Cleveland Museum of Art opens interactive gallery

Elaina Lin, Theatre and Dance Reporter

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“Look! Don’t touch!”

As for any art museum, this is the solid rule for not having any physical contact with the artwork. Just recently, however, the Cleveland Museum of Art opened a new interactive gallery featuring the use of a multi-touch screen. Located in Gallery One, “The Collection Wall,” is the largest multi-touch screen in the United States. The digital-art wall displays various masterpieces of art simultaneously, and visitors are invited to interact and play around with the digital reproductions of the artworks.

Gallery One is comprised of three major areas: Studio Play, a lively and colorfully conspicuous area for the younger visitors; the main gallery space, which offers the opportunity to learn about the art collections in a creative and fun way; and “The Collection Wall.” Stepping through the interactive gallery, you will find a range of stimulating hands-on activities, incorporating innovative technology into the realm of learning.

By installing these new features at the museum, the learning experience for art has certainly been enhanced. Now, visitors can closely scrutinize the artwork, as well as interact with them. One area in the Studio Play section allows the drawing of lines to be matched to actual works of art in the collection, serving as a unique and interactive way for children to learn the compositions of art.

Another portion of the gallery has 14 themed groups of work, in which six of the museum’s collection have “lens” stations. These “lens” stations are 46” multi-touch screens that provide contextual information and animated activities.

Browsing through the artwork from the permanent collection of Cleveland Museum of Art on “The Collection Wall,” one will feel a sense of satisfaction and delight, distinct from walking through hallways of canvases hung upon the walls.

Looking at “The Collection Wall,” the intricacies and detailed strokes of the paintings are portrayed delicately on the screens. The interactive microtile wall is 40 feet long and exhibits each work of art by theme, time period, type of medium; as well as by popular views of the collection.

Cleveland’s Museum of Art’s new interactive gallery was made possible by the partnership with several other companies, as well as the munificent support of the Maltz Family Foundation, with a donation of $10 million to assist the project, in addition to other grants and donations.