We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of an iPhone version of our award-winning Art Authority for iPad app. Of course, some of you may be wondering: isn’t there already a version of Art Authority for iPhone? Well there was, but that version was not based on Art Authority for iPad (an experience unlike any other, according to the New York Times).

The original version of Art Authority for iPhone did use the same database of over 70,000 paintings and sculptures as the iPad version, but other than that it was quite a different animal. Long-time Art Authority fans may remember that the previous iPhone version was derived directly from our original day-one iPhone app, iEnvision. The iPad app, on the other hand, was a from-scratch re-design, specifically targeted for Apple’s new, magic iPad, and also available on day one of that device.

We have been quite busy since the iPad’s introduction over four years ago now. With help from our summer intern program, we’ve nearly doubled the number of works in the database, and added thousands of article links. We’ve pioneered many ground-breaking features, such as Art Real Size and Art Near Me. At teachers’ requests, we’ve come out with an iPad version specifically for the K-12 environment. Not to mention a Macintosh version and our related Art Alert app. And we’ve received many awards :-)

We have not, over that time, devoted much effort to the original iPhone version, beyond minor updates for iOS 4, 5, 6 and 7. The iPad just seemed so much the better platform for looking at great works of art. Things changed significantly, however, with Apple’s recent introduction of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Although not quite a retina display iPad, these two phones are getting close to the iPad mini in terms of display and capabilities. And they clearly surpass the iPad in terms of mobility (one of the main focuses of the new Art Authority for iPhone).

To bring the iPhone app up to snuff, and to enable the addition of new mobility and iOS 8 features, a complete re-write was needed. The new Art Authority for iPhone app is based on Art Authority for iPad, with added mobility features mainly from our Art Alert app.

AAiPhone     AAiPhone2

     Art Authority for iPhone screenshotArt Authority for iPhone screenshot

Here is an overview of what to expect:

  • Access to the same 70,000+ works from 1000+ artists
  • The same 8 periods, period highlights and shuffle by period
  • The same access to in-depth information on each artist
  • An improved gallery-like, scrolling thumbnail view
  • NEW: Access by location (museum) as well as by period and artist
  • NEW: Detailed location maps, address and other info on over 800 locations
  • NEW: Art Near Me: find art wherever you find yourself
  • NEW: Art Real Size: instantly see and understand the actual size of works
  • NEW: Thousands of articles on specific pieces, and on all locations
  • NEW: Search by title
  • NEW: Save works to Favorites
  • NEW: Keep track of works you’ve seen in real life
  • NEW: Share works through AirDrop, mail and social networks
  • Major speed improvements. including caching

Of course Art Authority for iPhone 4.0, which requires iOS 7.1 or later, is a free upgrade from the previous version, and is available immediately in the App Store (80%-off for the introduction this Thanksgiving weekend!). And we’re certainly not done yet. The new code base gives us plenty of room to grow. Art Authority for iPad fans may notice a few features still missing from the iPhone version. Look for these and other additional items in the months ahead.

 

One of our big goals with Art Authority for iPad is to provide you with a great museum-like art viewing experience. One of our major innovations in this area is Art Real Size, which lets you quickly and intuitively understand the size of a work of art, just as you do in a museum. We designed and implemented Art Real Size, like many of our other Art Authority features, by imitating life:

AReadingFromHomer

Works well, right?

Just as Art Authority imitates life, Paul Collins, principal developer for the Art Authority app line, had the opportunity to have life imitate Art Authority. While visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art, he had this picture taken:

AReadingFromHomerRL

Yes, that’s him standing in front of the real-life version of A Reading from Homer by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Looks familiar?

In our most recent post, we detailed how the latest versions of Art Authority have given you even more to explore in terms of ways to look at and learn about great works of art. The post concludes by pointing out that one of the best ways of exploring art still remains viewing it in the real world, at a real art museum.

Today we’re releasing Art Authority for iPad 4.9.3. In addition to providing full support for Apple’s recent iOS 8, Art Authority 4.9.3 makes it even easier to find the art you’ve been exploring, in the real world. In particular, we’re expanding the current “Art Near Me” feature to something we could call “Art Near There.” As you may well know, with Art Near Me you can get an overview of the art which is physically located within a certain distance of your current location. We also recently expanded this feature to work on a room-by-room basis, so now you can get “Art Near Me” for each of the app’s eight period rooms. When you’re in New York, for instance, you can get an overview of all the Impressionist art within, say, 5 miles of your hotel.

