Thursday August 31, 2017
Tags for: Cleveland Museum of Art Celebrates ARTLENS Gallery, a Touchscreen-Free Approach to Understanding Art, with a Family Event on Sept. 10
  • Press Release

Cleveland Museum of Art Celebrates ARTLENS Gallery, a Touchscreen-Free Approach to Understanding Art, with a Family Event on Sept. 10

A visitor creating a self portrait
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The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA), in its latest initiative to use game-changing technology that enhances the experience of its visitors and their connection with the museum’s world-renowned collection, has reimagined its award-winning Gallery One concept with the introduction of the ARTLENS Gallery. Guests have the chance to explore ARTLENS Gallery on Sunday, September 10, 2017, Grandparents Day, during the ARTLENS Gallery Celebration from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Organized in collaboration with Play Day at CMA, the celebration will feature activities for all ages and the opportunity to explore the new ARTLENS Exhibition.

ARTLENS Gallery encompasses and improves upon the original four components of Gallery One, now known under the new ARTLENS name:

  • ARTLENS Exhibition, where masterworks are intertwined with touchscreen-free digital interactives
  • ARTLENS Studio, an award-winning intergenerational technology space where movement and art creation connect visitors to the museum’s collection
  • ARTLENS Wall, a 40-foot interactive wall that displays all of the museum’s works on view
  • ARTLENS App, which connects to all of the Exhibition interactives as well as the Wall, and can be used throughout the museum with responsive wayfinding

In addition, the Beacon, a monumental screen at the entrance to ARTLENS Gallery, displays visitor-generated content including tours, collages, portraits, and poses in real time.

“ARTLENS Gallery entices family members of all ages to play and explore collection works in new and novel ways,” said Melissa Higgins-Linder, director, learning and engagement. “During the ARTLENS Gallery Celebration, we’re looking forward to watching grandparents and their grandchildren making silly, expressive faces and comparing reactions to works of art, and siblings working to replicate the poses of Degas’s ballerinas. Parents can help their children ‘favorite’ and download artworks on the ARTLENS Wall to the ARTLENS app on their smartphones and then turn those selections into a customized family tour. We’d love to see the tours families create become often revisited gallery adventures, much like a favorite story book. In addition to these amazing digital experiences, our fantastic education staff has designed complementary ‘analog’ counterparts to some of the ARTLENS games and art making activities for visitors to enjoy in the atrium. As visitors engage with the activities in both spaces, they can collect wearable buttons to celebrate and commemorate the day.”

ARTLENS Exhibition interactives respond seamlessly to body movement, immersing the user in the experience. The new technology is designed to focus the visitor on the artwork in an unobtrusive way, and strengthen the visitor’s understanding of art through pedagogically rigorous but fun games. Featured works in the exhibition space include both celebrated masterworks from the collection and objects that the public may not know about, in the hope that return visitors will recognize these “hidden gems” on future trips to the museum.

The centerpiece of ARTLENS Gallery is the Exhibition, which bridges the gap between the everyday world of the museum’s visitors and the transformative potential of face-to-face experiences with great artworks in the museum’s collection. ARTLENS Exhibition puts the art in the foreground, using barrier-free and motion-activated interactive projections to create an immersive experience that facilitates engagement with the art on a personal level. Visitors approach and engage with the art, and then activate the interactive games. These games augment visual literacy skills, providing an experience in which visitors can learn more about concepts such as composition, gesture and emotion, purpose, and symbols, inspiring them to look at artworks again with a new understanding.

Two of the 16 new games in ARTLENS Exhibition, Gaze Tracker and Express Yourself, use innovative eye-tracking and facial-recognition technology, transforming the way museums understand how visitors look at art and how visitors understand their own gaze. The other barrier-free interactive games explore the themes of composition, symbols, gesture, emotion, and purpose.

“ARTLENS Exhibition fulfills the promise of how easy interactive technology should be inside any museum,” said Jane Alexander, chief information officer. “While the innovative technology is itself awe-inspiring and fun, the most exciting part of ARTLENS is that we are providing new tools for visitors to look at artwork more closely and gain a better understanding of key concepts. We are using digital innovation to promote individual and social participation, and open an enlightened public discourse to advance our goal of helping people start a relationship with the museum’s collection.”

In addition, the award-winning ARTLENS App is upgraded to unify all four components of the ARTLENS Gallery. Each game station in ARTLENS Exhibition has a dock for visitors to connect a personal device via Bluetooth, allowing them to save to the app all artworks they encounter during a game, along with pictures of themselves during game play, so that they may take this information with them as they explore the rest of the museum.

ARTLENS Gallery is a gift of the Maltz Family Foundation. Additional generous support comes from the Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation. ARTLENS App is a gift of Swagelok. ARTLENS Studio is a gift of PNC.

ARTLENS Gallery Partners: 
Potion — ARTLENS Exhibition
Dome Collaborative — Beacon
Local Projects —ARTLENS App


Contact the Museum's Media Relations Team:
(216) 707-2261