Augmenting an art-historic exhibition with a web-native long-form story

Philo van Kemenade

Slovak National Gallery

MCNx London

19 February 2018

Dream × Reality

Art & Propaganda 1939 – 1945

Dream × Reality



narrate the events of the Slovak State in a way that would be
both historically accurate
and engaging to read

the challenge



iterative process


design choices

format inspiration

steal like an artist


format inspiration

rallying the troops

internal R&D lab

other GLAMs

external collaborators

project manager

web developer 👋

2 editors


+ AV content from other departments

Post Bellum

Slovak Radio Archive

Slovak National Archive
Slovak National Museum

many others...


web designer

2 historians

2 days before opening

no content

no website




❌ internationalization
❌ sub pages
❌ actual text content

✅ wholistic graphic design
✅ building anticipation
✅ subscribe to updates
✅ share the page
✅ links to more info


⚠️ 4 chapters


removing barriers that make
websites difficult or impossible to use
for people with disabilities

enabling as many people as possible to access content on their own terms

bite sized

fully responsive

designed for reading

easy section access
via timeline

contextual info
after every section

deep zoomable
images from

flat-file CMS

online collection platform

commercial newsletter service

shoulders of giants

The intention of dealing with the period of 1939 to 1945 has appeared in our exhibition plans for several years. When work on this project began two years ago, none of us had any idea of the mood in society this project would eventually encounter — now we know.

Alexandra Kusá - SNG General Director


Social media (Facebook)

civic organisations social and web

paid promoted posts

paid Google AdWords

sharing the story

21845 sessions
avg 4 minutes 18 seconds

triggering conversation

thank you


Augmenting an art-history exhibition with a web-native long form story

By Philo van Kemenade

Augmenting an art-history exhibition with a web-native long form story

Talk at MCNx London: The story behind the Slovak National Gallery's long-form storytelling project augmenting its recent exhibition 'Dream × Reality: Art & Propaganda 1939 – 1945': collaboration, iterative development and fighting neo-nazi conspiracy theories through SEO and online ads.

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