nmc virtual worlds

Eastman House Exhibit Debuts on NMC Campus

published 31.Jul.06 by Alan Levine

Eastman Exhibit
Originally uploaded by NMC Second Life

Part of the Seeing Ourselves: American Faces exhbit provided by the George Eastman House. This is currently on display in the Aho Art Museum on NMC Campus

As part of a collaboration with the George Eastman House, the world’s oldest photography museum, NMC is proud to be hosting a unique exhibit. This show, Seeing Ourselves: American Face, is going on tour in Real Life, and at the same time, is available now, to anyone, in Second Life.

George Eastman House’s iconic photographs will travel to the four corners of the country beginning in 2007, as the Seeing Ourselves exhibition embarks upon a national tour,” said Dr. Anthony Bannon, director of George Eastman House. “However, the world can enjoy a sample of these historic images now, through the virtual world of Second Life. This is a new day and a new way for sharing photographs.

This survey exhibition features the work of notable artists Lewis Hine, Dorothea Lange, Mathew Brady, Nickolas Muray, and others, of powerful images of American faces. Like the collection as a whole, it ranges from daguerreotype to digital, and from great works of art to objects of utility, history, and memory.

And technically, the virtual show is in two places and arrangements in Second Life. Here on the NMC Campus, which is primarily available for new Media Consortium members, the Eastman house exhibit is in a satellite gallery of the Aho Museum. In this relatively small area, the juxtaposition of images creates some interesting relationships between American imagery of different time periods.

The same imagery is also on display at Learning, the public “clone” of NMC Campus that was opened this summer by the Electric Sheep Company, the deisgners and builders of NMC Campus. In Main Gallery In this environment, the Eastman exhbit is on one of the main ramps of the Aho Museum, and the arrangement is chronological order as one ascends the ramps.

The Seeing Ourselves exhibition provides a unique take on Americana and our shared history, and showcasing it in this way extends it to an entirely new audience,” said Dr. Larry Johnson, CEO of the New Media Consortium. “This collaboration, the first of its kind, is unusual in that the photographs in this virtual exhibition have been carefully chosen expressly to compliment the actual exhibition that launched at the Eastman House and will soon be touring the country. The juxtaposition of some of these early photographs with the virtual architecture of the Aho Museum in Second Life adds an interesting element to an already deeply engaging exhibition.

We encourage you to visit in either location or both, and let us know how the exhibit arrangement impacts your interaction with this collection. Check out our slideshow of photos from both Second Life locations. Be sure also to see the original photos shared by the Eastman House available at

Regardless, we are excited to be the hosts for the launch of this unique art exhibit on NMC Campus. Again, this is a fascinating intersection of the real and virtual worlds.

The Eastman House exhibit within Second Life is a tremendously exciting first step in creating a new way for the public to interact with museums and their collections,” said Giff Constable, vice president for Business Development at Electric Sheep Company. “Visitors can visit a virtual museum from anywhere in the world, and experience artwork in an immersive environment far richer than what you can see or accomplish on the Web.

Originally reported on the NMC Campus Observer