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ART and 2.0

April 23, 2009

Here is a great article from the New york Times about how the art world is catching up.

To Ramp Up Its Web Site, MoMA Loosens Up

Published: March 4, 2009

The New York times

Five years is not a long time, in some things. But in dog years and especially in Web years, it can be a stretch. So when the Museum of Modern Art began working in late 2007 to renovate its Web site substantially for the first time since 2002, it knew that it wouldn’t be just updating a few pieces — it would be entering a whole new era.

The era is one in which blogs, photo sharing, social networking, bookmarking and many other ways of creating art-loving online communities have become a much more important part of museum Web sites, led by places like the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (, the Brooklyn Museum and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which is so user-friendly that its site ( contains a dashboard-like display with up-to-date information, like the size of the museum’s endowment, its daily energy use and the average time people spend looking at its Web pages.

MoMA’s new site, which makes its debut on Friday, is an almost complete reconstruction of how the museum presents itself online. It features livelier images from its collection and exhibitions, increased use of video and the new interactive calendars and maps. But more important, the museum wants the site to transform how the public interacts with an institution that can sometimes seem forbidding and monolithic.

“The notion of opening up the museum’s singular voice is really the driving thought behind this,” said Allegra Burnette, creative director of digital media for the museum, who has been working on the redesign for a year and a half. She added, “We’re opening the doors, though not necessarily throwing them open.”

The site, which she and other MoMA officials stress is a work in progress, will now include what its designers call a “social bar” at the bottom, which when clicked will expand to show images and other information that users can “collect” and share after registering for a free account at the Web site ( A user could build a portfolio of Walker Evans photographs or Elizabeth Murray paintings and send them to friends, Ms. Burnette said. The site will also eventually make it easy for users both casual and scholarly to trace lines of interest, digging up more information about works from publications and curators, she added.

In many ways MoMA, which has never had an ongoing blog, is catching up to a museum world that has been finding many ways to attract and share information with art lovers who may never set foot in the museums. The Brooklyn Museum, for example, which has maintained lively blogs since the summer of 2006, provides a detailed stream of traveloguelike pictures and words to keep viewers current on the progress of its archaeological work in Egypt (

For the last two years MoMA has been branching out energetically elsewhere on the Web, creating a YouTube channel, a Facebook page, a Twitter feed (something the Metropolitan Museum of Art and many other museums also maintain) and a Flickr group, where museum visitors can upload their pictures, some of which will end up on the museum’s Web pages. The new site includes an area called MoMA Voices that Ms. Burnette and Steven Peltzman, the museum’s chief information officer, see as a place where blogs will begin to form and where new ideas about how to have conversations will grow organically….

…Read the whole article at

Original article at;

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