I’m a fan of governments opening their data to the public’s scrutiny, but I think it’s also important for public institutions of all stripes to make their work, done for the public good, as accessible as possible to as many as possible. The National Gallery has done just that with its updated website. A newly created collections application lets visitors to search by artist, by category and by century. And aficionados and researchers will have enhanced library and research functions.
As gallery director and CEO Marc Mayer says, “This new site gives our audiences a “one-stop-shop” for everything that is happening at the Gallery. Now, an extraordinary wealth of information on the Gallery’s programs and collections are just a few mouse-clicks away.”
The Gallery has insisted on retooling its online presence for the social media age. It features a staff-written blog, and the public is free to post comments. And one of the most exciting features that the new site lets users share pages with friends and family on social platforms. I think this aspect reflects the new ways that people interact with online and offline content. Commendations to one of Canada’s most respected institutions on recognizing this reality.