Archives for posts with tag: Museums

As mentioned previously, we recently acquired 1000 museums worth of art through our purchase of 1000Museums.com, the go-to site for top-quality fine art reproductions. We’re pleased to announce that we’ve now begun the integration of that site with our flagship Art Authority for iPad app. Art Authority for iPad 4.10.3 is now available through the App Store, and it includes the ability to purchase prints of a number of major works of art directly from 1000Museums.

When browsing through art in the app, simply look for the “Available at 1000Museums” button to access the purchase page for that work directly from the app. You can choose five sizes (up to 32″ x 40″) and four high-end framing options. You can also select additional works from the site at the same time. One of the many great aspects of 1000Museums is that portions of your purchase price go back to the artist and museum involved with the work itself, so you’re getting a great piece of art for your wall and giving back to the art community at the same time.

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With over 100,000 works of art in Art Authority for iPad, as you can imagine only a small percentage can currently be purchased directly from the app. But 1000Museums has tens of thousand of works available too, so expect a whole lot more to be added to the app in the months ahead. And of course that’s only the beginning. As we say in the app, we have big plans for Art Authority + 1000Museums!

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Art Authority is pleased to announce our first major art acquisition. If Art Authority were a traditional art institution, we might well be announcing that we had obtained a rare painting by a renowned artist like Rembrandt or van Gogh. Instead, this being the 21st century, we’re announcing that we have obtained 1000 museums worth of art!

To be specific, Art Authority has acquired the digital portfolio of 1000Museums, Inc. Both Art Authority and 1000Museums have been pioneers in connecting art museums and art communities in new ways. 1000Museums’ particular strengths have been their relationships, their museum partners, and their web-based capability to affordably provide art lovers with high quality reproductions of works from those museums.

1000Museums’ relationships and print capabilities complement our own, combining with our award-wining mobile app line to greatly advance our mission of making the world’s art accessible to all the world. We can now look forward to working with not just one thousand, but many thousands of museums, helping them use Internet-era tools to connect them and their collections with the rapidly expanding community of art lovers, art students, and art creators around the world.

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Gallery of the Louvre, S.B. Morse, 1831-33, Terra Foundation for American Art

Not that long ago, the only way art lovers could view the art they loved was by traveling to art museums in their local community and around the world, and the only communities art museums could draw on were their local ones and those art travelers. With our 1000Museums art acquisition, we here at Art Authority think we’ve taken a huge step in giving art lovers easy access to way more art, and art museums easy access to way more art lovers. We couldn’t be more pleased if we had acquired a Rembrandt ourselves!

Frames make beautiful art even more beautiful. Indeed, framing is itself an art form.

We here at Art Authority have been working with renowned framing authority Eli Wilner & Company to adapt their frames for use throughout the Art Authority museum.

Eli Wilner & Co. have designed a specific frame for each of our museum’s eight period rooms, and these frames are now available in the latest upgrade to Art Authority for iPad, version 4.10.2.

From the basic beauty of Early art, to the elegance of the Baroque, to the desire of Romanticism and the statements of Modern and Contemporary, we think Wilner frames are the perfect finishing touch to the paintings by over 1500 of the world’s greatest artists.

We look forward to additional work with Eli Wilner & Co. in the months ahead.

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.

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     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:

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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:

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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.

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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!

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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 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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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

Earlier this year, the FBI put together a Web site to ask for help recovering paintings stolen 23 years earlier from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. A big piece of the Web site is a slide show of those works.

But, as is almost always the case, it’s very hard to get a feel for the size of works of art when shown online. For instance the fact that the stolen Rembrandt self-portrait is little bigger than your thumb.

With Art Authority for iPad’s new “Art Real Size” feature, now you can easily get that important feel.

We’ve also put together a video similar to the FBI’s, showing how the works appear in Art Authority for iPad.

The main reason we designed and implemented Art Real Size is to help people better understand and connect with works of art by better understanding the real size of those works. In this case, perhaps Art Real Size will also contribute in some small way to the works’ recovery and re-introduction into the art world, so people can once again see them real size for real. Here’s hoping anyway.