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August 31st, 2006
Redesigned Museum Website Enhanced by Podcasts, Other New Features

Additions Engage Growing Audience and Enrich Visits to Museum

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has been steadily adding enhanced features to its website, making both the online and in-person Museum experience more educational and inspirational to an ever-broadening audience. In addition to a streamlined look and easy-to-navigate design, the new website now features Podcasts, RSS feeds, an interactive floor plan, and a dynamic calendar of events, as well as searchable objects from the Museum’s collection.

Podcasts are available for download on the Museum’s website as well as iTunes. They include “Art Tours,” self-guided audio tours of objects in the collections, and “Exhibition Minutes,” brief presentations offering the listener an opportunity to learn more about the Museum’s exhibitions.

RSS feeds are now available, featuring the Museum’s current exhibition information and Friday night Art After 5 schedule, as a valuable resource for information and travel websites to pull and post—allowing them to display up to date information about the Museum. This feature is also available to individual subscribers using a RSS Feed Reader or capable browser.

The site’s “MyMuseum” feature allows visitors to assemble and share private galleries of favorite works of art, manage a personal Museum Calendar, and sign up for e-newsletters.

According to Webmaster Bill Ristine, “By providing information about the Museum's collections, resources, and programs virtually, we can inspire and enrich visits to the physical Museum.” With the recent activation of Wi-Fi access in public spaces throughout the Museum, these additional resources can be used before, during, and after physical visits.

This is just the beginning of new features and functionality to be released. “Our intention is to use technology to unobtrusively enhance the visitor’s experience. Visitors can use as much or as little as they want, and can really customize their experience,” said Bill Weinstein, Director of Information Services.

Other enhancements include more comprehensive Exhibition pages for current exhibitions, as well as both upcoming exhibitions up to a year in advance and archived exhibitions that date back to 1997. The number of searchable objects from the Museum’s collection available online is continually growing, while customizable Teacher Resources and extensive Archival finding aids make the new website an invaluable tool for a broader audience than ever before.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is Philadelphia's art museum. We are a landmark building. A world-renowned collection. A place that welcomes everyone. We bring the arts to life, inspiring visitors—through scholarly study and creative play—to discover the spirit of imagination that lies in everyone. We connect people with the arts in rich and varied ways, making the experience of the Museum surprising, lively, and always memorable. We are committed to inviting visitors to see the world—and themselves—anew through the beauty and expressive power of the arts.

For additional information, contact the Communications Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art phone at 215-684-7860, by fax at 215-235-0050, or by e-mail at pressroom@philamuseum.org. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street. For general information, call (215) 763-8100.

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