Museums and the Web

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

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Eye Level

Smithsonian American Art Museum

As our traditional organization adjusts to changes in how we communicate with our various constituents (from art lovers to researchers and scholars), Eye Level has become a model for creating a continuous stream of new online content quickly and efficiently. In addition, our blog has helped attract new audiences to our Web sites and museum, such as twenty and thirty year olds. Eye Level has become a venue where we can highlight 'behind-the-scenes' activities, which support our exhibitions and collections. Museum staff are often come to us with these stories, wanting to write about what they do. Examples include a post written by our lighting designer on how he lit the Joseph Cornell exhibition ( and one written by one of our exhibitions designers on how he designed the galleries for the show 'Kindred Spirits: Asher B. Durand and the American Landscape' ( . One of the goals of Eye Level is to fashion a place where users can interact with our content. We were very excited recently, when, after posting a user-generated photograph (taken from our flickr pool) of one of our folk art pieces made of bottle caps ( , we discovered a reader was so inspired by SAAM's artwork he made his own from the same material and wrote blog post on it ( . This is just the type of interaction we were hoping for when we first envisioned Eye Level.

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