Archives for posts with tag: Community

A major new release of Art Authority for iPad is now available in the App Store, in conjunction with availability of Apple’s new iOS 9. Art Authority 4.10 takes advantage of iOS 9’s greatly enhanced Spotlight search capabilities to let you use Spotlight search to find artists, locations and periods within the app, and to jump directly into the app at the associated show.

This new Spotlight capability will also make it easier to take advantage of the other major new feature in Art Authority 4.10: the addition of over 200 new artists, bringing the total to well over 1300. And these are not just any old artists. We’ve been engaged for almost a year now in an Internet-based scientific study to rate and rank the western world’s most important painters. The study is ongoing, but the 200+ new artists are the first results.

Spotlight search

Spotlight searching has been part of iOS for a long time, but in iOS 9 it can do a whole lot more, including searching within apps that provide the needed support. Just swipe to the right on the home screen (or down from any icon, as in iOS 8) to get to the Spotlight search screen.

SpotlightBlankThen start typing in your search, and results will appear. Art Authority indexes all of its 1300+ artists and 800+ locations through Spotlight, along with its eight major period rooms.


Tapping on any Art Authority result automatically switches to the app and takes you right to the show on that result.


Art Authority for iPad 4.10 also supports another iOS 9 search-related feature called Universal Links. If you have the app installed, and tap on various links to our community web site (such as one to van Gogh, or the Louvre, or the Baroque period), instead of going to the site, you’ll go to the appropriate place in the app instead, just as with Spotlight search.

New artists (and more!)

Since the first day of the App Store in 2008, Art Authority has endeavored to help users explore the western art world through a carefully curated set of period highlights, artists, and works of art. We have based that curation on various types of Internet analysis, in concert with more traditional art history sources. The procedure for choosing which artists to include, however, has always been somewhat ad hoc and not documented or repeatable. In other words we really couldn’t be sure we were including the most important artists. We probably missed some, and some “less important” artists probably snuck in. (We of course do realize that the term “important” is quite a weighted one, since what is important to some may not be so to others. That is in fact one of the main reasons for our study, to come up with as objective a definition of “important” as we could.)

Since the beginning of the year, we have been engaged in a study to objectively rate and rank the western world’s top painters. And if you think by “top” we mean some sort of elitist club, think again: our study has identified over 20,000 museum-quality western painters for potential inclusion. The study is still underway, and you’ll certainly be hearing more about it in the future (both here and hopefully in an appropriate journal somewhere). For now, we’ve taken over 200 of the top artists from that study who were missing from the app and added them.

And of course when we add artists we include a number of artworks from each of those artists, resulting in an increase of 20,000 works of art which can be accessed by the app (for a total well over 90,000). Much of the credit for adding these additional works goes to the participants in year 5 of our summer intern program.


Art Authority for iPad 4.10 is in the App Store now, and is of course a free upgrade for all current users. Art Authority K-12 for iPad and Art Authority for iPhone 4.10 should be available there shortly, and are also free upgrades. Our free community site includes all the new artists and works.

And in case you’re curious about the new artists, here’s the whole list:

