New 'Shazam for Art' App Lets You Scan Famous Works of Art, Learn All the Things

Culture — it's not just for yogurt anymore

By Kirk Miller

 
Smartify
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03 March 2017

It can be hard to appreciate art if you don’t know the story behind it.

That’s seemingly the  problem Smartify — the “art” is bolded in their logo — wants to solve. Just launched, the iOS app allows you to scan artwork in famous museums and get more information about the artist and the work you're looking at. 

It’s essentially a “Shazam for art” crossed with a QR reader. While the app was designed to enhance or replace a museum’s audio guided tours, you could use Smartify to surreptitiously garner nuggets of trivia and juicy historical info on the art during, say, a first date.

According to New Scientist, Smartify officially launches in May at the Louvre in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Wallace Collection in London. (Their article also notes that it’d be really nice if you went somewhere and looked up from your phone, but hey, this is the real world).

Right now, Smartify works at the following:

  • National Portrait Gallery Rooms 20 & 4 in London
  • Cartoon Museum in London
  • Roy Lichtenstein’s Whaam! at Tate Modern London
  • Laguna Art Museum in Los Angeles
  • Sluice Art Fair in New York

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