Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Metropolitan Museum's new Greek and Roman Galleries New York Times
The Met has a new (old) look! And so does interactive exhibiting.

First, this Flash app has some of the best panoramic photo presentation we've seen. These panoramas were big awhile back, and use seems to have fallen; here the Times makes great use of the media in a way that will make you really want to up and visit the renovated Met.

It's almost easy to miss, but catch the overview narrative by critic Michael Kimmelman. He explains how the redesign is intended to work. And here, too, is something exciting for those of us who bemoan the lapse of classical education for what is overly fashionable each day. As Kimmelman says, the layout is not politically correct. It follows Rome in a chronological progression. Its place in the museum makes clear that these are the foundations of our civilization.

And the design takes the space converted in 1954 to a restaurant back to a study of the classic images of civilization.

This isn't VR, and that makes it great. You can't zoom, or walk about as you like. You do get great pictures, and the interactive gives just enough of the space and the individual objects (some with narration) to really make you want to visit. At least I do.

By the way, this approach contrast greatly with that of the Met online itself. Their website, while surely informative to scholars and art lovers, is just overwhelming. The whole of their collection must surely be online. The Timeline of Art History--well, they mean it. It's all of art history. Whew!

Play with the Times interactive, then go see for yourself!

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