year this photograph of children looking at their smartphones by Rembrandt’s ‘The
Night Watch’ in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam
[went viral.] It was often accompanied by outraged, dispirited comments such as
“a perfect metaphor for our age,” “the end of civilization” or “a sad picture of
…It turns out that the
Rijksmuseum has an app that, among other
things, contains guided tours and further information about the works on display.
As part of their visit to the museum, the children, who minutes earlier had admired
the art and listened attentively to explanations by expert adults, had been instructed
to complete an assignment by their school teachers, using, among other things, the
museum’s excellent smartphone app….
The tragic thing is that this — the truth — will
never go viral. So, I wonder, what is more likely to bring about the death of civilization,
children using smartphones to learn about art or the willful ignorance of adults
who are too quick to make assumptions?” José Picardo, Medium