Allston, Washington Cosway, Richard Glackens, William James Madrazo y Garreta, Raimundo de Roussel, Ker-Xavier
Aman-Jean, Edmond Coypel, Antoine Goodall, Frederick Mancini, Antonio Ruskin, John
Amigoni, Jacopo Coypel, Charles-Antoine Grigor’yev, Boris Marcoussis, Louis Russell, John
Anquetin, Louis Crane, Walter Guérin, Pierre Maris, Jacob Henricus Ruszczyc, Ferdynand
Asselyn, Jan Creswick, Thomas Guys, Constantin Marmion, Simon Saint-Aubin, Gabriel de
Assereto, Gioacchino Creti, Donato Hammershøi, Vilhelm Martin, John Sánchez Coello, Alonso
Balke, Peder Crome, John Harlow, George Henry Matejko, Jan Savoldo, Giovanni Girolamo
Barker, Thomas Cruikshank, George Harpignies, Henri-Joseph Maufra, Maxime Schalcken, Godfried
Barry, James Dance-Holland, Nathaniel Haydon, Benjamin Robert Mauve, Anton Schedoni, Bartolomeo
Beardsley, Aubrey Vincent Daniele da Volterra Hayman, Francis McCubbin, Frederick Schiavone, Andrea
Benson, Ambrosius Daniell, Thomas Hayter, George Miereveld, Michiel Jansz. van Seghers, Gerard
Bergognone, Ambrogio Daubigny, Charles François Hébert, Antoine Auguste Ernest Montagna, Bartolomeo Séraphine
Besnard, Albert Davies, Arthur Bowen Henner, Jean Jacques Monticelli, Adolphe Shannon, Charles Haslewood
Biagio d’Antonio De Wint, Peter Hicks, Edward Moore, Albert Joseph Shannon, James Jebusa
Bicci di Lorenzo Decamps, Alexandre-Gabriel Holl, Frank Morland, George Siberechts, Jan
Blanchard, Jacques Dedreux, Alfred Hondecoeter, Melchior de Morris, William Solomon, Simeon
Blanche, Jacques-Emile Delaunay, Robert Horsley, John Callcott Morse, Samuel Finley Breese Stanfield, Clarkson
Boccaccino, Boccaccio Denis, Simon Joseph Alexander Clément Hovenden, Thomas Moser, Kolo Stella, Jacques
Bonnat, Léon Detaille, Jean Baptiste Edouard Huet, Paul Müller, William James Sustris, Lambert
Both, Jan Devéria, Eugène Hunt, William Morris Mulready, William Thaulow, Fritz
Brabazon, Hercules Brabazon Diaz de la Peña, Narcisse Virgile Isabey, Eugène Nasmyth, Patrick Thoma, Hans
Bracquemond, Félix Dietrich, Christian Wilhelm Ernst Israëls, Jozef Natoire, Charles-Joseph Thulden, Theodor van
Breenbergh, Bartholomeus Doesburg, Theo van Jacopo da Empoli Neroccio di Bartolommeo de’ Landi Tiffany, Louis Comfort
Bruce, Patrick Henry Drost, Willem Jacque, Charles Émile Nittis, Giuseppe de Tocqué, Louis
Buck, Adam Drouais, François Hubert Jarvis, John Wesley Northcote, James Tonks, Henry
Calame, Alexandre Duck, Jacob Jawlensky, Alexei Ochtervelt, Jacob Troyon, Constant
Caldecott, Randolph Ducreux, Joseph John, Gwen Opie, John Valadon, Suzanne
Cappelle, Jan van de Dupré, Jules Khnopff, Fernand Orpen, William Valenciennes, Pierre Henri de
Cappiello, Leonetto Duyster, Willem Cornelisz. Købke, Christen Palmezzano, Marco Vanderlyn, John
Carducho, Vicente Earl, Ralph La Fresnaye, Roger de Pascin, Jules Vedder, Elihu
Carracci, Agostino Eastlake, Charles Lock Labille-Guiard, Adélaïde Pasini, Alberto Verspronck, Jan
Carrière, Eugène Eckersberg, C. W. Lacombe, Georges Pasternak, Leonid Victors, Jan
Carus, Carl Gustav Edelfelt, Albert Laer, Pieter van Pellegrini, Giovanni Antonio Vien, Joseph-Marie, the elder
Casilear, John William Eilshemius, Louis Michel Lance, George Pennell, Joseph Vignon, Claude
Castiglione, Giuseppe Everdingen, Allart van Lane, Fitz Hugh Perino del Vaga Vincent, François André
Catena, Vincenzo di Biagio Field, Erastus Salisbury Lavery, John Pesellino Vollon, Antoine
Catlin, George Filippo Napoletano Lely, Peter Petitjean, Hippolyte Ward, James
Cazes, Pierre Jacques Flandrin, Hippolyte-Jean Leslie, Charles Robert Phillips, Ammi Watson, John Dawson
Charlet, Nicolas-Toussaint Forain, Jean Louis Levy, Emile Picot, François-Edouard Westall, Richard
Chinnery, George Fortuny y Carbó, Mariano José María Bernardo Lhermitte, Léon-Augustin Pierre, Jean Baptiste Marie Wijnants, Jan
Cogniet, Léon Fragonard, Alexandre-Evariste Ligozzi, Jacopo Pitati, Bonifazio de’ Wilson, Richard
Collier, Edwaert Frost, William Edward Linnell, John Polidoro da Caravaggio Wood, Christopher
Colman, Samuel Gandolfi, Gaetano Lippo Memmi Pot, Hendrik Yakovlev, Aleksandr
Constant, Jean Joseph Benjamin Garofalo Lissitzky, El Potter, Beatrix Yeames, William Frederick
Cooke, Edward William Gérard, Marguerite Loo, Carle van Regnault, Jean-Baptiste Zoppo, Marco
Cooper, Thomas Sidney Gifford, Robert Swain Loo, Jean-Baptiste van Ribot, Théodule Zuloaga, Ignacio
Coorte, Adriaen Gillot, Claude Loo, Louis Michel van Roslin, Alexander
Cope, Charles West Gilpin, Sawrey Mackintosh, Charles Rennie Rotari, Pietro
Coques, Gonzales Giroux, André Maclise, Daniel Rousseau, Théodore

Today is the 20th anniversary of the founding of Open Door Networks, the parent company of Art Authority. We are very proud of our 20 years creating great app(lication)s for Apple devices.

