Saturday, September 17, 2005

Museums and the Web 2006 conference call for papers

30 September is the deadline for submitting proposals for the Museums and the Web 2006 conference. (This blog shares no relationship with the annual conference and its organisers).

The conference will be held in Albuquerque and you are invited to present a Paper; teach others in a Pre-Conference Workshop or in-conference Mini-Workshop; engage your colleagues in a Professional Forum; or Demonstrate your site.

Review the Call for Participation (PDF) and make your proposal online.

Past papers from all Museums and the Web conferences are available on-line, an invaluable resource.

Andy Warhol and diet pills

Why don't museums have online guestbooks? The Warhol Museum show why with their guestbook.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Online Talks

Two pioneers of online museum webcasting, Tate Online and the Dana Centre, renew their programmes this week.

On Thursday 15 September at 1900 BST the Dana Centre webcasts 'Is it you or I who should be in the asylum?' looking at the social dilemmas and contradictions inherent in our approach to mental illness. You can e-mail in your questions and comments in advance or during the event itself by contacting

On Friday 16 and Saturday 17 September the Tate's live season starts with a symposium 'Open Systems: Rethinking Art c.1970'. There are various sessions, the first starts at 1430 BST and full details of all times are available here.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Rodin Sketchbook

'Young woman in a floral hat', RodinYesterday's image of 'The Thinker' from San Francisco's Legion of Honor Museum got us looking for Rodin features online this morning.

Philadelphia's Rodin Museum owns The Mastbaum Album, a sketchbook which provides the most complete record of Rodin's early draftmanship. As part of the museum's 75th anniversary this year, they created an online interactive allowing everyone to see the whole of the sketchbook in detail.

There are 72 sketches in all and the interactive works intuitively and simply. The flash-only design is unfortunate and unnecesary, betraying its joint development as a kiosk interactive for the museum itself. Credits.

Musée Rodin in Paris has the usual nausea-inducing 360 degree quicktime panoramas and an extensive English language collections section.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Museum Websites in the Life of the Visitor

'The Thinker', Auguste Rodin
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are conducting a website visitor survey in partnership with Florida State University to explore the role museum websites play in the lives of museum visitors:

"We are attempting to answer such questions as: Why do people visit museum websites before going to museums? How do museum websites influence one's decision to visit a museum? How do museum visitors integrate online museum resources into their daily lives? Answering these questions will help improve interactions between museums and museum websites, for both museum professionals and museum visitors."

The survey is accessible from the homepage of the website.

Forgotten Empire: the world of Ancient Persia

Forgotten Empire: the world of Ancient Persia
The British Museum's latest blockbuster exhibition is 'Forgotten Empire: the world of Ancient Persia'.

The exhibition itself has received excellent reviews: 'stunning', The Observer. The website is designed in the British Museum's usual idiosyncratic style.

British Museum exhibition microsites (and their parent website itself) appear more suited to printed marketing material than the online world. Large images dominate, text can't be resized and is often presented in graphics. You can certainly forget about such mundane considerations as unique page titles, meta keywords or descriptions. Give up if your screen resolution is set to anything less than 1024 x 768 pixels.

Buried amongst the ticket information, events listings and restaurant details is a link to a selection of objects featured in the exhibition.

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When you click on an individual item, such as this Gold rhyton, don't miss the show toolbar icon in the bottom left corner of the images, clicking on this allows you to zoom in on a high quality image of the object.