LOUVRE - DNP MUSEUM LAB
LOUVRE - DNP MUSEUM LAB
  • Museum Lab Scenes
  • Tokyo-Paris: Two LDMLs
Presentation organinzed by :
  • LOUVRE
  • DNP
Thematic approaches
Ninth presentation Louvre – DNP Museum Lab El niño azul, Goya and Spanish Painting in the Louvre
1. The reinstallation of multimedia displays to the Louvre
As was the case with the seventh and eighth presentations, two of the multimedia displays developed for the ninth presentation are scheduled to be relocated to the Louvre, this time to the Spanish painting section (1st floor of the Denon wing and adjacent rest area).
The user interfaces were therefore designed to meet the needs of a diverse range of international visitors; the hardware is robust enough for installation in an establishment that receives about 9 million visitors a year, while respecting the constraints imposed by the Louvre's status as a historic monument. These multimedia displays were designed to enrich the visiting experience while blending as seamlessly as possible into the permanent exhibition space so as not to obstruct the view of the artworks or impede visitor circulation.
An individual, intuitive approach combined with a multi-user system to provide historical background information.
The key issues:
Museum Lab designed a display that explains the history of the Spanish painting collection in the Louvre. It will be installed in the rest area adjoining the principal room in the Louvre's Spanish painting section, on the 1st floor of the Denon wing.
The key challenge here was to interest visitors in information comprising historical references that are not necessarily well known, to ensure that all visitors, whatever their cultural and intellectual background, can understand how the collection has evolved over the centuries. The display needed to have a multi-user function so that everyone present in the vicinity could use it; the idea was to ensure that every visitor, even those not actively using the resource, could receive a minimum of information, available in several languages.

The solution proposed by Museum Lab:
The chosen approach features an interactive timeline on a large wall screen, presenting a permanent overview of the evolution of the Spanish painting collection at the Louvre while providing more detailed information, organized chronologically. Dynamic visuals were created to attract attention and encourage visitor interaction. To maximize participation, the display clearly indicates which functions are for individual or collective use. The general themes are shown at a height, to be clearly visible to visitors standing at a distance from the display but not (yet) actively using it.
What sort of information should be provided in front of the painting?
The key issues:
This display, scheduled to be reinstalled to the main room in the Spanish painting section (Room 26, 1st floor of the Denon wing), is intended to guide visitors' understanding of the paintings they see around them.
Considerable thought was given to the nature and amount of information to provide in front of the works themselves to enrich visitors' discovery of the paintings and the collection. The challenge was to find a simple way of supplying a wide range of information about these paintings, in order to satisfy the curiosity of a highly heterogeneous public.

The solution proposed by Museum Lab:
To provide visitors with key facts about Spanish painting, Museum Lab opted for an entry menu featuring the most representative of the works exhibited in the room; a commentary then supplies the kind of information that cannot be ascertained by just looking at the painting, and gives pointers that are also relevant to the understanding of other Spanish paintings. To facilitate the transition from the initial intuitive approach to more informative content, a predominantly visual interface was designed, with different types of entry to the information.
2. A multimedia display to introduce the visit
The key issues:
An introductory multimedia display that gives visitors an idea of the experience awaiting them should spark interest in the event and show how the space is organized, while not obstructing access to the exhibition itself.

The solution proposed by Museum Lab:
Museum Lab created a short introductory video, presented on a large vertical screen, which features the Louvre curator in charge of the ninth presentation addressing the visitor directly in a mise-en-scène suggesting a one-to-one discussion. The idea was to present the role and mission of a curator—someone the visitor doesn't usually meet—and to create an impression of proximity with a life-size digital image that is displayed on a level with the visitor. When the curator looks towards the painting, the visitor is naturally guided into the presentation room.
3. A digital caption panel in front of the painting
The key issues:
The caption panel's main function is to give basic information about a work of art. The challenge here was to fulfill this function while adding interactive possibilities to meet the various needs of visitors, especially in terms of language and extra visual information.

The solution proposed by Museum Lab:
For this ninth presentation, Museum Lab prepared a digital and a printed format, to ensure that the essential information is always displayed, even in the event of a systems failure. Moreover, a range of adjustable parameters improves the accessibility of the information; visitors can choose their language, for example, and adjust the text and image size or change the contrast.
4. An exhibition space designed to promote a dialogue with the artwork
The key issues:
When a multimedia display is intended to be placed near works of art, it should be designed to offer content whose quantity and quality do not detract from the works themselves. This presentation invites visitors to consider a painting from two different perspectives: a personal appreciation on the one hand, and an analytical approach on the other. For the latter, the aim of the systems developed is to help visitors perceive—through the mind and the senses—how a curator analyses the visual and material aspects of a painting.

The solution proposed by Museum Lab:
To allow visitors to experience this analytical approach for themselves, a separate 'lab' space presenting the curator's analysis was designed and set up next to the exhibition area. In this lab, visitors can explore the painting's compositional elements by using an interactive resource that produces digital-image simulations: they can compare the composition of the Cistué portrait with that of other paintings by Goya, and experiment with the compositional process themselves. By trying out the various options available, they can arrive at a clearer understanding of the artist's choices, as analyzed by the curator.
The part called 'material aspects of the painting' provides a tangible user interface (TUI) to awaken interest in the materiality of the painting and create an intuitive link between a visitor's action and the relevant information. This interactive resource explores the material structure of the painting, the various layers that compose it and the order in which they were applied. The 2D video and 3D features are combined by 'projection mapping' for seamless manipulation by users.
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©2013 Louvre - DNP Museum Lab