A new way to learn about Art: The Mint joins international ‘SMARTIFY’ App

Visitors can use SMARTIFY on their phones to learn behind-the-scenes info on selected works of art

If you’re a fan of visual arts and you own a smartphone, you’ll want to download the free SMARTIFY app before your next visit to The Mint Museum – or more than 30 other participating art museums worldwide.

The Mint Museum is the latest to enter works of art in its collection into the database used by SMARTIFY, a global mobile app also in use at museums worldwide including National Gallery (London); Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York); and The Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam). Using image recognition technology, the app allows gallery visitors to scan and identify works of art in using their smartphone, to access rich interpretation, and build a personal collection. The Mint’s participation officially launches November 22, though visitors can now test the app on the first group of objects in the database.

“We at The Mint Museum decided to join SMARTIFY because it’s a great way for visitors to learn more about the art we have on view,” said Lyndsay Kibiloski, the Mint’s digital media specialist who is overseeing the effort. “I often look at our works on view and want to know more, and with this app, you can do just that. We hope that visitors will find SMARTIFY to be both a useful and fun way to interact with the Mint’s collection.”

The Mint started with providing information about signature works from its Craft + Design Collection – specifically, Project Ten Ten Ten , a group of works of art by leading artists and designers around the world commissioned in conjunction with the opening of Mint Museum Uptown in 2010. Most are permanently installed at Mint Museum Uptown. Additionally, visitors can scan the famous Chihuly chandelier in the entryway and the monumental Sheila Hicks sculpture in the atrium. Those objects plus Tom Joyce’s “Thicket” sculpture on the terrace are accessible without paying museum admission, and the remainder are accessible free each Wednesday evening from 5-9 p.m. Additionally, hard copies of the supplemental content will be available at the Mint’s front desks by the November 22 launch for anyone who does not use a smartphone.

The Mint is in the midst of adding new objects to the database each quarter moving forward, with a group of objects on view at Mint Museum Randolph in the next installment. In the coming weeks, labels will be added to works of art that appear in the database so visitors will know which ones to scan.

Working across a growing network of museums, SMARTIFY is becoming a global platform for art. Using advanced image recognition technology, SMARTIFY instantly identifies works of art by scanning them on your smartphone. Simply by holding the phone up to a work of art, detailed information about the work is instantly shown onscreen. Glimpses of curatorial research, links to video or audio content, or hidden stories behind the work can all be brought to visitors in a seamless experience, in the presence of the work itself.

The app is currently available at: Royal Academy of Arts, UK; The National Gallery, UK; National Portrait Gallery, London, UK; The Wallace Collection, UK; The Bowes Museum, UK; Turner Contemporary, UK; Ben Uri Gallery, UK; Sculpture in the City, City of London, UK; Guildhall Art Gallery, City of London, UK; Middlesborough Institute of Modern Art, UK; Deutsche Bank at Frieze Art Fair, UK; Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Netherlands; The Rijksmuseum, Netherlands; Mauritshuis, Netherlands; Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Italy; Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia (Doge’s Palace, Museo Correr etc.), Italy; Museo San Donato, Italy; Le Musée en Herbe, France; Spray Collection, France; Little Beaux-Arts, France; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Spain; Laguna Art Museum, USA; Museum of Contemporary Photography, USA; The State Hermitage Museum, Russia; The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Russia; The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, USA; The Getty, USA; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, USA; LACMA, USA, and The Mint Museum, USA.

Coming soon: National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST), Greece; Horst-Janssen-Museum, Oldenburg, Germany; Musée National des Beaux-arts de Québec, Canada, and many more.