On January 5, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will launch Connections, a new online interactive feature that highlights the perspectives and insights of Museum staff on works of art in the Metropolitan's collection.
Connections will be presented as weekly four-minute episodes throughout the year on the Museum's website. Episodes are comprised of audio narration and slide shows of the works of art discussed, as well as links to contextual background. Each Connections episode explores a broad theme through the subjective and personal viewpoint of a Museum staff member. Participants will include curators, conservators, scientists, librarians, educators, photographers, designers, editors, digital media producers, technicians, administrators, executive staff, and many other staff.
Thomas P. Campbell, Director of the Metropolitan Museum, states in his introduction to the Connections series: "These journeys through the collection are not driven so much by art history as by broad, often personal themes. Some are playful; some are deeply complex. Here, as works of art are tied together—across time, cultures, and disciplines—we hear our staff's individual responses to these objects, and by extension, introduce new ways to travel through and understand the Met's incredible riches."
"Connections is among the first initiatives of the Met's new Digital Media Department," commented Erin Coburn, the Museum's Chief Officer of Digital Media, "and it exemplifies our efforts to enhance the visitor experience, online and in-gallery, through innovative and engaging uses of media and technology."
The Museum is launching Connections with four episodes, now available online:
Small Things: Associate Director Carrie Rebora Barratt looks for tiny works of art in the Museum's collection.
Virtuosity: Paintings conservator Michael Gallagher talks about the appeal of technical virtuosity.
Maps: Medieval art curator Melanie Holcomb explains how maps help her make sense of the world.
Tennessee: Video producer Christopher Noey describes how various works in the Museum bring to mind his childhood state of Tennessee.
Connections can be found at www.metmuseum.org/connections.
From each online episode, visitors can link to additional information about the works of art: the time period in which they were made, the geographic origins of the works, and where works on view can be found in the Museum's galleries.
New episodes will be posted weekly throughout 2011, including the following features airing later this month:
White: Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton talks about the many meanings of the color white (January 12).
Black: Educator Aimee Dixon describes the depth of meaning found in the color black (January 12).
Religious Art: Curator of drawings and prints George Goldner and curator of medieval art Melanie Holcomb discuss the Museum's responsibilities when showing religious art (January 19).
The Ideal Man: Curator of prints Nadine Orenstein looks for the ideal man in art, from ancient Rome to Hollywood (January 26).
The Ideal Woman: Educator Joseph Loh looks for the ideal woman throughout the Museum's collection, from Queen Victoria to Madame X (January 26).
Many of the Connections episodes also will be available in video format through YouTube, iTunesU, and ArtBabble.
In addition, the Connections series will be featured on the Museum's Facebook page and Twitter feed. The Museum invites audiences to engage further with the works of art and share their responses to the episodes through questions posted on the Facebook page.
Connections was produced by the Metropolitan Museum's Digital Media Department in collaboration with staff throughout the Museum.
A selected Connections episode will be screened in the Museum's Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium on Sunday, January 30, prior to a 2 p.m. public program for the current exhibition Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand. This "Sunday at the Met" program is free with Museum admission and features lectures by Joel Smith, Curator of Photography, Princeton University Art Museum, and Sarah Greenough, Senior Curator of Photographs, National Gallery of Art.
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January 4, 2011