Children visiting the Milwaukee Art Museum will have a new way to experience exhibits through technology after the launch of a new app today.
The Kohl’s Art Generation at the Milwaukee Art Museum app
was developed by Connecticut-based Antenna. It is segmented for visitors to the museum in two groups – ages four to seven and eight to 12.
The app’s features include the “A is for Art” audio tour – which engages children in the ABC’s as it works through the museum. The “Eye-Touch” tour uses a mix of audio, video and interactive games to introduce children to more than 40 works in the museum’s collection.
There is also an “Art Selfie” feature, which allows users to put their picture on an 18th or 19th century portrait miniature.
“At this point, some kids might be more familiar with hand-held technology than they are with art,” said Emily Sullivan, the museum’s director of youth and family programs.
Antenna’s executive producer Sofie Anderson said there is a higher standard when developing apps for younger visitors. The app takes a natural inclination to use cameras in the museum and turns it into a creative behavior, Anderson said.
Sullivan said that many museums have had digital tours to go along with feature exhibitions for years, but the development of apps aimed at children in museum settings is a newer phenomenon.
“What’s fun for us is to try to create all kinds of different access points,” she said.
The app was developed as part of the Kohl’s Art Generation program. It is available as a free download on the Apple app store and can be used outside of the museum. The museum also has iPods available to the museum to allow those without smartphones or entire families to use the app.
The Milwaukee Art Museum is not the only area attraction to turn to new technology to enhance the experience for visitors. The Milwaukee Public Museum launched an app
to accompany the revitalized Streets of Old Milwaukee exhibit in December.