Art business education remains central to Christie’s Education programmes and it is crucial to provide students with up-to-date information in this rapidly evolving sector. This is one of the reasons why we collaborate with a diverse range of professionals who are either engaged with or practicing in today‘s art world. We spoke to Chris Michaels, Director of Digital, Communications and Technology at the National Gallery who is our guest speaker at the upcoming Art Business Spring School in London about digital change in the industry.
How difficult is it to adapt an almost 200 year old institution to the current digital era?
We will be 200 years old in 2024, and that important birthday gives us real focus for change. I've found the Gallery nothing but ambitious for and embracing of change in the last three years.
Is your digital content about providing alternative experiences and attracting new audiences, or about enticing people to view the exhibition in person?
Both! Digital change for us means both learning different marketing abilities to get people to the Gallery, and creating new and distinct digital-channel experiences for online-only audiences.
How successful are you in attracting new audiences by adopting new technology?
Digital audiences come to us mainly through our website, social media and increasingly through experiences at the Gallery. I'm very proud of the growth we have seen in the last three years in each of those areas. The way we've embraced social media video has been really important for me - it gets to such large and diverse audiences.
What part of the exhibition programme is digital? What is your prediction for the years to come?
We are at the beginning of a new era of immersive exhibitions. We've seen and embraced this with our recent Leonardo: Experience a Masterpiece show, and we will go on to explore new and different ways of presenting art through digital interpretation in the years ahead.