The Art Institute of Chicago goes digital with French Impressionism app

Oct 12, 2010
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The Art Institute in downtown Chicago houses an incredible collection of French Impressionist works, making a trip to the museum a must for anyone visiting the Windy City. But if a Chicago vacation isn’t in your price range, perhaps you’ll be able to swing the sale price of $1.99 for the new French Impressionism at […]

The Art Institute in downtown Chicago houses an incredible collection of French Impressionist works, making a trip to the museum a must for anyone visiting the Windy City. But if a Chicago vacation isn’t in your price range, perhaps you’ll be able to swing the sale price of $1.99 for the new French Impressionism at the Art Institute of Chicago app for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad ($3.99 for the iPad app).

I was only able to test French Impressionism on an iPhone 4 and I was impressed (really, no pun, intended) with the quality of the images of the more than 100 works in the collection. For as good as the paintings looked on my small screen—Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte,” Vincent Van Gogh’s “The Bedroom,” and Toulouse-Lautrec’s “At the Moulin Rouge,” to name a few—I can only imagine how intense the iPad-version of the app looks.

French Impressionism at the Art Institute of Chicago offers a variety of user-friendly features, such as a search function that lets you jump directly to a specific painting. The panoramic gallery videos make you feel like you’re inside the museum (and helps to get a feel for a painting’s actual size), and the narration is pleasant to listen to as well as educational. Within each section, users will be treated to extensive historical, biographical and contextual information that help gain a better understanding of the influences and background of a particular work.

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Although the app is no substitute for a real visit, French Impressionism at the Art Institute of Chicago is a must have for any one with an interest in art.

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