The Metropolitan Museum of Art has launched a year-long web series, 82nd & Fifth, that lets the museum’s curators talk about “100 works of art that changed the way they see the world.” There will be 100 episodes, each two minutes long and posted two at a time on Wednesdays through December 25, 2013. (The title of the series refers to the Met’s address in NYC.)
The initiative is somewhat similar to the BBC’s “A History of the World in 100 Objects,” a very popular 2010 project that explored 100 objects in the British Museum in 15-minute episodes.
“82nd & Fifth is a project that speaks directly to my interest in using the Met’s collection to link historical art and culture to the real world,” Met CEO and director Thomas Campbell said in a statement. “In a sea of constant information, these two-minute, authoritative commentaries are a welcome way to get powerful and compelling content in quick doses.” The objects can be sorted on a timeline or viewed by location in Google Earth.
Each episode features a curator talking over a series of photographs, and then an interactive feature that lets viewers explore the work of art up close (rotating Antonio Rossellino’s “Madonna and Child with Angels,” for instance, or clicking through blueprints for Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Little House Living Room”).
The site is built using responsive design so that it works across devices, and there are some very basic features for sharing the episodes on social media. The Met notes this is its third major online initiative: “The Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, launched in 2000, continues to evolve and expand, and receives more than one million visits per month. Connections (2011) offers personal perspectives on works of art from the collection by 100 Met staff members.”