My name is Maddie Armitage and I am the ARTLENS Gallery Fellow at the Cleveland Museum of Art. I would like to Introduce ARTLENS Gallery—a finalist in the groundbreaking category.
In September of 2017, the CMA revealed the second iteration of Gallery One, called ArtLens Gallery. This was an extensive, complex project completed in many stages and I will cover as much content as I can.
ARTLENS Gallery has five main components. ArtLens Studio allows visitors to create and play using gesture-based games. The Beacon displays live visitor-generated content from ArtLens Studio and photos from ArtLens Exhibition.
The reengineered ArtLens App uses 240+ iBeacons throughout every gallery to provide responsive wayfinding. Through Bluetooth, it’s integrated with all interactives in ArtLens Gallery. The iconic ArtLens Wall is a live digital visualization of all artworks on view and continually grows as enriched content is added by curatorial.
Finally, the featured space, ArtLens Exhibition intertwines masterworks of art from across the CMA’s collection with 16 innovative digital interactives. The big idea of ArtLens Exhibition is to provide an “Art history 101” course by exploring art through gameplay.
ArtLens Exhibition is the second iteration of the renowned Gallery One. we learned that touchscreens in front of artworks were a barrier to understanding and distracting from the art-viewing experience. Listening to this visitor feedback, we physically moved the art to the foreground. The space operates so that as you enter, you see an artwork and in the same sightline you also recognize its projected image.
The goals for ArtLens Exhibition are to:
Demystify the collection Non-traditional, first-time visitors Minimize intimidation Create a stronger connection Look closer, dive deeper Encourage engagement
ArtLens Exhibition is grounded in rigorous pedagogy. Each artwork in the space is associated with two games in different themes. The themes are composition, symbols, gesture and emotion, and purpose.
While Gallery One was a starting point, one of the most important and enhanced features of the ARTLENS Gallery is an updated backend system including a master API, middleware and web tools.
Finally, preliminary data collection has shown that 88% of visitors felt more comfortable looking at art in ArtLens Exhibition while 70% of visitors reported looking at art closer.
Rather than continue describing the ARTLENS Gallery experience, here is a quick video that really showcases it. Enjoy and thank you for your consideration.
Museums and the Web
Vancouver, Canada, April 2018
The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA)
Finalist: Groundbreaking Category
WALL and APP
Introducing the ARTLENS Gallery
Original Gallery One
Screens in the foreground
Art in the foreground
ArtLens Exhibition: Goals
• Demystify the collection
• Non-traditional, first-time visitors
• Minimize the intimidation of the art
• Create a stronger connection between
visitor and art
• Look closer, dive deeper, and begin a
relationship with the collection
• Encourage engagement on a
personal, emotional level
Backend System Updated
• Flexible and fully integrated
• Updates are immediately visible
in all outward-facing interactives
• Adding new artworks or
interactives is simple and
• Master API
• New middleware and web tools
Prototype Evaluation Findings
Gallery One 2.0 Prototype Testing Second Round, January 12 –16, 2017,
Elizabeth Bolander & Hannah Ridenour, Office of Research and Evaluation, Cleveland Museum of Art
Average of 6.5 artworks viewed by visitors.
88% felt more comfortable looking at art.
70% reported looking at the art closer.
~9 min per visitor of engagement!
(Some 20 min!)