The original space was open December 2012 - March 2017, and relaunched as ARTLENS Gallery in June 2017.
The first iteration of the Cleveland Museum of Art's groundbreaking space blended art, technology, and interpretation to inspire visitors to explore the museum’s permanent collection. It offered something for everyone, from first-time to frequent museum visitors.
Inside the original gallery space, visitors saw real works of art from the museum’s collection, including masterpieces by Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, Viktor Schreckengost, Giovanni Panini, and Chuck Close. Hands-on and technology-based activities offered visitors the chance to explore these works of art like never before. Through fun games and facts, visitors learned how works of art are made, where they come from, and why they are produced.
This space debuted the largest multitouch MicroTile screen in the United States at the time, displaying images of over 4,100 objects from the museum’s world-renowned permanent collection.
The gallery interactives paired seamlessly with ArtLens (now known as ArtLens App), for iPad, iPhone, and Android. Before, during, or after a visit, visitors could enjoy over nine hours of additional multimedia content, including audio tour segments, videos, and additional contextual information. The interactive map in ArtLens app used iBeacon technology to help guide visitors and find works of art with additional content nearby. In an unprecedented combination of technology interfaces, iOS and Android devices could be docked at the Collection Wall, where visitors could save objects from the wall to their device, creating a list of favorites. Favorites could be shared via social media or used to create a custom tour. This feature allowed visitors to “walk” the museum, both physically and virtually from off site. Taken together, this suite of new interfaces transformed the visitor experience by extending the access and creative agency of each individual visitor.
The original experience consisted of ten interactives: the Collection Wall, three interactives designed for children and located in Studio Play, and six interactive displays (lenses). In addition, there was a museum-wide app, ArtLens, and the Beacon located at the lobby entrance, a 4-by-4 array of 55in Edgelit 1080p LED displays. It played a looping, non-interactive program displaying both dynamic and pre-rendered content.
The six interactive stations collectively known as “lenses” featured touch screens that allow visitors to discover information about related artworks placed nearby, as well as engage in unique interactive activities. While all lenses shared a similar home screen layout, each possessed its own theme related to the artwork on display. Information was provided in a question and answer format, and hotspots allowed visitors to find out additional information by touching specially designated areas. Additionally, the touch capability of the lenses enabled visitors the opportunity to have interactive viewpoints that would not be possible in a traditional gallery setting, such as a view of the back of a bowl or zoom in on a painting. The six lenses and their features were:
Interactive Activities in Studio Play