This App Lets You Take a 360-Degree Virtual Tour of the World's Best Art Exhibitions

Kerry James Marshall, School of Beauty, School of Culture, 2012
Kerry James Marshall, School of Beauty, School of Culture, 2012 | Birmingham Museum of Art. © Kerry James Marshall.
Photo of Claire Lancaster
Tech & Entrepreneurship Editor20 April 2018

The ArtPassport app takes users on a virtual tour of the world’s best exhibitions, offering 360-degree views and information on the artists and works.

Founded by London-based brothers Tristram and Patrick Fetherstonhaugh in 2017, ArtPassport offers anyone, anywhere, access to high resolution images and 360-degree panoramic views of contemporary art from the world’s leading galleries and art museums.

The free app features a regularly updated feed of exhibitions with panoramas, images of individual works, descriptive texts on the artists and visitor information. Users can zoom in on art that they are interested in and press a virtual reality icon to use a Google Cardboard headset for a more immersive experience.

“Nothing replaces physically being in the space in front of a work of art, but the tech let’s you get so much closer than you ever could before, and experience so much more,” founder Tristram Fetherstonhaugh told Culture Trip.

ArtPassport takes users on a virtual tour of the world’s best exhibitions | © Laurence J.W. Cannings

The technology works by taking 360-degree photo spheres – multiple images taken from a single viewpoint with a very wide-angle lens – which are then processed, joined together and viewed through a special interface, either via the app or on the website.

The resulting high-res images can be panned around on a computer, viewed on a phone, or slotted into a viewer for the full VR experience.

“We’ve always been about helping more people to see and discover more art. There’s a world of fantastic exhibitions put on by commercial galleries and art museums, and the 360 technology that ArtPassport uses is the by far the best way to experience the shows that you might not otherwise see and offer a taster for ones you are planning to visit,” said Fetherstonhaugh.

ArtPassport currently has 400,000+ downloads and is avaialble for iOS and Android.

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