With the launch of its new mobile app, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum provides a unique, highly interactive educational platform for visitors to the Guggenheim and mobile-device users around the world. The app hosts a wealth of multimedia material that will enliven the visitor’s experience of the museum and enrich learning and dialogue about its exhibitions and collections.
The Guggenheim app, which had a soft launch in February, allows users to browse more than 1,200 collection works and learn about the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright building via guides in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. Key visitor info is at one’s fingertips, including a museum map, hours and location information, and a calendar of events. With the breadth of an ever-evolving digital catalogue, the Guggenheim app provides users with vivid reproductions, extensive information about individual artworks and exhibitions, and exclusive video and audio content.
The new app brings the museum’s interpretive materials for its exhibitions and collection to a new level of engagement. Contemporary museumgoers demand new options for interactive learning beyond traditional audio-only guides, as well as the convenience of downloading content to their own phone. The result offers them a wide variety of media all in one package.
The Guggenheim app is sponsored by Bloomberg as part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Arts Engagement Initiative, an effort to transform the experience of visitors to cultural institutions through technology.
Within the Guggenheim app, select exhibitions feature educational guides for families and kids. Special care has gone into the app’s design to assure a high degree of accessibility for those with disabilities. The accessibility features include verbal imaging descriptions, text enlargement and, for iOS devices, VoiceOver technology for visitors who are blind or have low vision. For visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing, the app provides audio transcripts and closed-captioning for videos on iOS devices, and on-site devices are T-coil compatible. The app enables content sharing via social-media channels to encourage user interaction, and app users can create their own virtual collection by tagging favorite works from the museum’s holdings and special exhibitions.
For the exhibition James Turrell, on view at the Guggenheim through September 25, the app offers video interviews with the artist and the exhibition’s curators that address Turrell’s explorations of perception, light, color, and space. Video interviews with the installation team reveal the complex apparatus constructed to support Aten Reign (2013), the dramatic site-specific installation that fills the museum’s central void. In addition to a full range of content in English, guides are currently available in French, German, Italian, and Spanish for the museum’s collection and the exhibition New Harmony: Abstraction between the Wars, 1919–1939, on view through September 8.
The Guggenheim will launch an iPad version of the app in 2014, with the tablet’s larger screen offering a more immersive experience. The Guggenheim app for iPad will allow users to explore artworks in even greater depth and provide global audiences with an array of materials for those at all levels of familiarity with art. As the Guggenheim app evolves, it will continue to develop and expand as an innovative educational platform.
The app is available free of charge for iPhone, iPodTouch, and Android. Download here. At the museum, visitors may use the app on their own smartphones and headphones or borrow a device free at the Multimedia Guide desk.
The Guggenheim app is sponsored by Bloomberg.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
5th Avenue at 89th Street
New York City
Category: Museum News