Posted: Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Paintings Uncovered is an interactive interface that allows users to explore the hidden layers found beneath a painting's surface. Painters frequently paint over paintings for various reasons—even sometimes with a completely different subject. One reason for this may be that the original painting didn't sell, so the artist reused the canvas to create an entirely new painting. Examining the underlying surfaces of paintings through powerful technology provides valuable information about the artworks.
Posted: Wednesday, April 29, 2015
"What's next for museums?"
That was the question on hundreds of red tote bags seen on the streets of Geneva last week during the MuseumNext conference, which took place April 19–21. Panelists addressed the question from various angles, from finding new models of financial support to understanding leadership styles within museums to accommodating wearable technology in the galleries. As the representative from the Met, I had the opportunity to meet museum professionals from cultural institutions of all types and sizes, including a colleague from Liechtenstein (which means I've met 0.0027% of that country's population).
Posted: Friday, April 24, 2015
In a previous post, we introduced a beta release of the Audio Guide web app, giving users access to over sixty hours of Audio Guide content in ten languages. Since then, we've considered how to broaden the opportunity for users to engage with the Audio Guide further. Naturally, the next step was to add the ability to access tours and to do so in the user's preferred language.
Posted: Thursday, April 16, 2015
The Met's Collection Online lets viewers browse through thousands of high-quality images of the Museum's vast holdings. Another rich depository of artwork images is the Museum's group pool on Flickr (a popular site for sharing photographic albums, with a free terabyte of online storage), where visitors post their own photos taken while touring the galleries. In this study, I took a closer look at what visitors were photographing and how they shared their photos online.
Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015
As mobile technology is developing, the boundary between the physical and the digital user experience is rapidly disappearing. Visitors who enter enclosed public spaces such as galleries, malls, airports, and museums are expecting to receive a mobile experience that is highly relevant, convenient, and delivered in a timely and seamless manner.
Posted: Thursday, March 26, 2015
Beginning in 1933, in the shadow of the Great Depression, the Museum began an initiative known as "Neighborhood Circulating Exhibitions." This experiment was a collection of traveling exhibitions, composed exclusively of Museum-owned objects, to be exhibited in the neighborhoods of "certain groups in the city's population that have not thus far had the adequate opportunity to take advantage of the Museum's services" (The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Vol. 28, No. 11, Part 1, Nov. 1933, 183). The works were to be exhibited, at the expense of the Museum, in neighborhood spaces such as settlement houses, branches of the New York Public Library, municipal offices, and schools.
Posted: Friday, March 6, 2015
Each semester Media Lab works with a group of college and graduate interns, exploring the ways that technology impacts, and is impacted by, the Museum experience. Media Lab interns are encouraged to think outside of the box, to engage deeply with the Museum's staff, collection, and visitors, and come up with novel prototypes that encourage conversation and spur new thinking about the relationship between contemporary digital practice and centuries of artistic tradition. At the conclusion of the internship, participants present their projects to the public at the Media Lab Expo. Visitors can try out hands-on demos and talk to the creators themselves about their work and ideas.
Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2015
We are four interdisciplinary artists pursuing Master of Fine Arts degrees at PIMA, Brooklyn College. From January through May 2014, we were in residence at the Met's Media Lab, working in collaboration with five artists over the age of sixty who live and work at the Westbeth Home to the Arts in New York City's West Village. Together we created "Metaverses"—an augmented-reality tour of some of the Museum's collection.
Posted: Monday, February 2, 2015
When I joined the Met as Website Editor in 2006, the Artwork of the Day feature—which appeared on our old website's "splash page"—was limited to a small set of preselected, curatorially approved works of art. I felt we had a great opportunity to change the process. Why be limited to a small number of works when the Museum's collection is so vast? And why not tie the picks to actual events, either current or historic? That first year, I even included special birthday picks for my friends and family. These days, I select works that relate more broadly to historic and current events, holidays, artists' birthdays, Museum milestones, and even the weather forecast.
Posted: Monday, January 26, 2015
Hidden behind the galleries, unseen by visitors, lies a veritable city within the Museum's walls. In support of the Met's buildings and daily activities are highly skilled, highly dedicated tradesmen, and our many workshops see the tireless work of carpenters, engineers, lampers, painters, plexi-workers, plumbers, riggers, roofers, landscapers, electricians, machinists/millwrights, and locksmiths. The product of their work is knowable by the constant fine-tuning of our galleries and buildings, and by the comfort of visitors and employees who spend their days at the Museum. Their work has gone on without much fanfare, but without their expert efforts the Museum would struggle to subsist.