The Henry R. Luce Center in the Metropolitan Museum’s American Wing is a dense, confusing and remarkable study collection of over 8,000 objects that would otherwise be in hidden storage. Small Design Firm developed a master plan for the use of technology in the American Wing anchored in the Luce Center, but connected to every part of the wing. Encompassing redesigned labels, a complete wayfinding system, and interactive Period Room Labels throughout the galleries, this rational presentation of information enhances the experience of the collection while maintaining the primacy of the works themselves.
The Luce Center is made accessible through three specific interventions. Upon your approach to the space from the new elevator, a digitally produced wallpaper speaks the expanse of the collection, presenting a visual catalog of all 15,000 objects that comprise the American Wing’s collection, arranged in the order of their acquisition. Comfortable seating at the Luce Center Portals invites visitors to explore this massive collection through curated essays and a dynamic visualization of the collection that can be interactively sorted, classified, filtered and arranged. Found works are explicated through digital labels, including maps, links to related works, and supplemental photography. Lastly, smaller screens throughout the Luce Center provide simplified access to compact digital labels that are never more than a few steps away from the works they describe.