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The Real and the Virtual: Exhibitions Online


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The Real and the Virtual: Exhibitions Online. Martin R. Kalfatovic. Exhibits Real and Virtual. Goucher College. CSP 640. 25 April 2011. Online.

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The Real and the Virtual: Exhibitions Online

  1. 1. The Real and the Virtual Exhibitions Online Martin R. Kalfatovic Smithsonian Institution Libraries Exhibits Real and Virtual | Goucher College | CSP 640 | 25 April 02011
  2. 4. Online With the Show! Additionally, as museums have learned, their real treasures are their objects. A picture on a computer monitor does not have the same level of reality, the same gravitas that the same object has when the visitor is standing in front of it. As museums need to deal with this issue when creating online exhibitions, so do libraries and archives.
  3. 7. Online With the Show! The goodwill and publicity that libraries and archives can generate in gallery exhibitions through the social interaction of their collections and visitors should not be underestimated, but neither should the outreach potential of online exhibitions. At the same time, libraries and archives must be careful to resist the temptation to jump on the Internet bandwagon by simply putting up a number of “pretty pictures” and calling it an exhibition.
  4. 9. Online exhibitions are a regular offering from our cultural institutions and are an almost necessary adjunct to traditional physical exhibitions, offering a continuing life to the ideas presented in the “brick and mortar” galleries long after the exhibitions have closed . “Virtual only” exhibitions are also on the increase with libraries, archives, and museums taking the traditional notions of the exhibition and creating interesting, instructive and fun exhibitions that will never be graced by the feet of carbon-based visitors walking through them.
  5. 10. <ul><li>Generally far less expensive than gallery exhibitions </li></ul>Showcase objects that could never be on view in a gallery space Display multiple page openings or leaves of manuscripts
  6. 11. Online exhibitions reinforce the fact that exhibitions need not be limited to museums and large libraries and archives. Libraries and archives have a long history of using the exhibition of materials to promote their collections. Now, with Internet and the ability to create online exhibitions, the constraints of space and time (and to some extent money ) no longer hinder libraries and archives in the creation of exhibitions that will help to promote the institutions and their collections .
  7. 12. Exhibitions = Ideas and Stories <ul><li>Anniversaries </li></ul><ul><li>Notable Events </li></ul><ul><li>Themes </li></ul><ul><li>Treasures </li></ul><ul><li>The Odd and the Unusual </li></ul>
  8. 13. Exhibition Ideas Anniversaries
  9. 14. Exhibition Ideas Notable Events
  10. 15. Exhibition Ideas Themes
  11. 16. Exhibition Ideas Treasures
  12. 17. Exhibition Ideas The Odd and the Unusual
  13. 18. Caveat! Remember, a collection of objects does not make an exhibition! Only when objects are carefully chosen to illustrate a theme and are tied together by a narrative do they become an exhibition.
  14. 19. Developing the Idea <ul><li>Title and theme or principles of the exhibition </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Audience </li></ul><ul><li>Design </li></ul><ul><li>Maintenance </li></ul>
  15. 20. <ul><li>Title and theme or principles of the exhibition </li></ul>Developing the Idea
  16. 21. <ul><li>Purpose </li></ul>Developing the Idea
  17. 22. <ul><li>Audience </li></ul>Developing the Idea
  18. 23. <ul><li>Design </li></ul>Developing the Idea
  19. 24. <ul><li>Maintenance </li></ul>Developing the Idea
  20. 25. <ul><li>Objects are silent </li></ul><ul><li>John Cotton Dana </li></ul><ul><li>Should Museums Be Useful (1927) </li></ul>
  21. 26. <ul><li>What is it? </li></ul><ul><li>When was it made? </li></ul><ul><li>What is it made of? </li></ul><ul><li>Where was it made? </li></ul>What is its function? What is its significance? What is its physical description? How was it made?
  22. 27. Staff Curator Designer Technical Staff Image Specialists
  23. 28. The Real World
  24. 29. The Virtual World
  25. 30. The Online Environment <ul><li>A good virtual exhibition will include the following elements: </li></ul><ul><li>the opportunity to visit the exhibition more than once </li></ul><ul><li>surprise and wonder </li></ul><ul><li>an overall impression of the site on the home page </li></ul><ul><li>use of source material provided by the medium to enhance meaning </li></ul><ul><li>display of images that are best presented on the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>access to normally inaccessible documents and objects </li></ul>
  26. 31. Smithsonian Institution Libraries’ Online Exhibitions
  27. 32. Smithsonian Institution Libraries’ Online Exhibitions
  28. 33. Smithsonian Institution Libraries’ Online Exhibitions
  29. 34. Smithsonian Institution Libraries’ Online Exhibitions
  30. 35. Smithsonian Institution Libraries’ Online Exhibitions
  31. 36. Thank You! <ul><li>Martin R. Kalfatovic </li></ul><ul><li>Smithsonian Libraries </li></ul><ul><li>twitter/@udcmrk </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>