The Cleveland Museum of Art has developed a new system that allows visitors to use iPads to give themselves personalized tours, share tours with other visitors, gain more information about exhibits and more, according to The New York Times.
Image via Michael F. McElroy, New York Times
The system starts at a 40-foot touchscreen that allows visitors to view all of the art at the museum in postcard-sized photos. When a visitor selects one of the photos, it is enlarged and arranged on the screen with similarly themed art placed around the selected photo. Next to the photo is a heart-shaped icon that allows the visitor to transfer it to a favorites list on an iPad app. Visitors can bring their own iPads or rent one for $5 a day.
From the list of favorites, the user can devise a personalized tour, which can be shared with other users. “It’s very democratic. You can create a tour, and give it a funny name, and other people will follow it through the museum,” Mr. [David] Franklin [director of Cleveland Museum of Art] said. So far, more than 200 visitors have made their own tours, with names like “My new faves by Linda” and “Preston Loves Shadows.”
The new technology is part of a $350 million expansion to the museum, which includes Gallery One where the 40-foot touchscreen displaying the museum's art is located.
The goal of the new program is to lure new visitors to the museum, although museum directors do note that there is a danger that users of the app could choose to stay home and admire the art on their iPads. Director Franklin cited this as a reason why they don't support the Google Art Project, which houses high-definition photos of art.
The museum plans to expand the program to iPhones and add new digital features in the future, while other museums such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and National September 11 Memorial Museum are planning to launch similar connectivity with iPads.
Top Rated Comments
The camera stuff (detecting art you point the device at) sounds like it would be neat in person.
Well, you go to a museum to see the art.... AND to learn about it.
Is it wrong to read captions/plaques? Listen to a tour guide? Follow a map? If those things are acceptable tools to accompany the art, then an iPad app is too. And can do some things those others can't. Different people prefer different experiences, but this need not subtract in any way from the art.
Meanwhile, you can also use this even if you never go to Cleveland. It's like a free art book.
You can always choose not to use it.:D
It's just as valid a way to deliver information about the art as any other.
Once upon a time, printed labels, light bulbs, and air conditioning were all cutting edge technology
Would be great to have Sister Wendy giving you the low down on the Art as you walked round.
With her unique style it takes some getting used to but the information and the delivery become quite compelling if you are into that sort of thing.
found This, some Written commentary by her about a work of art at Cleveland Museum.