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The Frost launches virtual museum


Tour the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum without leaving your desk.

The Virtual Frost Art Museum, launched Sept. 19, enables art enthusiasts to view exhibitions from their computer or smart phone, thanks to support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as part of its Knight Arts Challenge.

Tour the Frost online at http://virtual.frostartmuseum.org.

The Virtual Frost Art Museum applies cutting-edge software to the art-viewing experience by allowing online visitors to tour galleries and portions of the Sculpture Park at FIU from a variety of perspectives, including 360-degree panoramic views and close-up views of individual artworks. Current and recent exhibitions, as well as archived past exhibitions, will be cataloged, allowing viewers to visit current exhibitions, or exhibitions they may have missed or would never be able to visit.

“The Virtual Frost Art Museum is really unique,” said Carol Damian, Frost Art Museum’s director and chief curator. “We have been presenting world-class exhibitions and cultural programming to the public, free of charge, here for years, and will continue to do so in the future. We are pleased that now everyone can view these exhibitions for free online as well.

“As a cultural institution, we strive to break down the barriers that keep people from viewing, appreciating and learning about art. Now physical distance will not prevent us from attaining that goal. For those whom distance is not an issue, regular visits to the Virtual Frost Art Museum will help them get to know us better, to see our wonderful building and facilities and the exciting and eclectic art on display here, and to whet their appetites for visits to the actual Frost Art Museum, again and again.”

This project was a recipient of the Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge. “The most innovative arts organizations are seeking to go where the audience is – and increasingly that is online. Programs like the Frost museum’s can help spark interest from a distance that we hope translates into more engagement with the collection,” said Dennis Scholl, vice president/arts for Knight Foundation.

This tool may also be used by teachers, parents, and students who are planning a visit to the museum. Miami-Dade County schoolteachers will be encouraged to utilize it as a pre-visit activity to prepare their classes for what they will experience at the Frost. For schools that may not have the ability or opportunity to visit the museum in person, teachers can access the Virtual Frost Art Museum and conduct full lessons in the classroom.

This project is part of the Museum of the Future initiative, which focuses on developing an identity as a resource for everyone, from the casual art enthusiast to the graduate student researching art. In order to meet these goals, the museum collaborated with a graduate design team from FIU’s School of Architecture to expand the means by which people interact with art through digital media.

Through the launch of the Virtual Frost Art Museum, as well as by digitally publishing the museum’s catalogs, videos of interviews with artists and curators and the museum’s permanent collection, the museum is now digitally pursuing its mission as “a resource for scholarly research and interdisciplinary collaboration, augmenting the university’s educational mission as both a local and global center of knowledge and culture.”

In addition to support from the Knight Arts Challenge, the project was made possible with generous support from the Members & Friends of the Frost Art Museum, Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC., and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Mayor and the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners.