Let art tell the stories! Communicating the museum conference Istanbul

Lava Lab and Amsterdam Museum presented the new storytelling platform Flinck at the international Communicating the museum conference in Istanbul, through a session with presentation and workshop. 

Flinck is a storytelling platform for museums, initiated by both Amsterdam Museum and Lava Lab.


We presented Flinck by sharing the project we created for the exhibition ‘Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age‘; an app for a young audience to chat with 17th Century paintings. We showed the audience the outcome of our research and pointed out the importance of telling the stories of an exhibition in an engaging way for your target audience. As Elizabeth McGregor, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, already mentioned earlier at this conference: “Technology is worthless if we don’t take the time to research and process.

This is what we need to do, to be able to tell great stories through technology”. That is exactly what we did for this project with a surprising result. Stories around the museums objects should be told, telling good stories and create interesting and interactive content will engage new and younger audiences (millennials). And if the objects don’t speak for themselves, it’s up to us to design the way the objects can communicate and interact with us.

In this partnership between an innovation lab and a museum we shared the goal of creating a new way of storytelling, involving the visitor and stay close to their way of communicating. Millennials use a digital language, and they use their phones. They use a more personal and direct way of communicating. That’s why we decided to let the art tell the stories.

Through a workshop we inspired the participants to start creating conversations in the digital language of the young visitor and let the art talk. We used a giant print of one of the most important paintings of the exhibition by Govert Flinck. Through simple exercises the participants created dialogues for the characters of the painting. Let art tell the stories!

By Cecilia MartinKlasien van de Zandschulp and Marijke Oosterbroek (Amsterdam Museum).

Presentation on slideshare.