Enjoy World Renown Art and Design on the iPad with Top Museum Apps


Many iPad fans consider Apple’s products to be the perfect unity of technology and great design. The iPad’s high resolution touchscreen also makes it a great way to explore museum collections, so save the plane far and never leave your arm chair as you enjoy some of our favorite museum apps.

There are a number of apps which aim to recreate the museum experience for the users who constitute its virtual patrons. Using these apps give the user a sense of how the museum collection is curated, and expand ideas about what constitutes art. For example, the London’s Design Museum app, The Design Museum Collection (free), showcases an array of items, including a Mac and a mobil gas pump whose that are functional and, well, beautiful at the same time.  National Museum of Korea 100 Highlights ($4.99) is a coffee table book app that offers readers a chance to learn more about Korean culture and history by showcasing the best of the museums 270,000 item collection.

Unfortunately two of the most impressive apps, for the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain and the Tate Modern in London, remain iPhone-only (still compatible with your iPad though).

Some apps aim to be specific rather than exhaustive, and choose to focus on a particular exhibition or highlight the art collections for which the museum is well-known. While MOMA AB EX NY (free) was tied to the MoMA’s abstract expressionist exhibit that ended in 2011, and the Getty’s The Life of Art (Free) follows the 2012 exhibition The Life of Art: Context, Collecting, and Display at the Getty Center, French Impressionism at the Art Institute of Chicago ($3.99) explores a portion of the museum’s permanent collection, including perhaps the museum’s most well-known piece, George Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.

There are also museum app’s whose purpose is more interactive. Modern art fans will enjoy exploring MoMA Art Lab ($4.99), a creative app that will bring out the modern artist in users of all ages. Users who adore pop art can create their own Andy Warhol-style digital images with The Warhol D.I.Y. Pop ($0.99) from Pittsburgh, PA’s Andy Warhol Museum.

Finally, though it isn’t affiliated with a particular museum, we’d be remiss not to mention the exhaustive Art Authority ($9.99) which offers users a survey of western art from ancient to modern.

Do you have a favorite way to explore art and design on the iPad? Let us know in the comments.

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About Emily: Emily is a freelance writer who loves discovering new apps whenever she can pry the iPad away from her children or husband. You can contact her via Twitter: @whatwentwrite