Archives for the month of: November, 2012

Art Authority K12 for iPad marks the first time we have “renovated” any of the Art Authority museum’s nine rooms. Removing nudity from this K-12 edition of the app involved a number of challenges, the most major of which we talked about earlier. An additional challenge, although quite an enjoyable one, was revving a few of the Art Authority K12 rooms to replace a couple of “age-inappropriate” works.

Here’s the new main room, where we replaced Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” with Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper” as the work representing the Renaissance.

Lobby

In the Renaissance room itself, we also replaced Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam” with Botticelli’s “Primavera,” which we use to represent the Early Renaissance period.

Renaissance

The Venus de Milo alas had to be removed as the representative “Ancient Art” work in the Early room, replaced with the equally interesting “Winged Victory.”

Early

Finally, in the Romanticism room, “Liberty Leading the People” was replaced with “The Gleaners” as representing French Romanticism.

Romanticism

Even though these key works were taken off the walls of their respective Art Authority K12 rooms, they have not been removed from the museum entirely; they’re too important to the overall study of western art. As we talked about earlier, they still appear in related shows, including their rooms’ Highlights shows. Art Authority K12 just displays age-appropriate detail views, instead of the full views that K-12 teachers have told us just aren’t right for some of their students.

A perfect fit for the iPad mini: Announcing… Art Authority K12

Art Authority has been very popular in the education world, from universities to high schools and even lower grades. The iPad version of the app was adopted over two years ago by Seton Hill University’s art department, mentioned by Phil Schiller in Apple’s big education event last January, and featured as part of Apple’s Back To School promotion last summer. We also just concluded a very successful summer internship program.

We have received tremendous feedback from professors and teachers, including our favorite quote that “Art Authority has really changed Art History.” We have also added a number of the features that these educators have asked for, such as simplified “Highlights” shows for each art period, and for the app overall.

We have, however, until now, struggled with the most requested feature from K-12 teachers: removing nudity from the product. These teachers know their students, and we have certainly believed them when they said that many of their students were too immature to not get distracted by the significant amount of nudity that permeates much of Western art.

We had two problems with meeting the teachers’ request however. First, Art Authority provides access to over 55,000 western painting and sculptures, so there are, quite literally, thousands of nudes. Not just classic nude portraits, but other major works like the Creation of Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Second, many of these works are so essential to the study of western art that we felt we just couldn’t leave them out of the product. Can you imagine Art Authority without the Venus de Milo?

Adamvenus

Art Authority K12 for iPad, a new app, solves both problems. Using automated, computer-aided and manual methods, we meticulously went through the whole Art Authority database and flagged every work that contained nudity (or other similar objectionable material, such as rape). These works are neither downloaded nor displayed by the new app.

For each major work we eliminated, we then added, where practical, a detail view of the work that we felt would be “age appropriate” for K-12 students. So, for instance, Venus’ head from Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, and the classic fingers from Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam.

Venusfingers

Problems solved! No worries about nudity, no loss of the most important works of western art history. Art Authority K12 for iPad is 99.9% as complete a study of the western art world as the full version. All the same features, all the same artists, and nearly all the key works. And of course it’s a perfect fit for the new, education-focused iPad mini. It took us a while, but we really think it’s been worth the effort. We hope you, and your teachers, think so too!