Art and Exploration, Second Life

Dresden Museum expands SL presence

Recent success with the virtual version of a German art museum suggests that the Second Life generation is, despite its digital obsessions, also interested in really old art, according to Art Daily.

The Dresden State Art Collections (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden) first developed its virtual presence in Second Life in May of 2007, and Professor Dr. Martin Roth, the Director General of the institute, was pleased with the impact.

“We were surprised by the level of interest in art we found in the online community,” he told Art Daily. “The feedback we received indicates a great interest both in the works in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister and in experiencing and exchanging views on art in general.”

The museum went on to launch the Old Masters Picture Gallery (Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister), which has paintings dating back to the Renaissance from Italian, Dutch and Flemish painters. According to automatically-generated avatar-visit stats, 60,000 people have visited the site since its opening, staying for an average of 30 minutes per visit. It has since expanded the scope of the Dresden State Art Collection in Second Life.

Art – or at least old-master art – is an under-represented sector of Second Life. The success of the gallery was studied by Prof. Dr. Lutz Hagen and his students at the Institute of Communications Science at Technische Universität Dresden, who concluded that:

- the gallery has a steady fan base;
- Second Life users are interested in the arts;
- the gallery received positive notices from avatars, and
- the number of visitors to the virtual gallery is somewhat dependent on advertising.

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