Posted: Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Met Blogs grew dramatically this year, with hundreds of new posts published across twelve different blogs. As my colleagues and I look forward to bringing you even more content in the year ahead, it seems appropriate to take a moment to reflect on some of the highlights of 2014, and to point out a few posts that you may have missed.
What follows is a snapshot of what we've published—just enough to show that it's been a fantastic year thanks primarily to our willing and generous authors (as of this post we are up to 313 contributors!), a tireless editorial team (Website Managing Editor Anne Dunleavy and Website Editor Michael Cirigliano II), and, especially, to our readers.
Posted: Monday, December 8, 2014
Digital Underground finishes its Met + Parsons Museum Accessibility Workshop series by taking a look at a project that addresses the need for clear, practical guidelines for creating accessible websites. In the end, the participants in this project produced two documents that can serve as guidelines for coding accessible websites and developing verbal descriptions of art objects. We caught up with the team to ask them some questions about their goals in this workshop, and what they discovered about the museum experience while engaged in the workshop.
Posted: Monday, December 1, 2014
In a recent study by LaMagnética, the Spanish digital agency found the Met to be the most influential museum in the world on Twitter.
Posted: Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Today we've launched the public beta version of our new Audio Guide web app. For the first time, visitors can access our 2,601 audio stops, totaling over sixty hours of content in ten languages, from any web-enabled mobile device, be it iOS (Apple), Android, Windows, or Blackberry.
Posted: Thursday, October 30, 2014
For my Media Lab internship during the Spring 2014 semester, I decided to pair 3D models of the Met's structure I received from the Buildings Department with official Audio Guide content. The aim was to construct an immersive virtual-reality tour of the Museum, complete with 3D-scanned models of art pieces on view in the galleries of Greek and Roman Art. This environment, created with the game engine Unity, can be experienced either on a computer screen or through the virtual-reality head-mounted display Oculus Rift.
Posted: Thursday, October 16, 2014
In 1941 the Museum decided to consolidate staff charged with maintaining contact with schools, colleges, institutions of the city, and the Department of Education into one cohesive group, entitled the Department of Education and Museum Extension. This division would encompass general guide services, adult education and lecture programs, curatorial study rooms, circulating exhibitions and lending collections, visual materials (lantern slides, photographs), and the Junior Museum.
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014
This past May, I made a familiar pilgrimage to The Cloisters, the northern Manhattan branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Fort Tryon Park. The Cloisters are a unique treasure of the museum world, featuring beautiful gardens, a stunning collection of medieval art, and majestic spaces. The purpose of my journey was to spend the day with Museum staff testing Google Glass. The camera within Google Glass would be the focus of our exploration on this memorable day, helping my colleagues and I to see the space in new ways.
Posted: Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Last winter I attended a presentation at Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center, where I had previously worked as an intern. One of the speakers was Don Undeen, senior manager of Media Lab at the Met, who presented many interesting projects his Media Lab colleagues were working on that used a number of emerging technologies. Among these technologies were 3D scanning and 3D printing, which I had a particular interest in thanks to my background in video, 3D animation, photography, and sculpture.
Posted: Thursday, September 18, 2014
With the Met App now launched, it's been fantastic tracking the public response to this new digital product. I was delighted that the app was featured as one of the Best New Apps in the AppStore, and that The New York Times praised the app for its "lovely, clean design that begs to be explored." And, in case you missed it, I also enjoyed the playful overview of our press launch in ArtNews.
My favorite article, though, has been Seth Porge's piece for Forbes: "The Met's New App Is Modest, But Could Foreshadow Big Things." Porge reviews the app through the lens of the Lean Startup playbook: "Design a product, work out the kinks, see how people use it, and build and iterate off that;" and argues that "the current version [of the app] can be viewed as the Met's minimal viable product (MVP)."
That's exactly how we see it, too.
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014
Games—and video games in particular—are often consigned to the unfortunate category of "frivolous," thought to sap away valuable time that could be spent pursuing more sophisticated, "useful" activities. I'm glad that the Metropolitan Museum feels otherwise: my focus this summer, as the Solow Art and Architecture Intern in Digital Learning, has been to create game and play experiences to educate and engage kids ages seven through twelve with the Museum and its collection.