," correspond to the categories in the Info-Muse classification system.

The "Fine Arts" sub-categories have to do with the various artistic disciplines and the "Decorative Arts" sub-categories refer to the various families or groups of applied arts and their use in industry.2

In the following list, the terms preceded by a number represent "categories" and should be entered in the Object Category field. The other terms, which represent "sub-categories," should be entered in the Object Sub-category field.

  1. THE GETTY ART HISTORY INFORMATION PROGRAM. Art & Architecture Thesaurus. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994, 5 vol.
  2. In 1995, this section on Decorative Arts was based in part on the classification system developed for the Musée du Québec. © Société des musées du Québec