NYC2

But what if you’re planning to go to, say, Vienna, and want to check out what you might be able to see beforehand. In 4.9.3 you can get an Art Near Me overview for any location in the world! Simply enter “Vienna” in the Location search box in the main directory, or, if you’re looking for a period-specific overview, in the Location search box in the directory for the period room that you’re interested in. Then tap on “Art Near ‘Vienna'”. You can set Art Near Me parameters, like distance (radius) and how you want to view the overview. Then tap “Show” and explore away!

Vienna1

Vienna1.5

Vienna2

Following up on our recent summer intern program update, we thought we’d talk about how the Art Authority museum has been evolving to give you more to explore. Not just more to explore than when it first “opened” over four years ago (on the same day as the iPad shipped), but also more to explore, in many ways, then any single real-world museum.

We of course love real-world museums, whose viewing experience cannot be replaced by any app, including ours. But the Art Authority museum viewing experience likewise cannot be replaced by any real-world museum. Since we started using Childe Hassam’s work in our intern update, let’s keep going with that.

In the update post, we mentioned that Hassam’s Art Authority collection includes 487 works. It is of course very unlikely that any single real-world museum, even through a special exhibit, would be able to gather that many of Hassam’s works under one real-world roof. The post also indicated that many of his works in Art Authority include not just standard museum details like date and medium but also items that only a virtual museum could provide, such as links to in-depth articles about the works.

The post also showed how our groundbreaking Art Real Size feature helps you explore and understand the size of the works, addressing one of the big defects of many virtual museums. And with Art Like This you can view items from across all Art Authority collections that are similar to any work (check out how similar to Hassam’s the Monet work is below).

Allies Day, May 1917

Explore Hassam’s “Allies Day” through articles, Art Real Size, and Art Like This

But there’s still more to explore too. You can view a work full-screen, and then zoom in on any part of the work, often much closer than you can get in a museum. For selected works, you can follow a link to a video about that work. And through the grid view’s chronological thumbnail display, you can gains insights into how an artist’s style has evolved over the course of their career. 

Allies Day, 1917

Explore full-screen, zoom in, view a video, compare to artist’s other works

If you do spend the time to become familiar with Hassam, or any other artist in this way, you may well want to continue your exploration by seeking out real-world museums that are displaying his works. Art Authority can help you to find and preview exhibits at many of those museums. And our companion Art Alert app can then help you to get there too.

We think you’re going to really adore how Art Authority helps you explore more!

The summer is drawing to a close already, with back-to-school just around the corner. So it seems like a good time for an update on the fourth year of our summer intern program.

Year 4 was a bit more sane than year 3, in which we had nearly 30 interns working on enhancing the Art Authority database. With time to look back over year 3 and plan, our intern manager (who came to us thanks to her year 2 work), was able to figure out how to best build upon the year 3 work in year 4.

Whereas years 2 and 3 were mainly about bulk additions to the database, year 4 was mainly about enhancements and fine tuning. In particular we focused on over 100 artists whose collections we felt were not quite up to the quality of the rest of the Art Authority museum. For these artists, we first made sure their major works were included in their collection where possible. We then went through and updated the “metadata” associated with their collection’s works. This metadata included not only real-world museum details like date, size, and medium, but also items unique to virtual museums, like links to articles about the works and videos

As an example, the Art Authority database includes 487 works by the American impressionist Frederick Childe Hassam. Before the summer, entries for only 5 of those works included links to articles about the work. Now there are 98 such links. Before the summer less than one-third of the entries included the medium used; now all but 10 do. Less than 100 entries originally included the size of the works (particular meaningful through our Art Real Size feature); now all but 33 do. And again less than one-third included the location of the actual work itself, versus all but 10 now (making finding and viewing the physical work much easier, especially with the help of our Art Alert app).

Exploring Hassam's Flags

Three ways of exploring Hassam’s Flags.

The end result of year 4 will thus be a deeper, more meaningful collection, with some important new works, but also lots of important new information about and new ways to explore many of the works.

