Good morning everyone, my name is Lisa Mazzola and I am the Asst. Director of S&TP’s at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. I am happy to be here as I came very close to not being here and sadly, my very MoMA-esque suit for today is currently still flying over Texas.
If you were to play the game, one of these things is not like the others, then I would be that one thing. For the last 15 years, I have been a museum educator and as time has past, I have taken on more and more administrative responsibilities, but I consider myself an educator first and foremost and these are my students, K-12 teachers and students. Last year we served 50K students and teachers through mainly on site and off site School and Teacher Programs.
We also serve thousands of teachers through online teacher resources that we develop. This a screenshot of MTO, our website for teachers on the right, which is host to over 15 educator guides pictured left. Currently we have over 10K registered users that represent 80% K-12 teachers, but also University, and informal learning sites as well.
Shortly after I began working at MoMA, I realized that in addition to the content I was developing for teachers, there was also great content I other parts of moma.org. Part of my job is to point teachers to these resources through on site, off site programming and also through online webinars.
If you work in Museum Education and you ask teachers what they want most, you often hear images, images, images. This was confirmed for us recently, when we did some user testing of new and existing teacher resources. You can see the results here from that testing. The challenge for us as museum educators is in providing our online audience (teachers and informal learners who can’t necessarily visit the museum) with access to works form our collection. I actually met Erik through this user testing project. I emailed him sheepishly and slightly covertly asking for hi res images. And through that exchange, we talked about how it is not just the image itself is not enough, teachers and students need to be able to see the details. In fact (tell story of jasper johns flag audio stop)
Here is a work, currently on view in our Ab ex NY exhibition. I took this image from MoMa’s online collection. A work like this can be challenging for most viewers especially when you are trying to convey the formal elements; size, scale, color, texture from a digital reproduction.
This is a screenshot from Modern teachers, specifically a lesson about Rothko and Newman.
Here you will see some of the strategies we suggest teachers use for conveying size. But what about scale, texture or color? These are the kinds of things that eat at me in my work. So what I do as a teacher is hunt for resources such as this one (click to flickr). This is one one way we can convey a sense of scale. I am still lobbying for a scale measurement tool for the online collection, but I have yet to win that battle so until then I use tools such as Flickr. How about texture?
What you see here is a screenshot of a video that was recently produced in conjunction with the Ab Ex exhibition exploring the painting techniques of Barnett Newman and Vero Heroicus. In conjunction with Ab Ex digital media and education created a series of videos about 7 selected works in the exhibition. These particular videos are exceptional in their representation of the works, size, color, scale etc. This new site has been a great resources for me in serving my audience. Last week I presented to teachers onsite and online about all of these resources. I will end here with my plea to all of you to encourage, cajole, persuade your institutions to move into the hi res direction so that we can ensure that teachers/learners everywhere can experience these even if they can’t visit our institutions.
Assistant Director, School and Teacher Programs
January 29, 2015
January 29, 2015
K-12 School and Teacher Programs
We currently offer Educator Guides for
teachers. These are lesson plans with
images, image-based discussions and
activities and resources. Based on research
we know these appeal to wider audiences.
We have additional resources available for both
Teachers and Informal Learners.
Both groups want:
• Want more images, large images, & details
• Like to hear the voice of the artist
• Less text
• Want narrated videos
• Smaller, bundled units of text, images, and video
• Links to unfamiliar terms
• Annotated images
January 29, 2015
Vir Heroicus Sublimis
Barnett Newman (American, 1905-1970)
Read students the dimensions of this painting. Ask them to measure it out using
Ask students to close their eyes and imagine that they were standing in front of this
vast red field broken by five thin vertical strips.
Ask students how the size of a painting can affect their viewing experience.
This painting is so large that when the viewer stands close she is engulfed in the
environment it creates. In fact, at Newman's first solo exhibition in 1950, a note from
the artist advised, "There is a tendency to look at large pictures from a distance. The
large pictures in this exhibition are intended to be seen from a short distance."
Associate Educator, Teacher Programs
January 29, 2015