‘Touch Van Gogh’ launched
Today, the Van Gogh Museum will launch the app Touch Van Gogh to view paintings by Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) in detail. Prior to the recent reopening of the renovated Van Gogh Museum, extensive research has been done into the realization of Van Gogh’s body of work. The museum wanted to make the outcome of this technical research accessible with a public-friendly app. IJsfontein was commissioned and the result is available as a download as from today. A picture is worth a thousand words, we know that like no other. Watch the app trailer below.
Accessibility of research
With Touch Van Gogh the Van Gogh Museum found an appealing way to make the results from a complex technical research into Van Gogh’s working method accessible to a broad audience. Making these new insights into Van Gogh’s working method visible for the museum visitor, but also to intensify the entire museum experience, a way had to be found to clarify the realization of the artwork. With the app the realization of a painting can be followed step by step, as if you carefully strip the painting of it layers. Among other things, the app shows what a painting looked like before a restoration, exactly where it was painted, which paints discoloured, as well as the composition of the painting.
Will people still visit a museum if the works can be accessed this easily outside of the museum? We think they will. What is more, we think their curiosity is aroused and the motivation to go and see the physical object for real will be increased instead of reduced. However beautiful the app is, nothing beats the real thing. We only add to the experience. In the app you can do all kinds of things that are strictly forbidden in the museum. You can touch these paintings and take them off the wall to have a look at the back.
Explore for yourself
The multi-touch control of the tablet enables the user to explore intuitively. As a detective of sorts, the user can unravel Vincent van Gogh’s paintings at his/her own pace to find out more about the life and work of this famous artist. At times, making this app proved to be quite a technical challenge. The application uses many large image files and tablets especially have difficulty loading them. In addition, the app had the be designed for various mobile platforms and a desktop version for the museum itself had to be included. By using clever combinations and applications of programs (some of which are completely new to us) we have managed to do this in a way no user will notice it. And that is the way it should be!
Read the press release by the Van Gogh Museum.