Jane Alexander is the chief digital information officer for the Cleveland Museum of Art. As CDIO, Jane is responsible for creating transformative, awe-inspiring, and iterative digital projects with a visionary application of technology in support of the CMA’s mission. With a focus on organizational evolution, Jane leads strategy, concept, design, and implementation of interactive experiences. Jane believes the most important responsibility of a leader is to attract and develop great people, with a commitment to empower staff and get things done.
In 2019, under Jane’s leadership, the CMA launched a comprehensive Open Access initiative, which allows the public to share, collaborate, remix, and reuse high-resolution images of 30,000 public-domain artworks as well as metadata for 61,000 artworks for both commercial and noncommercial purposes. Additionally, Jane has led, from its inception in 2010, the many iterations of what was originally called Gallery One and is currently known as ARTLENS Gallery. This world-renowned multifaceted and innovative experience inspires museum visitors to look closer and dive deeper to establish a connection with the CMA’s extensive collection. Using cutting-edge digital technology, ARTLENS Gallery seamlessly integrates fun and learning while giving visitors skills to enhance their appreciation of the art throughout the museum. Both projects have received numerous national and international awards and have been featured in a wide variety of national publications.
In 2020, while transitioning the museum’s staff to working remotely, Jane led the creation of award-winning online tool sets, moving beyond simply shifting on-site programs to the web and taking the opportunity to think creatively about online interaction by asking, What does the museum of the future’s online experience look like? Under Jane’s leadership, the museum created several API-driven tool sets with virtual visitors’ diverse needs in mind, from remote workers to students, such as ArtLens for Slack and ArtLens AI. And in her 11-year tenure at the museum, Jane has moved the museum to be a data-driven, technologically forward-thinking institution. Since the advent of the pandemic, Jane and her team have monitored analytics weekly for all digital platforms and launched the CMA’s virtual dashboards to share findings globally.
Jane continues to lead the development of in-gallery digital experiences, including Revealing Krishna: Journey to Cambodia’s Sacred Mountain, an unprecedented exhibition that opened in November 2021. The first scholarly exhibition of its kind, Revealing Krishna provides immersive mixed-reality experiences to visitors, using technology alongside exceptional works of Cambodian art to tell the story of the history and restoration of the CMA’s monumental sandstone sculpture Krishna Lifting Mount Govardhan.
Jane is a frequent speaker at local and international conferences and is a member of various boards. Before coming to the museum, Jane developed and directed Columbia University’s acclaimed distance education program and led the development of university-wide resources for instructional technology and methodology. Jane has also worked on several high-profile projects in Cleveland, most notably as the technology director and design consultant to the Frank Gehry–designed Peter B. Lewis Building at Case Western Reserve University and as the virtual CIO to Great Lakes Science Center. Jane holds a BA in architecture and a BS/MS in applied mathematics from Columbia University.