Museums have always been at the centre point of showcasing the world’s treasures in grand halls and galleries, while also trying to preserve our history for generations to come. However, with virtual reality technology, the future of how we visit museums is adapting quickly. This global movement is allowing art to become more accessible to the masses while ensuring our cultural heritage is preserved.
This piece is the second in a two-part series that explores how museums are embracing technology through the use of virtual reality. In Part I, it was discussed how world-renowned museums are using VR technology to enhance the visitor experience and make public art more accessible. This piece will outline a select number of virtual museums that are based solely online. These new museums will bring artwork that is found all over the world to a single location and will reveal private collections that can now be viewed through online, 3D means.
Feature Photo Source: Tech Crunch
The Kremer Collection is a privately-owned collection by George and llomer Kremer. It is composed of artwork by historical artists such as Rembrandt, Van Rijn, and Frans Hals. Now, these old masters have received a whole new virtual treatment. Using VR technology, visitors will be able to explore this private collection and view the surface of each painting, allowing them to better see all colours and textures. Additionally, they will be able to view the rear side of the painting to see the artwork’s provenance, something which is impossible to do at regular museums. George Kremer shares the idea behind the operation, “Imagine taking the museum to the people, instead of taking the people to the museum.” Visitors will be able to experience a true museum atmosphere regardless of where they are.
George Kremer has spent nearly two decades collecting 74 pieces of historical artwork. Now in collaboration with his son, Joël Kremer, who is a former employee at Google, new technology has been merged with the family’s legacy. In the beginning, the family thought about the idea to open this gallery as a brick and mortar building, however, costs and location were limiting factors. By having the artwork be based solely online, visitors of the museum are not limited by location, ensuring greater accessibility.
Google has partnered with CyArk, a 3D laser scanning non-profit organization, to create a new project devoted to helping preserve historical sites and landmarks around the world. Their digital conservation efforts allow visitors of Open Heritage to view 26 different world heritage sites and have even resulted in new information being learned by historians.
“With modern technology, we can capture these monuments in fuller detail than ever before, including the color and texture of surfaces alongside the geometry captured by the laser scanners with millimeter precision in 3D,” Chance Coughenour, a Digital Archaeologist and program manager with the Google Arts and Culture division, said in a press release. “These detailed scans can also be used to identify areas of damage and assist restoration efforts.”
3. The VR Museum of Fine Art
The VR Museum of Fine Art allows visitors to embark on a journey that would otherwise require you to visit over 10 different countries. This latest technology enables you to walk around, duck under, and even hug famous sculptures and artwork; that’s right, no guards will be telling you to step away from the artwork! To help learn more about each piece, informative holographic plaques are offered. Thanks to virtual technologies, art lovers can interact with art in a totally new way.
The DSL Private Collection was created in 2005 with a focus towards Chinese contemporary art. It is unique to others as a cap of 160-200 is kept on the number of works in the collection. In an effort to share the private collection with the rest of the world, Sylvain and Dominique Levy, the collection owners, made the world’s first VR Museum. Since 2005, the DSL Collection has been devoted to making it a nomadic collection and has refused to be fixed in one spot. As such, creating a virtual museum fit with the collection’s vision. It features work by Ai Weiwei and Zeng Fanzhi as well as younger artists such as Song Yuanyuan and Zhao Zhao.
The future of VR and art is dependent on many external circumstances. Of course, the primary cause is the development of technology in this sector. However, users must be willing to adopt this feature and push the limitations of how it can be used. We have only begun to scratch the surface of what art and science can achieve together. At Arius, we are also devoted to expanding these capabilities. Our technology has allowed for the creation of new contemporary art work through new means, has lead to groundbreaking research, and has made art more accessible. It showcases that the way we live with art is changing quickly.
This piece of the two-part series emphasizes key players in the museum-art industry that have leveraged the technology in new ways; but most importantly, it highlights that the future of art is very, very bright.