MoMA: Leading the evolution of art museums in the digital space

It’s twenty years since the launch of, but the New York art gallery is not resting on its laurels when it comes to its digital presence.

At the Culture Geek conference in London last week (23 June), MoMA’s director of digital content and strategy, Fiona Romeo, revealed how the institution is constantly analysing the way its digital channels are used, discovering what its users want and adapting to the latest advancements and trends in technology.

We’ve reached a point, Romeo said, where almost all encounters with art happen online. This has led MoMA to move beyond the principle use of digital as a marketing tool to using its website and other platforms predominantly to engage people with art.

“My role was to recuperate digital for curatorial,” said Romeo, “so that MoMA’s digital channels are primary spaces for ideas, visual pleasure and engagement.”

Romeo went on to discuss several examples of how the contemporary art gallery has managed to diversify its audience and create ways for online visitors to meaningfully engage with the collection. A starting point was realising that most of the 16 million people who visit the MoMA website are using an artist’s name as the entry point – not an art term or a specific work. This led to a more artist-focused redesign of the website, featuring Wikipedia excerpts and specially commissioned videos for its thousands of artist pages.

A second point was about the evolution of the gallery’s online collection – an ongoing process for many attractions. MoMA is currently compiling a comprehensive online history of almost 2,000 exhibitions dating from 1929 to today, containing numerous artefacts, documents, programmes and exhibition designs, available for the first time later this summer. “This will be a time machine where every MoMA exhibition is equally accessible,” Romeo said.

Another area that MoMA’s digital media department is especially interested in is video, with mobile video the fastest growing platform for engagement with under 35s. One example of this is MoMA’s movement towards screening more film and video artworks online for limited periods – fitting nicely with the fact that museums are “increasingly event-driven”. MoMA also creates “explainers” which are “short, thematic videos with narration which can be found as a standalone playlist on Youtube, or as 60-second versions on Instagram.”

A major area of interest is live video, Romeo said, boosted by the rise of YouTube Live and Facebook Live.

“‘Real live’ is next,” she said. “Live streaming has really started working for us. They are our most successful videos, whether you are judging them by subscribers, shares, likes or minutes watched. Live streaming events drive online attendance and can reach the right audience who will also come and physically visit the museum.

Inspired by Norway’s ‘slow TV’, a recent experiment was a day-long live stream of Pierre Huyghe’s sculpture Reclining Female Nude (2012) in MoMA’s garden. It had an average view time of eight minutes – exceptional for an online engagement.

An upcoming new series also along the lines of ‘real live’ video will include candid footage of artists at work or installing projects at the gallery. “It’s a series of 30-minute live experiences with an emphasis on materiality and detail,” she said. “Viewers literally feel like they have been dropped into the museum and they’re looking over the shoulder of someone at work. The idea is to give unmediated access to the artists.”

digital  online  video  live video  visitors  engagement  art  MoMA  New York  Culture Geek  MuseumNext 
Related stories

New York MoMA unveils revised US$445m expansion plans

Griffin donates US$40m to New York's Museum of Modern Art

It’s twenty years since the launch of, but the New York art gallery is not resting on its laurels when it comes to its digital presence. At the Culture Geek conference in London last week (23 June), MoMA’s director of digital content and strategy, Fiona Romeo, revealed how the institution is constantly analysing the way its digital channels are used, discovering what its users want and adapting to the
MoMA live streamed a day of footage of Pierre Huyghe’s sculpture Untilled (Liegender Frauenakt) [Reclining Female Nude], 2012 / MoMA
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7517     
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7517     
company profile
Company profile: Polin Group
Market leader in design, manufacturing and installation of waterslides and water leisure developments.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
The family enlisted Keith Summerour to design the resort
"Sam was such a champion for the team, and my goal is simply to carry that same torch"

As Blackberry Mountain resort opens in Tennessee, we find out why the project is a deeply personal one for owner Mary Celeste Beall

