Art Authority creates a virtual art museum on the iPad | iLounge News


Art Authority creates a virtual art museum on the iPad

Open Door Networks has released the iPad version of its Art Authority application. Expanding upon the iPhone version released in February, Art Authority for the iPad takes advantage of the larger screen and enhanced UI of the iPad to provide an impressive interactive virtual museum experience. Works are displayed within the app framed and hung on textured walls accompanied by titles, dates, and other information. Tapping on a work provides a pop-over for users to access additional details on the selected work or artist or view other related items from the period and artists’ influences. As with the original iPhone version, a customizable full-screen slideshow is also available with images presented in higher resolutions appropriate for the iPad. Works can also be saved to the iPad photo library to be used as home screen or lock screen wallpapers or shared with others. The application provides access to an online database of over 40,000 paintings and sculptures and over 1,000 western artists across all historical periods. Art Authority for the iPad is available from the App Store for $10.

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In one weekend this iPad “Art Authority” “virtual museum experience” has been retweeted so many times it’s just overwhelming.

Everything about this product is wrong. Well, not wrong, I’m sure it will please its users, but it certainly is not about art - or not about the art of our time anyway. Instead of being the art of our time, it uses the hi-tek gadget of our time to distract us from the real cultural issues of our time with the art of the past made candy.

The artist’s job is to ask questions. To get us to, well, as Apple puts it, “think different.” That’s a perfect slogan for art. But think different, in an art context anyway, doesn’t mean changing one corporate logo for another, it means questioning all your assumptions and values and as the Buddha challenged us so long ago, to have a direct understanding of things. If you can’t clearly see what your looking at, people can waste years in dead end relationships, nations can waste trillions in dead end wars.

The artist’s job, to ask questions, to show other perspectives, is an enormously crucial aspect of our culture. It is as important a job as there is on this earth.  But what this sexy iPad app does is kill, tag, and bag the art of the past and present it as candy or jewelry, void of real cultural power and rendered as mere collectible for the affluent.

The “Art Authority” has as little to do with art as anything I can think of.

Posted by Vaneeesa Blaylock in Toronto on April 19, 2010 at 11:30 AM (CDT)


I am the director of a digital archive dedicated to the use of student artists. This app is extremely successful at putting the history of art into a straightforward and easy to navigate format. The depth of the collection of images is staggering. So much to learn about, even for those with a good understanding of the subject already. This is the best app I’ve bought for my iPad so far. Well worth the price.

Posted by Stephen Worth in Toronto on April 20, 2010 at 1:45 PM (CDT)

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