"What Do People Want? Images"

May 18, 2010

A little while ago we ran a survey asking what information people find most useful on the LACMA website. Based on the way we put the question I expected a strong showing from “hours and directions,” but it finished fifth, well back of “artworks,” which won going away. “Let your art flourish on the site,” wrote one respondent. “What do people want?" asked another. "Images.”

Well, O.K. Images it is.

Today we introduce new web pages featuring more than 800 images of LACMA artworks. Each of the 22 collection subdivisions—areas of specialty spanning time and geography—gets a new page, with close-ups and full images of signature works, plus collection-specific Unframed posts, image browses, events, and video.

Image fans should also give the new all-collection landing page a look. In addition to an image grid providing links to the collection specialties and a rather dashing alphabetical sampling of artists in the collection, there is remix. Think of remix as a curated tag cloud—we've put together hundreds of sets featuring three images from the collection and a word or phrase that unites them.

People from all across the museum contributed remix sets and we invite you to do the same. Just email us a word or phrase, and enough information to identify three corresponding images from our collection, and we'll put them together and add them to the cloud. The phrase should be, oh, say, one to five words. Be warned though. Inventing remix sets can be addictive. After sending several rounds of wonderful remixes (see "Spying," "Jealousy," "Money"), one of my colleagues decided that was enough because, as she said, "my brain likes this too much."

Tom Drury