Museums are getting social

A “like” on Facebook can make you an art curator.

This is made possibile thanks to the Frye Art Museum in Seattle that decided to invite the entire internet population to choose the paintings from the collection for organizing an exhibition, called Social Medium.
In total, 17,601 votes were cast by 4,468 citizen curators around the globe – from Bangladesh to Canada to Indonesia to Romania, over a period of two weeks in August on different social media including Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram.
They reversed the classical concept of an exhibition, usually curated by one and seen by many, now is curated by the many those will see it.
“We have very different perspectives on view than we would have had available to us if, for example, I had curated the show. Instead we have the knowledge and perspectives of over 4,000 people from very diverse backgrounds.”  says Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker.
This global way of choosing the paintings, reflects also the Frye’s original mission. Charles and Emma Frye collected paintings from 1893 up until the 1930s, while traveling around Europe and across the states.
Social Medium embraces the spirit of global connection of the Frey’s and make it possible thanks to the technology of today.
The exhibition is also a way of questioning the way art is perceived nowadays. “We’re always looking for ways to deepen the engagements of our visitors and reach beyond our existing audience” says Jeffrey Hirsch, Director of Communications at the museum. Thanks to Social Medium the museum was able to both amplify their message and to get insights about preferences of the public.
The campaign for Social Medium went viral in only a couple of weeks and that’s the demonstration of the power of internet for many issues. First the potential to communicate with many people in a short period of time and second the importance of visual art . They were able to use a new technology to spread the beauty of paintings that are too many times forgotten in museum rooms.
To see the paintings and know more: link