Toledo Museum of Art: Incorporating Technology Interactively

Recently saw a temp. exhibit at the Toledo Museum of Art called Small Worlds.

The exhibit was quaint, and stuck with me because it did such a fantastic job at incorporating technology in the right way: an interactive way. The exhibit is perched on  philosophical statements explaining the reality of our humanity’s small-size in comparison with the grander scale of the universe. To bring it into perspective, the exhibit has chosen tiny dioramas and displays that bring humans’ smaller scale to light, allowing us to see our ‘ourselves’ with distant eyes.

[the exhibit] brings together intricate, charming, disquieting, and thoughtful works of art on the smallest of scales. Each of the engaging works creates an intimate space or environment and shows scenes which are familiar, but perhaps slightly askew. – Exhibit description from the museum website

Smartphones can be incorporated into the experience – in fact, they have to: Some of the dioramas can only be seen with bright light or cameras pointed directly through a tiny hole into a house or tiny structure to see the detail inside. It’s brilliant because it requires interaction. And, while you have your phone out, you can also scan QR codes, tweet brief statements about your experience, & tag yourself alongside friends at the museum on facebook or another social media outlet.

Joe Fig

Joe Fig's Self Portrait. Interior view. 2007.

Lori Nix

Lori Nix's: Church, from The City series. Chromogenic print, 2005

I love that patrons are so engaged in this exhibit! What fun!

Highly Visible Resources for Visitors with Disabilities

Short post, but worth pointing out:

A case study of a good example for highly accessible, visible, and legitimately helpful resources for visitors with disabilities is front-and-center in the Museum of Modern Art’s web presence. Double high-five, MoMA!

This is so important, and I commend them on implementing a variety of resources that can make the museum a more fun, rewarding, educational, and memorable experience for patrons of all types, shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and abilities!

The only thing that might have been even more helpful, is giving a phone number for more specific advice, pointing to times when the museum is less or more crowded (in general) for visitors who might have a preference one way or the other, and pointing these visitors to a way to organize group visits or to correspond with someone on setting up exactly what they need in order to visit & have the same experience as everyone else :)

On the overall, though – it’s a nice, full-frontal tackle of an issue that a lot of institutions and organizations forget about or gloss over! Hip-hip, hooray!