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 hereMW / Encompassing the Globe: Portugal and the World in the 16th and 17th Centuries

Encompassing the Globe: Portugal and the World in the 16th and 17th Centuries


Conference: 
MW2008
Institution: 
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Designer: 
in-house
Why: 

The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery exhibition “Encompassing the Globe: Portugal and the World in the 16th and 17th Centuries” told the story of the unprecedented cross-cultural collaboration that resulted from Portugal’s voyages to Japan, China, the Indian Ocean, West Africa, and Brazil. The 250-plus artworks on display demonstrated this global exchange of ideas, imagery, and techniques.We wanted our online audience to be able to have intimate views of these exquisite works of art, many of them intricately detailed, and get a sense of the vast scope of global exploration during this period. We also wanted to evoke the wonder of discovery, a key theme of the exhibition.Our solution was a combination of Flash and Google Earth. In the Flash component, visitors can closely examine individual works and read about the exhibition’s thematic elements. We used Google Earth to place the artworks in their points of origin, trace some of the key voyage routes, and show the sites of important political, cultural, and geographical events. Visitors can see the art in its historical context, get an immediate visual sense of the incredible accomplishments represented by this age of exploration, and with the powerful Google Earth tool, embark on their own virtual voyages of exploration and discovery.

Nominated By: 
Year: 
2008