Art Museum Expands With 21st Century Displays
SALEM, MA – Before the Big Dig engineering marvel was finished in December, Boston went through another major transformation – but of culture, not transportation. After a huge three-year expansion, the Peabody-Essex in Massachusetts is now one of the 25 largest art museums in the nation. The suite of new galleries dedicated to changing exhibitions is among the largest on the East Coast… and now sporting a new Scala InfoChannel visual messaging solution, the gallery’s information system can change faster than any other museum in the world.
InfoChannel has alleviated the need to replace constantly changing posters or videotapes. Now curators can show a wealth of information through scheduled multimedia playback on a low-profile screen instead of having to plaster walls with a bulletin board or worry about replacing degrading or outdated VCR cassettes.
The information display system shows content from Scala’s InfoChannel Player 3, a networked solution that can be updated remotely and run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Content is changed by periodic or exact schedule, so the museum can easily adjust to the expected audience depending on the season or even the time of day. The main admissions desk signage includes a high-resolution 42” plasma screen that shows information about the latest museum exhibits. The ticket counter is the perfect place to educate new visitors about ongoing exhibits as well as daily events, and it can all be continuously updated behind the cashier without interrupting customers or his workday.
Visitors can view a video on a 60” plasma display panel, complete with a theater sound system. Several other exhibits such as the Idea Studio have large flat panel monitors, too.
The screens can all be tied into the same Scala electronic signage system and administered centrally by InfoChannel Network Manager 3 in the museum’s control room. Creative work and textual updates are also conceived in the same room via Scala’s InfoChannel Designer 3. When published, changes can either be seen instantly or scheduled to appear later throughout the building.
The high-resolution images are transmitted over standard CAT5 cable using special Extron CAT5 transmitters and receivers. The changing exhibits area was designed with the future in mind for transmitting computer graphics, video and audio to produce a truly interactive exhibit space.
As the oldest continuously operating museum in America, it has held countless historical objects since opening in 1799. Now, the remodeled Peabody-Essex is a prime example of cutting edge technology helping curators to stay modern and work efficiently in a traditional setting. Visit www.pem. org/museum/new_museum.php for more information on the Peabody- Essex expansion project.