The Primer

So you’ve only got a couple of minutes? But you still want to get up to speed on an exhibition’s key themes before you visit The Met? We’ve got you covered! Meet the Primer, a fun, interactive digital experience designed as a pre-visit tool.

To date, we’ve launched five Primers, thanks to working cross-team in the Digital department (Content, Product/Development, and UX) and also thanks to close collaboration with curatorial departments. Another Primer about the Met’s 150th anniversary exhibition, Making the Met, will launch in late March 2020. More are planned in the coming months.

Primers let you watch videos, read, play, and interact with images of some of the extraordinary objects on display. Some include audio elements, sound effects, and music. Others include animation, like that of the “Free Tourney,” a chivalric team sport discussed in the exhibition The Last Knight about Maximilian I. Primers are distinguished by their friendly, conversational voice and tone, and their fresh, even playful take on the material (when appropriate). For each Primer, we pull on the threads of a given exhibition’s interpretive goals to present stories with a “fresh take” on what might traditionally be formal, or sometimes intimidatingly academic approaches to art.  For example, to support the exhibition, In Praise of Painting: Dutch Masterpieces at The Met, the Primer explores not just the anticipated themes of life and death, but gives a solid answer to the common question: “So, what’s with all the lemon peels?”

What does audience engagement look like? We hope it looks like the Primers, which spark curiosity, inform, and inspire.