Quite a set of accomplishments. As always, however, we hope and believe that the most significant result of the program is the additional learning, experience, and exposure gained by the interns themselves, both in the traditional art field and in the various new technologies that are becoming ever more important to that field as it “goes digital.” One of the most gratifying parts of the summer intern program has been hearing back from past interns who tell us how useful it has proven in their ongoing careers.

We have always felt that one of the key goals of Art Authority is making a difference at the intersection of the technology and art worlds. We are very proud of the fact that this difference is made not only directly through our apps, but also through other related efforts such as our community site and the summer intern program. 

Here’s looking forward to year 5!

The heart of Art Authority for iPad is its 70,000-work, nine-room virtual museum. “Patrons” of the museum have been known to literally spend days “wandering” through the app’s professionally designed period-specific rooms. While they’ve been doing so, we’ve  also been hard at work on improvements to those rooms (unlike a real museum, we don’t ever have to close in the process). And we’re now excited to be announcing and rolling our big museum upgrade..

The 2014 Art Authority for iPad museum upgrade is both functional and aesthetic. The first thing you might notice is that in each period room there is a new directory, replacing the previous artist list. This directory is similar to the one that has always been located in the lobby. Like that directory, it lets you browse and search by artist, title, subject, or location.

BaroqueRoom

The lobby directory has always been for the museum as a whole. Each of the new room directories lets you browse and search just within that room. So if you’re in the Renaissance room for example, you can view all Renaissance works that come from the Louvre. Or you can search in the Baroque room for all works entitled  “Last Supper.”

LastSupper

Not only do the rooms work better, but they look better too. We’ve upgraded the wallpaper and added new adornments to many of the rooms. Under iOS 7, we’ve also added subtle but cool 3-D motion effects.

Renaissance

The combination of all these enhancements makes for an even more immersive art exploration experience. Check them all out in Art Authority for iPad 4.9.2, available today through the App Store.

2013 was a great year for Art Authority and Art Authority users. We added a large number of works to the “collection,” as well as a large number of features to the app. So many, in fact, that Apple named Art Authority for iPad as one of the Best New Apps of the year:

BestNew

And that despite the app being three-and-a-half years old, having shipped at the same time as the first iPad, April 3, 2010!

Here’s a quick summary of the major goings-on from 2013:

Not bad for a new app :) So here’s to 2013, and to what we have to look forward to in 2014 as well!

 

Art Authority for iPad now includes access to Internet-based videos for over 500 of its major works. Wrapping up a year’s worth of new features, Art Authority for iPad 4.9.1 provides the ability to view short, information-packed videos about the works, their environment, historic context and more. Many of the videos are produced by the museums in which the actual works hang, as well as by Khan Academy and other educational institutions.

Works with available videos display a new video button in their information plaque. Tapping that button downloads and brings  the video up full-screen. Internet access and at least iOS 6 are required to view the videos.

Videos1

The main directory also includes an option to view a show that includes all works from the Art Authority database that have an associated video. And each room’s Overview section includes a similar show for works in that room’s period. So if you want to browse all the videos associated with works from the Renaissance, it’s really easy to do (there are currently over 160 such videos).

Videos2

Videos are also available in Art Authority K-12 for iPad, for age-appropriate works.

 

 

Since 1962, the US Postal Service has issued one or more Christmas stamps each year. Many of these stamps have been based on classic works of art, usually from the Renaissance period. And of course many of those works of art are in Art Authority.  It’s particularly interesting to see how the Postal Service has “adapted” the works to the stamps. Merry Christmas!

1966 stamp: Madonna and Child with Angels, by Hans Memling, after 1479

1966stamp madonnachildMemling

 

1967 stamp: Madonna and Child with Angels, by Hans Memling, after 1479

1967stamp madonnachildMemling

 

1968 stamp: The Annunciation, by Jan van Eyck, 1435

1968stamp annuciationVanEyck

 

1970 stamp: Nativity, by Lorenzo Lotto, 1523

1970stamp NativityLotto

 

1971 stamp: Adoration of the Shepherds, by Giorgione, 1505-1510

1971stamp shepherdGiorgione

 

1973 stamp: Small Cowper Madonna, by Raphael, 1504-1505

1973stamp MadonnaRaphael

 

1975 stamp: Madonna and Child, by Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1475

1975stamp MadonnaChildGHIRLANDAIO

 

1976 stamp: Nativity, by John Singleton Copley, 1776

1976stamp NativityCopley

 

