According to McTavish, a museums’ digital work, which in this reflection, the formal website, denotes how the museum sees itself as well as establishes its ideal form of itself. He also claims that a museum’s website “envision the ‘proper’ role of the museum” (McTavish, 2006). I couldn’t agree more with this innovative idea and I will further explain my thoughts in this post.
When I visited the Louvre Museum in person recently, the real visiting experience was not very pleasant for me,as one of the most famous museums in the world, the Louvre Museum faces tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world each year, and that’s probably the reason why I did not feel very welcoming when I entered the museum. I had a quick glance through its official website. The very first impression that the website gave me was a rather modern and interactive feeling. With its black-and-white geographic background, highlights of major exhibitions and events are displayed at the centre of the page via slide show. For example, the current exhibition entitled The Body in Movement: Dance and Museum from October 6, 2016 to July, 3, 2017, as one of the major exhibitions of the Louvre Museum in the last quarter of the year as well as in the first half of next year, is being given publicity to both online and offline visitors at the same time. In terms of the online part, a poster was placed at the centre of the museum’s homepage.
So following the slide shows are some other functions and outstanding features that provides more detailed information about current exhibitions and events. For example, the first one (of the latest version of its homepage) is called Artwork of the Day. It is my personal favourite section of the Louvre Museum’s website. This section is currently presented by Canson. Each day, Canson will carefully choose one of the artworks of the museums’ exclusive collection and gives detailed yet concise interpretation to online visitors. Here I emphasise on two words, detailed and concise, as the result of comparing with Tate Britain and MoMA’s websites. These two websites need to focus more on young artists, or even some of the most well-known artists, whose work were only explained in a few lines. Although the nature of these two museums are very different from that of the Louvre Museum, online visitors are still expecting to get greatly informed. This section can provide online visitors who may not come from academic background with a glimpse of the art world and therefore may increase his/her interest of visiting the real site.
Nonetheless, likewise any other major museums’ websites, the Louvre Museum’s website has been developed for some time. Based on data provided by the Wayback Machine, it can be estimated that the website was initially established on December 4, 2011. The website then went through major changes from the last half of 2014 to the first three quarters of 2015.