Monday, April 06, 2009

Technology Will Save Art Museums and Art Galleries

Catherine McCormack-Skiba, CEO, founder and Creative Director of views digital displays of members art at her NYAXE Gallery in Palo Alto, CA. Myartspace is one of the first social art sites to have a brick & mortar presence.

With each passing year art museums-- and museums in general-- are finding new ways to attract the attention of visitors. While the days of huge headphones and decade old audio narratives are not exactly over-- there has been advances in recent years. For example, at the Milwaukee Art Museum visitors can explore with the new iPod Touch tour. Other art museums, such as the Baltimore Museum of Art, offer visitors touch-sensitive screens that allow people to take virtual tours of private art collections that they may otherwise not be able to view.
Art museums are also starting to explore what various websites, such as Youtube, can offer. Several are focusing on website improvements in order to create a more interactive experience for website visitors. Needless to say, it is apparent that art museums are striving to connect with a younger-- technology driven-- audience. The public in general expects this form of interaction.
Advancement in techology and presentation is not just a 'trend' to scoff at. There is no doubt that the art museum visitors of tomorrow will be heavily connected to the technology of their day. Thus, I think it is great that art museums are starting to explore the technology of the ‘here and now’ in order to prepare for that certain future. The art museums that fail to adapt may have an uncertain future.
Technology is also changing the way that the mainstream art world presents itself to a tech hungry society. Art galleries are slowly starting to embrace technology as a means of connecting with visitors in ways that were scoffed at a decade ago. Art gallery websites, such as the Scream London website (, are becoming more interactive. As I’ve said before, the art collectors of tomorrow will expect art museums and art galleries to embrace technology. It is great to observe galleries embrace what the public already knows-- great content and an interactive experience is a must.
As mentioned, not long ago certain individuals scoffed at this idea-- partly out of fear that said experience would somehow replaced the experience of viewing art face-to-face, so to speak. That experience-- so far--can’t be replaced, but that does not mean that directors and gallerists should openly avoid advancement. To think-- at one time certain art dealers were reluctant to have a website… times change. A willingness to adapt is the best way to secure the future of any business.
I'm certain that this change in attitude is partly due to the fact that art museums and art galleries-- in general-- are experiencing less foot traffic. Thus, embracing an interactive experience both online and in the physical space is one of the best ways to recapture the attention of the public at large. Can technology save art museums and art galleries? I think so. The fact that so many are striving to connect with the public in new ways is a good sign.

Links of Interest:
Art museums hope technology will sustain interest
Art and the Internet: The Artists Are Here. When will Galleries Participate?

Social Art Site Has Offline Presence: opens NYAXE Gallery in Palo Alto, CA
Take care, Stay true,
Brian Sherwin
Senior Editor
Myartspace Blog on Twitter

1 comment:

PWRUIZ said...

Galleries and museums have perhaps been resistant to embrace new forms of technology due to the perceived security of an old business model, based largely on the premise that visitors will come to them thanks to traditional modes of outreach; marketing and advertising in journals, magazines or critical reviews in newspapers.

Well this is where the technology affords a great opportunity for opening up new modes of engagement…

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