Saturday, November 8, 2014

#SOCIALMEDIUM at the Frye Museum in Seattle


Today, I went to a  “crowdsourced” exhibit at the Frye Museum in Seattle. It was called #SOCIALMEDIUM.

A few months ago people were asked to vote online for their favorites from the Frye’s 232 late 19th- and early 20th-century European painting collection. The vote was taken over a two week period in the form of “Likes” in social media. 17,000 votes were cast from 500 cities world-wide and the most popular paintings chosen for the exhibit. It wasn’t just votes the museum was tallying, but also the comments associated with the paintings. Some of these comments were later added to the descriptive labels posted in the exhibit.
The walls were filled with the names of people who voted
It was an unusual and exciting show combining old ideas and new. The comments added a dynamic touch - modern voices, some knowledgeable about art, some not, “voicing” their opinions about the European masterpieces. To me, the interplay of words and art felt like having a conversation with friends in my living room. Very engaging.
"Woman in Costume" (1910) by Leopold Schmutzler
Social media comments for "Woman in Costume"
 My favorite comment above was made by Lindsey Rae Gjording who said - "Eyebrows for days."

According to the Frye staff #SOCIALMEDIUM is a hit with visitors. It’s helped people engage with the art in new ways. Here are some of the paintings I liked from the exhibit with the associated comments:

"The Birch Grove" (1900) by Ludwig Dill
Comments on "The Birch Grove"

"Landscape with Church Towers" (1912) by Franz-Xaver Hoch

Comments on "Landscape with Church Towers"
The Frye is among the first museums in the country to try crowdcurating. Good for them! If you're in Seattle, I’d encourage you to check out #SOCIALMEDIUM. It runs until January 4, 2015. It’s definitely worth the visit.   

Obligatory Selfie

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