Your Top Five

Jul 26, 2012

John Singer Sargent, The Breakfast Table, 1883–84, Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum.

Since we launched our redesigned website back in May 2009, we’ve been collecting data on visitors’ activity, including how many pages you visit, how long you hang around, and what you’re searching for. (Hope this doesn’t creep you out.) We use this giant pool of information to inform decisions about how to make our site better. But it’s not always just business. This information is also fun to look at, not only for practical work applications, but for getting to know our visitors a little better.

So what did we discover? That you like looking at art. Big surprise, right? Our Collections Search tool is by far the most visited section of our site. Here are the top five most viewed objects in our collections, from May 2009 to May 2012:

1.  John Singer Sargent, The Breakfast Table, 1883–84 Viewed: 2192 times Average time on the page: 0:47 min

2. Pablo Ruiz Picasso, A Mother and Child and Four Studies of Her Right Hand, 1904 Viewed: 1887 times Average time on the page: 1:55 min

3. Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait Dedicated to Paul Gauguin, 1888 Viewed: 1772 times Average time on the page: 1:05 min

4. Christian Seybold, Portrait of an Old Woman, 1749–50 Viewed:1766 times Average time on the page: 0:41 min

5. Max Beckmann, Self-Portrait in Tuxedo, 1927 Viewed: 1700 times Average time on the page: 0:31 min

Turns out you really like looking at paintings of people, but not for any longer than a minute or so. What are your reactions to this data?