Francis graduated as a landscape architect in Belgium. He returned to Lebanon in 1993
"I believe gardens are where the soul rests"

With a focus on desert landscapes and collaborations with Zaha Hadid and OMA, the principal of Francis Landscapes has a deep belief in the power of nature

Manuelle Gautrand
"The cities where you have good cultural buildings and facilities – it’s a way for people to mix, to share the city in a much deeper way"

The French architect and winner of the 2017 European Prize for Architecture tells us why she is determined to surprise

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
Marianne Shillingford
"The technology involved in paint is extraordinary"

Used cleverly, colour has the power to influence how people use the spaces they inhabit, says the creative director of Dulux

SHL managing director Sanne Wall-Gremstrup (right) and Perkins+Will CEO Phil Harrison
"Most clients are very focused on how buildings are used and experienced as the primary design driver"

The MD of Schmidt Hammer Lassen and the CEO of PerkinsWill tell us why their merger will help create smarter buildings driven by human behaviour

The Lingang Bird Airport scheme will see a wetland sanctuary and visitor centre created on reclaimed land
"Funding woes and murky timelines are common problems. It can be easier to make a difference one small project at a time"

From parks designed to mitigate the effects of flooding to warming huts for one of the world’s coldest cities, these projects have been designed for increasingly extreme climates

cladkit product news
Tom Dixon collaborates with Prolicht to launch CODE lighting range
The product has three LED light sources: Dot, Dash and Grid
Megan Whitby
British designer, Tom Dixon, and Austrian architectural lighting specialists, Prolicht, have collaborated to unveil a new lighting range. Called CODE, ...
Metalline transforms London hotel with bespoke aluminium fins
The aluminium fins will form the façade of the upcoming Minories Hotel in Aldgate, London
Lauren Heath-Jones
Metalline, an architectural metalwork specialist based in the UK, has created a range of bespoke 3D twisted metal fins for ...
Barr + Wray to launch space saving hammam concept
Light shines through a striking central chandelier to create a feeling of movement
Katie Barnes
Smaller footprint. Maximum theatre. Those are the two main features of a new hammam concept being developed by wet spa ...
cladkit product news
Daniel Svahn creates furniture collection using repurposed table tops
The Goodies But Oldies collection features three pieces made from repurposed MDF table tops
Lauren Heath-Jones
Daniel Svahn, a Stockholm-based furniture designer, has created a new range of sustainable furnishings, made from recycled MDF tabletops. Svahn, ...
BIG partners with Louis Poulsen for new lighting collection
The Keglen collection is made up of four different pendants
Lauren Heath-Jones
BIG Ideas, the technology arm of renowned architecture firm Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG), has partnered with Danish lighting manufacturer Louis ...
Canteen collection combines nostalgia with modern aesthetics
The Canteen collection was inspired by post-war British design techniques
Lauren Heath-Jones
Very Good & Proper (VG&P), a British furniture brand, has curated a new dining collection that combines traditional woodworking techniques ...
cladkit product news
1885 Lounge at St Mary's Stadium celebrates Southampton FC's history
Rainbow Design worked closely with KSS Architects to ensure the furniture matched the design vision
Lauren Heath-Jones
KSS Architects has partnered with Rainbow Design, a London-based furniture supplier, to create the 1885 Lounge at St Mary's Stadium, ...
Naval architect launches solar-powered floating pods
The Anthénea pod is a luxury floating suite that could be used as a spa or treatment suite
Lauren Heath-Jones
Naval architect Jean-Michel Ducancelle has designed a solar-powered floating hotel suite aimed at offering an eco-friendly and nomadic place for ...
XTU concept imagines life in the clouds
XTU's X Cloud concept is part of the Future and the Arts: AI, Robotic, Cities, Life - How Humanity Will Live Tomorrow exhibition at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo
Lauren Heath-Jones
XTU Architects, a Paris-based architecture firm, has released images and renderings of X Cloud, a new concept that showcase a ...
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates