There are few experiences more enlightening than visiting a renowned art museum and exploring its collection. Art history aficionados can attest that there is nothing cooler than seeing the artwork you’ve studied all semester long in person. No surprise, in this day and age, museums have finally reached the point where a website is simply not enough for visitors. From interactive maps, exclusive videos, and a look at the current exhibits on display, these four museum apps are sure to complement your next museum trip.
The Modern Museum of Art (MoMA) in New York City, home to some of the world’s finest modern and contemporary art, has an app that is just as refined, aesthetically pleasing and intuitive as the museum itself. Brush up on the current and upcoming exhibitions prior to your next visit or browse MoMA’s permanent collection. Accompanying audio commentary from curators and object information are accessible to museum goers who want to delve deeper into the provenance behind a specific work of art. To ensure easy browsing, the art is organized according to special highlights, location, chronology, department, and artist. Not only is MoMA’s app a perfect fit for longtime visitors, but it’s also equipped for the first-timer who seeks the convenience of a comprehensive map and directory, a rundown of current events and everything you need to be ready for your visit.
The Guggenheim is yet another must-visit art museum in New York City and is known just as much for its architecture (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright) as its collection of modern and contemporary works of art. In a nutshell, the Guggenheim takes a minimalist approach to covering all the essentials in the most seamless way possible. Brush up on current, past, and global exhibitions or search by artists, artworks, and guides to ensure that you find exactly what you’re looking for. For instance, a search for German-born American artist Josef Albers yields a rundown of his career achievements and a page displaying all related artworks owned by the Guggenheim.
For those who appreciate “the good” in the form of architecture, this app includes a breakdown (complete with audio and photos) of Wright’s 1959 masterpiece.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the largest art museum on the west coast, flaunts a diverse collection of art that dates from antiquity to the present. LACMA’s app is easy to maneuver with everything easily accessible from the home screen. With the museum’s essential information in plain sight, you won’t have any issues locating its hours, admission details, or upcoming events. A glance at LACMA’s current events and collection highlights yields an illustrated summary of each exhibition. For instance, “Calder and Abstraction: From Avant-Garde to Iconic” is complemented by a brief description of Calder (just enough background information to acquaint you with his design philosophy) and a short film from the Modern Art Film Library.
National Gallery of Art (Free)
Located in our nation’s capital on the National Mall, the National Gallery of Art (NGA) houses a broad collection of artwork from the Middle Ages to the present. NGA’s app is designed to enhance a museumgoer’s experience and prepare them for their visit. Each artwork is accompanied with the name of the work, the medium, date and an overview of the artist and painting. Brief commentary from the curator is also included for those who want additional background information on the artwork and artist. It also features one of the better museum maps that helps pinpoint exactly where you are in relation to your favorite paintings.