MUVA Virtual Museums of Arts

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A mention of virtual museums is incomplete without a visit to the one headed by Alicia Haber in Uruguay. The Museo Virtual de Artes El Pais (MUVA), was the first totally virtual museum to go online in 1997. Its headquarters are in Montevideo, Uruguay. The museum is devoted to Uruguayan and Latin American art and contributes to the knowledge of visual art through its educational, informative and qualitative nature.

MUVA has no physical existence but its creators wanted to give visitors the impression of being in a real museum. They thought of using the Web as a way to mount exhibitions and recreate a museum atmosphere through the sensation of being inside a building.

The fully virtual building was designed by four architects sponsored for MUVA. A virtual visit gives the impression of wondering through spaces that have been technologically assembled to recreate a museum.

Visitors can actually move around the museum, take the elevator, climb the stairs, move from room to room and admire the works. All this without downloading software or cumbersome and complicated external applications. MUVA wanted to make a visit easy for its audience.

Alicia Haber made a presentation on the MUVA Virtual Museums of Art at the Mytilene conference in June 2006 entitled “The Audiovisual Media as Cultural Heritage and Their Use in Museums”. By way of introduction she noted:

“My paper will focus on the MUVA Virtual Museums of Arts from Uruguay, its achievements but also its problems. I will deal with the creation of a virtual museum in a Third World country, entirely done by Uruguayans, with a very limited budget. I will present the way in which we had to face problems to create it in I996, how we got to create it and how we got to expand it and keep it alive”.



Modern Art Gallery of the Société Générale Bank, Paris

The Modern Art Gallery is a fully virtual museum designed in computer-generated images. Architects created a three-dimensional building in which a visitor can move around in 10 rooms to discover some of the works contained in the modern and contemporary art collection of the Société Générale.

But although it is only imaginary, the museum serves as a visual support for real works with clearly defined proportions. This involved creating realistic architectural spaces and consideration for the relationship between the scale of the artistic, architectural and decorative elements. The choice and arrangement of the works resulted from an analysis of space, light and volume.

Without being overly technical, this collection provides a vast panorama of plastic arts from the end of the 1950s to the 1990s as a result of the diversity of the works, movement through the rooms and supporting material. Through the “Modern Art Gallery” (MAG), the Société Générale has made its collection accessible to a larger audience.

The Gallery:
3D Production: Project Studio
Architectural Design: Christophe VALTIN (Umlaut)
Conservator: Art Public Contemporain
Photography: Edouard LEGROS
Background Sound: Jean-Louis DO
The Site:
Artistic Direction / Production: Philippe ANDREVON
Multimedia Engineering: Arkéon



Ho-Am Art Museum, Seoul, Korea

A mastery of technology, aesthetics and a wealth of information, Korean style… The Ho-Am Art Museum site offers an English version and provides Web surfers with information on Korean culture and heritage as well as on the collections on exhibit in the museum.

The design of the Web site is totally modern. The navigation is user-friendly, simple and clear and the look and feel is simple and pleasant. The educational content is particularly rich in informative documentation and high-quality illustrations. A “Zen” site…

The site was awarded the “Gold Web’Art Prize” at the 2003 “International Museum & Heritage Audiovisual Festival”.



The Virtual Museum of Gabon Site

The project of the The Virtual Museum of Gabon site, an initiative of the office of the President of the Republic, is essentially Franco-French with Gabonese funding. The national museum was asked to provide part of the raw material (namely, help select objects, provide information on them and write some of the content). For a variety of reasons, the museum quckly withdrew from the project at an early stage.

Design: Société Novacom, Paris, France