The Städel Museum Frankfurt: using data to create a powerful visitor experience

The Städel Museum Frankfurt: using data to create a powerful visitor experience

February 1, 2016 by Diane Drubay
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To celebrate the museum’s 200th anniversary in 2015, the Städel Museum (Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany) has launched several digital platforms making clever use of data to offer the audience entirely new forms of online access to works and exhibitions when browsing the Städel collection.

BROWSING THE COLLECTION

By artist, by movement, by country… Digitized collections on museum websites are always pretty much organized the same, and navigation never feels really organic and natural, let alone fun. But it can be, as proven by the Städel Museum.
Of course, you can still browse in a classical way, by century, artist or medium, but you can also roam the collection thanks to the extensive use of data, semantic searches and thematic relationships.

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This innovative, cloud-based media data platform allows you to skip from one artwork to another by choosing what they should have in common: the effect it has (scary, irritating…), elements like color or objects, the atmosphere (secret, trust, tension…), the main subject, the part of the collection it belongs to, etc. Along the way, users can save their favorite artwork to a personal space, from which they can choose any two artworks and compare them to see what they share.

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Of course, users can also learn about the exhibits, especially through videos they appear in, like exhibition trailers.
The exhibits platform, launched in the spring of 2015, works on desktop and tablets, is still in beta test phase and users are invited to participate in its development by offering feedback. It is only in German for now, but check it out and click around, the intuitive interface should quickly give you a good idea of how serendipity and a simple interface make browsing through the rich collections of the Städel Museum both fun and creative.

MASTERWORKS IN DIALOGUE

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For its anniversary, the Städel Museum invited other museums like Tate, the National Gallery in Dublin, the Musée d’Orsay or the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza to lend artworks that can create a dialogue with works from the Städel collection.
The digital platform shows what those artworks have in common and how their differ, juxtaposing them also with quotes from artists or the Bible about the artworks to put them in context.

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The Digitorial allows a new type of exploration of the collection thanks to the creation of new bridges with other collections. Visitors can discover artwork in a way they did not expect, but that is still seamless, fun and intuitive.

This type of Grimme Online Award winning Digitorial was also used for the Monet exhibition in Spring 2015. Users could discover details and the story behind masterworks thanks to the platform.

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The Städel Museum’s Digitorials create strong storytelling experiences, keeping users interested thanks to several formats, alternating pictures, text, video and sound. They prove to be great resource for all types of audience, whether you like getting lost in an intuitive experience or you are looking for great quality research material. Talking about which, the Städelmuseum is now creating an Art History Online Course with the Leuphana University (Lüneburg)! We love how data is being put to good use to project the museum’s wealth of knowledge outside of its walls.

Learn everything about how the Städel Museum imagines and sets in life those experiences by grabbing your ticket for We Are Museums 2016 to listen to Axel Braun!