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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Art App-reciation: Fostering Engagement and Reflection in Museums through a Social-Mobile Application

Orit Shaer, Wellesley College; Jim Olson, Davis Museum and Cultural Center; MaCherie Edwards and Consuelo Valdes, Wellesley College, USA


This paper presents the design, development, and evaluation of ARTeMuse, a social mobile application for helping beginning viewers to engage with works of art. ARTeMuse has been tested in the Davis Museum and Cultural Center, an academic fine-arts museum on the Wellesley College campus. Our findings indicate that beginning users who tested the application were more engaged with works of arts while using ARTeMuse than they were when viewing the collection without the application. As a result, they spent significantly more time with each work. Users were eager to use ARTeMuse and expressed their satisfaction about learning new ways to think about art. Through the development and evaluation of ARTeMuse, we seek to investigate how mobile human-computer interaction paired with social networking can help museums to redefine the museum experience for beginning viewers.

Keywords: ARTeMuse, mobile human-computer interaction, social networking

For Kids

social networking
user-generated content
Web 2.0

For Kids is a new section of the Whitney's web site ( that has features for engaging a young, web-savvy audience—kids ages 8-12—with art and artists. This new section of the site will launch in early 2011. A beta version of the web pages is available for viewing at

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