April 11-14, 2007
San Francisco, California

Demonstrations: Description


Charlotte Sexton, The National Gallery, United Kingdom

ArtStart is the National Gallery's award-winning interactive multimedia system.

Launched in 2005 after three years in the making, it was designed to replace the Gallery's groundbreaking Micro Gallery system, first launched in 1991. The aim was to create a user-friendly system that would help visitors, regardless of their knowledge of art or technology, to get the most out of their time at the National Gallery.

The system allows visitors to explore the collection for information on every painting in the Gallery via high-quality touch-screens. 30 of these screens have been deployed around the Gallery in beautifully designed spaces, which provide a relaxed environment where visitors can prepare and plan for their visit.

ArtStart uses very high resolution scans of each of the National Gallery's 2,300 paintings, enabling visitors to examine the works in incredibly fine detail - from the wasps in Botticelli's 'Venus and Mars' to the petals of Van Gogh's 'Sunflowers'.

The system also features specially written in-depth explorations of the collection's most popular paintings including video and audio clips. The Themes and Tours section allows paintings to be explored via a range of topics, ranging from 'Drunkenness and Debauchery' to 'Impressionism.

The elegant touch screen design is incredibly clear to use, allowing visitors to view the collection quickly, and easily find information on every painting on display. Visitors can find the location of a painting, and also create and print their own personalised tour - all completely free of charge.

ArtStart also encourages visitors to extend their relationship with the Gallery, by providing an email facility to send information home. The email provides links back to the National Gallery's website, where visitors can further explore the collection.

Since the system was first launched, it has undergone a number of enhancements in response to visitors' feedback, the latest being a visual browse function which allows visitors to flick through the collection, stopping at works that catch their eye.

Demonstration: Demonstrations - 2 [Close-Up]

Keywords: kiosk, interactive, art, painting, touch-screen, collection