Alive at Gallery One

Corey Martin Zanotti
Dec 20, 2013 2:16AM

I visited Gallery One today at the Cleveland Museum of Art. The experience was really innovative. I as a museum goer was actively curating my way through the museum's extensive collection. It began with the large interactive touch screen wall which displays over 3,800 of the museums 40k+ works. Viewing such a significant body of work really let me dictate what works I had to see vs. galleries that I didn't necessarily need to visit. Placing the iPad we rented on the stand in front of the wall, the wall became our pool of artists and we were the curators. I didn't realize how to create a tour from the works we selected, so we had to manually check what galleries the works were featured in  and go from there. 

The functionality such as scanning works to get points of information was a really great feature, though it only existed for a small portion of the works. 

As a companion, I found the iPad to be very informative. I would often find myself reading descriptions of works from the iPad itself instead of the note cards on the wall. The navigation occasionally hiccuped, which prevented me from quickly accessing metadata about the gallery I was in. 

Points of contention with the UI/UX. The lack of general gallery pages in the iPad was unfortunate, as I would have liked to browse the galleries from the iPad and create a tour on the fly. Instead we got narrow columns with featured works of the galleries. Additionally, the lack of an easy way to export my favorite works and artists was a missed opportunity to really bridge the experience between museum viewing and continued interests. 

That being said, the experience was really awesome. If I went back through the museum, its very likely that I would rent the iPad again. It is by no means a requirement. 

Corey Martin Zanotti