MoMA Launches ‘Abstract’ iPad App

Strange that it was just six months ago that the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art was the first to release an iPad app. Now it seems almost a requirement, having that i-based component when launching a new exhibition or trying to give a little boost to a popular old one. Last month, the Art Institute of Chicago put out their first, giving an interactive taste of their French Impressionism collection for $1.99. Now New York’s Museum of Modern Art has finally gotten into the game with their first foray into iPad-ery (and winning over the Art Institute by giving theirs away for free). Connected to their “Abstract Expressionist New York” exhibit, and sharing that same name, it shows off the museum’s collection and a little history along the way. We’ve had a chance to play with it and it’s fun and interesting, though we’re still not sure we a) want to lug around our iPad when visiting a museum or b) have the confidence to be seen lugging around an iPad when visiting a museum (it feels weirdly snobbish, but this writer doesn’t have confidence about anything, so maybe it’s just our hangup). Here’s a brief description of the new app from the NY Times:

The app, which is free at Apple’s store, includes images of 60 of the paintings, drawings and sculptures in the show, which can be navigated chronologically or by artist, from William Baziotes to Jack Tworkov. It includes a customized Google map that allows users to pinch and scroll around Manhattan and parts of Long Island for the sites where Abstract Expressionism was born and nurtured, from Barnett Newman’s East 19th Street Studio to the Cedar Tavern. And it also includes 20 short videos featuring curators and other experts, along with a dictionary for the truly dedicated art patron of Ab Ex technical terms like emulsion and turpentine burn.