by Drew Martin
There is something wrong with all of these but they all have something going for them. The Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney is too busy and the top navigation is quirky (perhaps too cute) but I actually found it amusing...while it is loading a little janitor is mopping the top header and then people walk into the header and assume a place in the navigation. When you mouse over each one, he or she waves and then a speech bubble pops up over him or her, with subcategories. I like it because, starting with the janitor, it shows you that the museum is about the staff too. I really liked the Prado's homepage when I first saw it because it looked clean and organized but each time I go back to it, it looks more and more boring. Although The National Museum of Moder Art, Tokyo's page is almost void of images, I do like how they make it super clear what they are about Art - Craft - Film. The Virginia Museum of Fine Art has a gorgeous new addition and an impressive collection but this page does not show that and it has banner overkill.
They get worse: the Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghei's website is too amateurish, apparently I should bring my MasterCard to Budapest if I want to look at art, the National Museum in Prague's website looks like they are still using a template from the 1990's and Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw took a bad logo and made it huge but then the use of it in the upper left of the website looks like it was photocopied from the back of a discarded tram ticket.
These last four are crimes against humanity. I remember being awed by the Ishtar gate preserved at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin when I saw it as a young man. This site looks like a form. I spent a week next to the the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres about that same time in 1992. How could you go wrong designing a site about Dalí's work? I toured the Hermitage when St. Petersburg was still Leningrad and was blown away by it. The site should simply loop the trailer for Russian Ark - the movie with the longest "shot" in film history and the first feature film created in a single take, with 2,000 actors bringing to life 300 years of Russian history in 33 rooms of the Hermitage. I have never been to the Pompidou but it was in all my art history books - Piano's building turned inside out...this homepage is dead.