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A major theme of this blog is the use of the New Media by museums to fufill their mission to make Art accessible to all. As numerous examples from prior posts have shown, this doesn’t require flashing lights, and all the other bells and whistles commonly associated with the “New Media.” In fact, the most effective sites developed by museums art the simplest, with seamless UIs (User Interfaces) which do not interfere with viewing the Art, and which do not intimidate the viewer. Here are some of the best: the Van Gogh Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, both the Louvre and the Musee d’Orsay, ArtTube, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia., and the Cleveland Museum.
NOW, THE NATIONAL GALLERY
As described by ArtDaily,
The National Gallery of Art has launched the Your Art app for iPhone, iPod Touch, and now Android smartphones. Your Art is a free interactive mobile application featuring 130 of the treasures on view in the Gallery’s collection, including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt van Rijn, and Johannes Vermeer. It enriches the experience of visitors on-site and expands the Gallery’s reach off-site by bringing its masterpieces to art lovers across the globe via quick and simple download.
In addition, the app features a selection of objects from the Gallery’s Collection Highlights tour in French, Mandarin, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. App users can also deepen their understanding of the history and conservation of the works in Gallery’s collection with audio commentary from director Earl A. Powell III, curators, and conservators.
A special Kid’s Tour captures the imagination of younger users and introduces them to the principles of art history. Children can choose to hear about works by masters such as Peter Paul Rubens, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, and Winslow Homer.
iTunes notes that the app has the following features,
• Zoom in to high-resolution images
• Prepare your visit with maps and basic visitor information
• Stay current with event and exhibition updates
• Spanish, French, Mandarin, Japanese, Russian
According to the National Gallery’s website,
With Your Art, you can:
- Listen to audio commentary or read text about highlights of the Collection or the Kid’s Tour
- Find works of art by artist name, nationality, theme of the work, or location on the map
- Zoom in to high-resolution images
- Prepare for your visit with maps, hours, and other important visitor information
- Stay current with event and exhibition updates
Audio commentary about more than two dozen highlighted works of art is also available in French, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian, and Spanish.
Your Art on Your Device
If you would like to download the app while at the Gallery, free Wi-Fi is provided in the West Building, Main Floor Information Room, Rotunda, and Founders Room. Please bring headphones; earbuds are also available for purchase in the Gallery Shops.
Borrow an iPod Touch
The app is also available on a limited number of devices for free loan. Find them at the audio tour desk located just inside the West Building, Main Floor entrance.
Your Art is designed for use on iOS and Android devices:
iTunes App Store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/your-art/id600049768
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gov.nga.yourart