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February 24th, 2000
Museum Educators Welcome The Splendor of 18th-century Rome With High-tech Teaching Tools

An array of fun and informative, 21st-century educational tools complement The Splendor of 18th-Century Rome, an exhibition on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from March 16 through May 28, 2000. Among the lively teaching technologies developed by the Museum's Division of Education are:

Interactive Kiosks

In conjunction with The Splendor of 18th-Century Rome, the balcony of the Museum's Great Stair Hall features six Interactive Kiosks. Four kiosks present a touch-screen CD program that enables visitors to travel through "Ancient" or "Modern" Rome, as understood in the 18th century. The program was designed by the Philadelphia-based firm Night Kitchen Media, in its first collaboration with the Museum. Interactive Kiosk-users may select "Gallery," "Sights," "People" or "Art," each of which provide an opportunity to explore Roman architecture and culture in the 18th century. Perhaps the most dazzling paintings in the exhibition, Panini's Imaginary Galleries with Pictures of Ancient and Modern Rome (1756-7) are "activated" in this program. Visitors may choose from among the famous masterworks and landmarks illustrated within Panini's paintings, and learn more about the sights and monuments represented. Through helpful cross-links, Interactive Kiosk-users will travel to related objects in the exhibition.
The Interactive Kiosks feature computers generously donated by IBM. Joining the Interactive Kiosks for The Splendor of 18th-Century Rome are two additional stations displaying a program by IBM that examines in depth the Pieta by Michelangelo.
Video
A 12-minute video running continuously in Gallery 151 recreates for modern museum visitors a sense of the wonder that filled 18th-century visitors when visiting Rome. Including stunning location footage (shot by NBC 10 WCAU, media sponsor for The Splendor of 18th-Century Rome) of the interiors and exteriors of key Roman buildings and monuments as well as 18th-century prints and paintings, the video evokes the contexts in which many of the exhibition's featured works were created and experienced. Sponsored by the Advanta Corporation, the video is also an important component of the Education Division's Outreach Programs and Teacher Preparation materials.
Recorded Tour
In its first collaboration with Antenna Audio, the Philadelphia Museum of Art presents a CD-ROM based, random-access program that will allow visitors to experience a beautifully produced, self-guided audio tour at their own pace. Sharing the impressions and thoughts of Rome's 18th-century visitors, the audio tour also features interviews with Anne d'Harnoncourt, Director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and exhibition organizers Edgar Peters Bowron, Joseph Rishel and Dean Walker.

The Antenna Audio recorded tour is $5.00. Headsets can be purchased at the entrance to the exhibition or at the admissions desk. Headsets may also be purchased over the phone at the time of ticket purchase for $5.00 plus an additional $0.50 service charge.

Website
Visit www.philamuseum.org for a preview of The Splendor of 18th-Century Rome and a behind-the-scenes look at preparations for the exhibition. High-bandwidth users may also access a website version of the Interactive Kiosks (see above) and enjoy two "Walks in 18th-Century Rome," prepared by the Multimedia Engineering Computation Atelier (MECA) at Princeton University.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the largest museums in the United States, with a collection of more than 227,000 works of art and more than 200 galleries presenting painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, decorative arts, textiles, and architectural settings from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Its facilities include its landmark Main Building on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Perelman Building, located nearby on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Rodin Museum on the 2200 block of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and two 18th-century houses in Fairmount Park, Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove. The Museum offers a wide variety of activities for public audiences, including special exhibitions, programs for children and families, lectures, concerts and films.

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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