Open Door Networks is an Internet company, and always has been. As such we have had to grow and change with the Net, as well as with Apple (the company that gave our founder his start and us our focus). It has been an interesting evolution:

  • We started as a Macintosh dial-up Internet Service Provider, then helped our home town of Ashland Oregon build and run the ahead-of-its-time Ashland Fiber Network.
  • We have been a server application provider, helping the Apple community out with utilities for many early Mac-based Web and other servers.
  • We have been a Macintosh-based web hosting service.
  • We have been a developer of Internet security software, for Apple, Symantec and ourselves.
  • We have created over 100 iPhone and iPad apps, including day-one apps for both devices.
  • We are now the developer of the number one classic art app out there.

Quite the ride! What’s next?

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!

Art Authority’s president, Alan Oppenheimer, and his wife Priscilla just got back from a trip to the San Francisco Bay Area. Combining business with pleasure, they presented the company’s wares at the Pitch 2013 startup show at AT&T Park, met with the foremost authority on Jan Brueghel the Elder at Berkeley, met with representatives of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco about the National Docent Symposium they’re hosting next month (more on that later), and saw the Diebenkorn and “Impressionists on the Water” exhibits at the de Young Museum and the Legion of Honor respectively.

They also had a real life dinner with two of the participants in this year’s Summer Intern Program. We pride ourselves in the worldwide reach of our apps and our programs. The Art Authority database includes works from nearly a thousand museums and other art sites, our Art Authority apps bring that art to users around the world, our Art Alert app helps bring users around the world to that art. And our intern program this year included interns from as far east as the United Kingdom and as far west as New Zealand. We feel great about the difference we’re making worldwide. But every so often it’s really nice to just be able to sit down with people in real life and have dinner!

Dinner with interns in Berkeley

Now that most of them have started, we wanted to give a quick update on the current set of interns in year 3 of the Art Authority Summer Intern Program. We have over twenty art and art history majors helping us increase the quality and the quantity of entries in the Art Authority database. There are multiple representatives from Barnard, UC Berkeley, UCLA and Vassar, as well as students from Columbia, Emory, Fordham, University of San Francisco, University of Michigan, San Francisco State and Stony Brook. We also have a representative from the University of Glamorgan, Wales and one from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. All the interns are working remotely from their homes, schools and other locations, making the program even more unique.

This year’s intern program is being managed by an alumna from last year’s program. She’s helping this year’s “class” become familiar with key digital collaboration tools like Google apps, Google groups and Skype, as well as of course the Art Authority database. The interns are specializing in specific artists within the database, becoming expert in those artists, ensuring that those artists’ key works are represented, finding articles about the artists’ works, and checking, correcting, and supplementing other pieces of metadata in the database. They’re also becoming familiar with and adding to our community site.

The program is a great learning experience for all concerned. The interns learn important tools and collaboration techniques and get to understand their artists in depth. We here at Art Authority learn about “issues” with our database and community, and also what it takes to manage a diverse group of college kids working across 14 time zones. We’re also getting new and interesting points of view on various aspects of the art world. It’s going to be a fun summer!

Art and society have been linked for as long as there have been art and society. Art has been a part of society, and society has been a part of art.

Art Authority is a great example. As Apple iDevices have become a part of society, so has Art Authority. We love it when people come up to us at shows and say how much they’ve enjoyed or learned from the app. But we also want society to become a part of Art Authority.

As announced this week, we’re going to help you hang great art on your wall, making classic art available to classic society in a classic way. But we also want to help make classic art available to new society in new ways.

Apple has recently integrated new social networking features into iOS 6, and we’ve added these to Art Authority for iPad. You can now easily post works you love to your Twitter or Facebook account. Just tap a button while looking at any work in the app, and tweet or post that work, complete with your thoughts and comments.


And we’re going further. We’re introducing our own, art-specific social network site: Not only does our community site give you Web-based access to the same 55,000+ works of art as the app, but it lets you comment on and rate those works (and their artists and locations) in various ways. You can even keep track of which works you’ve seen “in real life.”


Speaking of “real life,” the site is signing up a number of “real” art authorities to provide expert commentary. We’ve also integrated Prints on Demand into the site, so if you see a work you really love, you can get a customized framed print for your wall. And this blog is now part of the site too!

Of course we plan to add lots of additional features in the future, such as forums and art news. But we think what’s here today is a great start, and we’re looking forward to seeing what society thinks of the whole thing. So please do check out and let us know!