1979 stamp: The Rest on the Flight into Egypt by Gerard David, 1510

1979stamp Davidrest

 

1981 stamp: Madonna and Child, by Sandro Botticelli, 1475-1485

1981stamp VirginChildBotticelli

 

1982 stamp: Madonna of the Goldfinch, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, 1767-1770

1982stamp MadonnaGoldfinch

 

1983 stamp: Niccolini-Cowper Madonna, by Raphael, 1508

1983stamp MadonnaLargeRaphael

 

1985 stamp: Genoa Madonna, by Luca Della Robbia, 1445-1450

1985stamp GenoaMadonna

 

1986 stamp: Madonna and Child, by Perugino, 1501

1986stamp madonnachildPerugino

 

1987 stamp: A Gentleman in Adoration before the Madonna, by Giovanni Battista Moroni, 1560

1987stamp Gentleman

 

1988 stamp: Madonna and Child, by Sandro Botticelli, 1470

1988stamp MadonnaChildBotticelli

 

1989 stamp: The Dream of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, by Lodovico Carracci, 1593

1989stamp dream1

 

1990 stamp: Madonna and Child, by Antonello da Messina, 1475

1990stamp MadonnaChildMessina

 

1993 stamp: Madonna and Child in a Landscape, by Giovanni Battista Cima da Conegliano, 1496-1499

1993stamp MadonnaChildLandscape

 

1995 stamp: Madonna and Child, by Giotto di Bondone, 1320-1330

1995stamp MadonnaChildGiotto

 

1997 stamp: Madonna and Child with Saints and Angels, by Sano di Pietro, 1460-1470

1997stamp MadonnaChildSano

 

1999 stamp: Madonna and Child, by Bartolomeo Vivarini, 1475

1999stamp MadonnaChildVIVARINI

 

2002 and 2003 stamp: Madonna and Child, by Jan Gossaert, 1520

2002stamp MadonnaChildAIC

 

2004 stamp: Madonna and Child, by Lorenzo Monaco, 1413

2004stamp MadonnaChildMonaco

 

2007 stamp: The Madonna of the Carnation, by Bernardino Luini, 1515

2007stamp MadonnaCarnation

 

2008 stamp: Virgin and Child with the Young John the Baptist, by Sandro Botticelli, 1490

2008stamp YoungStJohn

 

2009 stamp: Christmas: Madonna and Sleeping Child by Sassoferrato

2009stamp sleep

 

2011 stamp: Madonna of the Candelabra by Raphael, 1513

2011stamp Candelabra

 

2013 stamp: Virgin and Child, by Jan Gossaert, 1531

2013stamp VirginChildLandscapeCleveland

 

 

Art Authority for iPad 4.9 is now available through the App Store, with enhancements for iOS 7. These subtle but significant improvements have earned it selection as a Best New App on the App Store this week.

Most of the changes are in look-and-feel, such as addition of iOS 7’s transparent status bar at the top of windows, making each room a bit more spacious. A number of the user interface elements, such as the popovers, also have a more iOS 7 style to them. In particular the main and other directories.

MainDirectory

The most noticeable and functional enhancement to Art Authority for iPad is AirDrop support under iOS 7. AirDrop lets you easily share images from Art Authority with your closest friends, where in this case “close” refers to the distance to their iOS 7 device, and “friends” can mean anyone who’s nearby, or anyone nearby and in your contacts list. One nice thing is that your friends don’t even have to be running Art Authority; the image ends up going to their Photos app. And you can share with multiple friends at the same time.

To share images through Art Authority for iPad 4.9 (on any iOS), view the image full-screen and then tap the new Sharing button (which has replaced the gear button at the bottom left). The standard iOS “sharing” popover comes up (on iOS 6 or later), and includes previous ways of sharing the image: through the Photos app, Twitter and Facebook. But new ways are there as well, including AirDrop if your iPad is AirDrop-capable. Even if your device doesn’t support AirDrop, you still get new ways of sharing, such as Mail, Copy and even Print.

MonaLisaAirDrop

AirDrop is part of what has been a continuing evolution of sharing support in iOS, and in Art Authority. iOS 5 added sharing through Twitter, iOS 6 sharing through Facebook, and iOS 7 now generalizes sharing to include other social networks and AirDrop. And of course there’s our community site, community.artauthority.net. As the world gets more connected, so does Art Authority!