Monday, April 6, 2009

How Accessible Should A Gallery's Images Be?

Years ago when I was a Trustee of the Pacific Asia Museum, the director said to me, "Why should we put any of our images on line? Then no one would come and see the real images!" In fact, this is not an implausible response to the idea that you can put ALL of a museum's images online and in high definition, too. Aren't you then rendering your museum superfluous?

Well, it appears over time that museums are becoming much less anxious about sharing their images over the web. The National Gallery here in London has an especially strong web presence with easy availability of even very high resolution images (although the "download" versus "streaming" controversy is present here, too. It's hard to save those hi-res pics.

My exercise here is to use a downloaded thumbnail to refer back to the information about the image, including access to a hi res view at least.

1 comment:

  1. I've also noticed a relaxation with regard to the use of cameras. The Saatchi, for example, is quite permissive about letting visitors photograph objects. Again, the camera doesn't replicate the experience in the museum. And it can turn out an audience who want to have that experience. So we may have a "win-win" situation here.