March 6, 2009

Museum of Modern Art Recreates Itself Online; Add Large Social Network Component

The New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has redesigned its website after seven years.

The site,, which debuted today, is, according to Randy Kennedy writing in The New York Times, "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... the museum wants the site to transform how the public interacts with an institution that can sometimes seem forbidding and monolithic."

The site will now include a high degree of social networking: There is a “social bar” at the bottom of the page, 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.

Again according to the Times:
“A user could build a portfolio of Walker Evans photographs or Elizabeth Murray paintings and send them to friends... 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…

The new site includes an area called MoMA Voices that [museum officials]… see as a place where blogs will begin to form and where new ideas about how to have conversations will grow organically.

Museum visitors with cellphones will be able to text the number associated with an artwork to an area on the museum’s Web site. In this way they can later review and organize what they have seen.”

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