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Website of the Week — Smithsonian Photography


Time again for our Website of the Week, when we showcase interesting and innovative online destinations. Our web guide is VOA's Art Chimes.

This time, it's a website featuring an extraordinary gallery of photographs from one of the world's premier museum complexes, and focusing on the role photos play in our lives.

KAPSALIS: "The Smithsonian Photography Initiative is dedicated to bringing the Smithsonian's photography collections from its nineteen museums and nine research centers to the public."

Effie Kapsalis is senior digital producer at the Smithsonian Photography Initiative, online at photography.si.edu.

The site is a gateway to online exhibitions at the Smithsonian museums. And it features an innovative way of looking at photographs called Enter the Frame, where pictures are grouped by keywords selected by both Smithsonian curators and online visitors.

KAPSALIS: "So someone has selected a collection of photographs called 'dining,' and we have some explorers dining at a table in China being poured tea. And we also have a group of men seated in Iran from the late 1800s. So you really start to see how dining is interpreted across different cultures.

The Smithsonian Photography Initiative includes only a tiny fraction of the museums' collection, some 2,500 images for now, but Kapsalis says more are on the way. And coming in a few weeks is a new feature called Click! Photography Changes Everything.

KAPSALIS: "We're talking about how photography has changed our ideas about the world. And so we're inviting different people to present how they have used photography or how photography has influenced them. And then we'll use that discussion to generate our online public to contribute their own photographs to the project."

That's coming soon, but meantime there's plenty worth checking out at the Smithsonian Photography Initiative, photography.si.edu, or get the link from our site, voanews.com.

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