If you click on one of my tags below this entry, you will notice that I have shared some photos (by some, I mean nearly all) from the Kunsthistoriches Museum app. After padding my blog with these reproductions, I will now give my overall review of this free download. I installed this onto my phone after reviewing an unofficial app dedicated to the museum.
How do I sum up the Kunsthistorisches Museum’s official app? Luxury and high status. In the section titled “Highlights”, artistic depictions of human royalty sit, for lack of a better word, comfortably next to divine beings, mythical/biblical stories, abstracts (humans standing for gods, cultures, countries, and/or continents) and crafts designed as symbols of abundance and power. Power often symbolized by the beings I listed in the previous sentence. According to the text next to each reproduction, almost all the paintings, sculpture, armor, weapons, clothing, crowns, carriages, dishes, and other forms of furniture featured in this application were all elaborately decorated and designed to appeal to the wealthy and refined of tastes. The app does have work about (and worn by) regular subjects by (possibly) everyday people, but the museum’s inclusion of both subject and artist in this app gives them an air of elite status.
On the technical side, I found this app very well designed. The photographic reproductions were wonderfully shot to give the viewer a high quality taste of what the Kunsthistorisches Museum has to offer. As a bonus, you can move the photos around to create your own collage. When clicking on the photos, it will lead to a link that provides a full screen (plus share friendly) reproduction of the art itself, plus some written facts (and praise) on the pieces. If the background behind an artwork has mysterious origins, the text lets you know that whatever evidence they have falls under speculation. Since the Kunsthistorisches consists of multiple buildings, the app gives each artwork’s site address. I do have some complaints. When I click on the app, sometimes it will not load properly, but I could heal that problem by restarting my phone. Also, it sometimes crashed on me while I used it, or when I tried to open the app. I will delve into the other complaints in the next paragraph.
The app has other features, all put under a clean design. They have links to the websites’ blog entries (all in German, unless you want to use your browser’s translation function). However, this observation came before that section started crashing the app every time I clicked on a link, so I could be wrong. Plus, this section takes its time loading everything. Another feature provides a schedule of upcoming exhibitions (each exhibition gives a reproduction and sometimes a written history behind a piece) and times for when the museum opens and closes.
All in all, I liked it, and if you can download it, go for it.
ETA: Tweaked a few things here and there.