CHICAGO, Tuesday, February 26, 2013. The Art Institute of Chicago has just announced the launch of an "indoor GPS" app. The Art Institute is the first art museum in the world to offer this comprehensive device that helps visitors navigate their way through over 50 of the museum's collections. The easy to use, educational and fun app can be downloaded free via the App Store for Apple devices and from Google Play for Android devices.
The tours offer a wide variety of choices that should satisfy everyone--from families and first-time visitors to those interested in diving more deeply into specific collections. Users can tour by collection, theme, time, occasion or current exhibitions. The collection tour offers 15 different tours of the museum's great works from contemporary, European, African to the popular Thorne Miniature rooms.
The theme tours consist of 25 categories that will walk visitors through the museum according their interests. You can unlock the mysteries hidden in some of the museum's famous works of art on the "Cracking the Code" tour or learn about local artists on the "Chicago Artists" tour. Kids will love the "Museum Minors" tour that takes a look at children in the museum's collections. If you thought that you had to go to the zoo to see monkeys, you are so wrong, just check out the museum's colorful monkeys on the "Monkeying Around Tour".
If you want to spend the day at the museum, you can take "The Full-Day Tour" that explores the breadth and depth of the collections and even offers directions to the Museum Cafe when you get hungry. At the other extreme, if you are limited for time or on a lunch hour, the "One-Hour Tour" manages to take-in nine of the most iconic and beloved works in the Art Institute collection. If you want to impress someone special with your knowledge of art, then try the "First Date Tour" that looks at Chagall's "American Windows" and other romantic offerings with a break at Caffe Moderno in the Museum's Modern Wing for an espresso--and tips for conversation starters.
If you are bringing the kids, the "Family Tour" is the way to go. This tour is perfect for a family outing with something for all ages from picture book exhibitions to interactive computer games, a touch gallery, and a variety of hands-on activities from puzzles to blocks and more in the Vitale Family Room.
If you ever felt lost or overwhelmed when visiting the nearly one-million square feet of the Art Institute of Chicago this device will help you navigate and put you in control of what you want to see and how much time you have to spend. Each of the 50 tours includes six to ten works of art with short texts as well as turn-by-turn directions and maps made possible by the museum's new indoor positioning system. Additional features of the app include descriptions of and directions to current exhibitions at the museum; the ability to learn more about specific works by accessing the Art Institute's website, complete with videos on many of the works; and directions to amenities such as restrooms and restaurants. Tours will be periodically added to the app, leading to a library of options for visitors every time they come to the museum.
While the turn-by-turn navigation works best at the museum, those living around the world, at home with the kids, the flu, on the El platform, in line at the grocery store or just feeling lazy can see some of the world's greatest art with the Art Institute of Chicago's amazing new app. Additionally it can be used to preview collections that you may want to visit before coming to the museum.
If you would like to keep in touch with what's happening in Chicago, you can like us on Facebook or subscribe to Show Me Chicago by email. Just type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.