BOSTON, MA.- The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
announced the launch of a newly designed exploratory website. In addition to structural and navigational improvements, the museums new site aims to engage online visitors with meaningful explorations that reflect the unique, multi-sensory experience of a physical visit to the Gardner Museum and its interior courtyard and galleries.
The sites landing page, organized around the historic galleries and floors of the museum, showcases a mosaic of images leading to a selection of almost 300 objects of art, which can be understood through traditional and historic material. The design for the site diminishes the concept of a traditional homepage by inviting visitors to virtually Explore the galleries and collection: to listen to audio; to read archival excerpts; to look closely at works of art; and to discover different perspectives on the collection or new work by visiting contemporary artists. This exploration improves accessibility to the Gardner Museums collection and encourages connections across museum departments, programs, and media through a user-driven path that provides a personalized web experience.
Our first priority is to complement, facilitate, or inspire the firsthand visit, and we hope that our website with all of its rich content will assist prospective and returning visitors as they prepare to be inspired by the collections and galleries, says Anne Hawley, the Norma Jean Calderwood Director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
The new website at www.gardnermuseum.org was launched earlier this month on March 8, 2001 for a quiet phase, following a year of conceptual planning and design work with award-winning web design firm Tender Creative, based in New York. In the weeks since its launch, www.gardnermuseum.org has seen an increase in daily page views of almost 100%.
As part of the redesign of the site, the museums project team worked to develop content that would highlight the Gardner Museums five main programmatic areas: Historic Art; Contemporary Art; Music; Landscape; and Education. These pages include the more traditional collection database, providing basic data (title, description, artist, date, media, culture) and scholarly summaries of current art historical research for approximately 200 collection highlights (representing a 130% increase in content over the previous design). New Contemporary Art pages featuring past Artists-in-Residence and exhibitions are accompanied by an image slide show for each artists residency. A Music Library searchable by musician, composer, and genre builds upon the success of The Concert, the museums free classical music podcast online at www.gardnermuseum.org/music/listen. The new site enhances the integration of on-demand technologies like RSS feeds and interactive features and increases users ability to access information via mobile devices, such as cell phones, for the first time on the Gardner Museum site.