Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

You are herePoints of Departure: Integrating Technology into the Galleries of Tomorrow

Points of Departure: Integrating Technology into the Galleries of Tomorrow

TitlePoints of Departure: Integrating Technology into the Galleries of Tomorrow
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsSamis, P.
Secondary TitleInternational Cultural Heritage Informatics Meeting: Proceedings from ichim01
PublisherArchives & Museum Informatics
Place PublishedMilano, Italy / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
EditorBearman, D., & Garzotto F.
Keywordsichim, ICHIM01

As an outgrowth of its ongoing research in the use of educational multimedia to contextualize and enhance the art-viewing experience, the San Francisaco Museum of Modern Art has just opened the exhibition Points of Departure: Connecting with Contemporary Art (SFMOMA, 21 March?19 September 2001). The exhibition takes off from a number of premises that collectively prototype working methods and delivery platforms for a museum of the future:

  • Cross-departmental curatorial team working in close collaboration with educational technologists to craft visitor-centered messages
  • Six galleries arranged according to themes, not chronology or school (focus on issues important to artists)
  • Multimedia educational resources specifically developed for each gallery, tailored to each theme and inclusive of every work in the show
  • Multimedia educational resources delivered directly into the galleries via iPAQ Pocket PC PDAs and smart tables with touchscreen interfaces
  • User participation encouraged through a Make Your Own Gallery activity which invites visitors to comment and save their own virtual exhibitions
  • Proximity to a broader multimedia overview of 20th century art history through presentation of our Making Sense of Modern Art program on adjacent stations
  • 6-month window for visitor observation and evaluation

The paper will present the distinctive aspects of the Points of Departure exhibition and its development process. It will illustrate the matrix of interactive technologies employed, and strategies for content development, interface design, and physical integration in the museum setting. The conference presentation will also include results of exhibition evaluation to date.