Audio Tours at The Barnes Foundation
By Espro Acoustiguide Group
Open iTunes to buy and download apps.
Celebrated for its exceptional breadth, depth, and quality, the Barnes Foundation's art collection includes works by some of the greatest European and American masters of impressionism, post-impressionism, and early modern art, as well as African sculpture, Pennsylvania German decorative arts, Native American textiles, metalwork, and more.
Founder Albert C. Barnes arranged and rearranged his collections in “ensembles,” distinctive wall compositions organized according to formal principles of light, line, color, and space, rather than by chronology, nationality, style, or genre. The ensembles changed as Barnes made acquisitions and new aesthetic connections between the works. Integrating art and craft, and objects from across cultures and periods, Barnes sought to demonstrate the continuity of artistic traditions and the universalism of human expression.
This application explores individual works as well as the ensembles and includes interviews with curators and scholars at the Barnes Foundation and elsewhere. A family tour encourages children and their families to interact by considering the ways in which the objects in the ensembles relate to one another; the role of play or leisure in various objects; and the interaction of music and visual art.
Objects and ensembles by room, numeric keypad entry, and keyword search function enable you to access the guide anyway you wish.
What's New in Version 1.1.1
App shuts down when video off.
In general I think this is an okay app for visiting a museum or, better, enjoying the art if you can’t get to the museum. However, it is impossible to listen to the audio without having the video on. If you are in the museum this is a problem, since using video greatly diminishes your batter life. I did not show up with a full battery and by the time I realized the problem my battery was gone and I could not listen to the narrative. I couldn’t recharge without leaving the galleries and running the risk of not being let back in since the Barnes uses timed tickets to control the number of people in the galleries.
What really frosts me about this is that the video, as far as I can tell, consists primarily of images of the work of art in question (which are right there in front of you in the galleries! Why be forced to look at a painting on a small screen when the real one is right there LIFE SIZE!) and the curators/staff/narrator talking. As an “at home” app to enjoy the art away from the museum, I am sure it works great, but in the galleries I don’t know what added value the video brings. Certainly not enough to drain my battery needlessly.
So enjoy this app at home, but bear in mind that using it in the galleries is limited. Be sure to make all possible adjustments to maximize your battery charge like turning down brightness levels, turning off wifi, going to airplane mode, etc.
The discussions of the works included are very good and most informative. However , the vast majority of the works at the museum are not covered. There are guide books in every room of the museum that give the artist, title and date. Having this app as an audio guide is great but it would be a real improvement to have the guide book information included. Just the rooms, with the works and the basic information, that is already there in another less easily accessible format if you already are set up for the use of this otherwise marvelous app. If this were added this is a five star app.
Audio cuts out when phone locks or switching apps
If your screen is set to lock (for instance to preserve battery space), or you want to google something as the audio guide speaks, then the audio will cut out. Very jarring to be taken into the village Picasso was painting and hear about the red clay on the women's hand and have the app audio shut off because the phone shuts off and locks.
Also not great if you're listening to the description of Joy of Life and want to queue up a song from Amilee as the perfect accompaniment as your take it in.
Good app overall. I'd love more content or history for each piece of work.
- Category: Education
- Updated: Jan 08, 2013
- Version: 1.1.1
- Size: 6.3 MB
- Languages: English, French, Spanish
- Seller: Espro Information Technologies Ltd.
- © 2012 Espro Acoustiguide Group. Content 2012 The Barnes Foundation. All rights reserved.
Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.