Download a van Gogh on Your Phone09.07.2019
How can you turn your smartphone into a priceless art collection? We picked eight free smartphone apps that will help you immerse yourself in an art-filled realm that was once the sole preserve of galleries and museums.
Arts & Culture
Developed by Google, the app is capable of answering nearly every arts- and culture-related question there is. We can use it to read about artists, pay a virtual visit to landmark locations, and read up on cultural events that shaped our world in the past. The app offers access to a plethora of museum collections, thousands of pictures, films, manuscripts, and works of art, which we can arrange into our own individual collections. The app has a bevy of features, including VR capabilities, while the search function is supported by a number of filters which allows to experience art in our own preferred manner, eg. sorting by color. Its most popular feature, however is “Art Selfie,” which analyzes our selfies and browses the collections at its disposal to identify our very own art doppelgänger.
An app developed under the auspices of one of the world’s largest auction houses. It features highlights from upcoming auctions and trivia tidbits about the works put up for sale. The app will not only tell us who’s bought what, why, and for how much, but allow us to inspect every element of the piece using panoramic photographs and read articles written for the auction. The app also provides access to knowledge on world-class specialists from a number of fields—from the Old Masters to contemporary artists; from classic French furniture to masterpieces of modern design; from photography to jewelry, watches, and wine.
A Polish app released to app stores in 2012, which sends out a daily info package on a selected piece of art. DailyArt allows users to not only view select artworks and read descriptions about paintings and the characters they feature, but also offers search, save, and share capabilities.
A “living wallpaper” which, in collaboration with WikiArt, changes our phone background daily to feature a selected, renowned work of art. We can read about these works in the app, share them with friends, even browse the archives to check what art was displayed on our phones at a specified date in the past. The system also allows us to modify the images—to blur or darken them, or desaturate the colors.
The app is available for Android smartphones.
A VR suite offering a deep dive into Hieronymus Bosch’s famous Garden of Earthly Delights. The app was released alongside official celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the death of the visionary artist and one of the most important artists in history. Aside from zooming in on selected parts of the painting and reading about it, the app offers allows users the ability to ride the flying fish, speak with fruits, pay a visit to hell and listen to the devil’s music—and frankly, what more do you need?
The world-famous Amsterdam museum released an app which allows the users to take their own, virtual tour through the museum. The app has a bevy of features—you can use it to buy tickets, select from suggested routes, and access a vast repository of information and 3D images. It is important to note here that the Rijks boasts one of the most comprehensive digitized collections in the world.
Chatbots have also been making inroads into the art world. Also known as virtual assistants, chatbots are designed to simplify interactions between humans and digital resources. AI-driven, chatbots can simulate a genuine conversation with a human interlocutor through messaging. One of the most successful deployments involved “Ask Mona,” sometimes called “the first AI specialized on cultural issues.” The app focuses on French exhibitions, museum, monuments, historic events, and landmarks, with recommendations tailored to the users’ individual preferences and interests. Mona can be found on Facebook. Currently available only in French, an English-language version of the chatbot has already been developed and is slated for imminent release.
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