Dallas Museum of Art Expands smARTphone Initiative To Encompass Special Exhibitions and More of DMA’s Encyclopedic Collections

New SmARTphone Tours of “The Lens of Impressionism” and Reves Collection Put Additional Intriguing Information at Visitors’ Fingertips

 On February 21, in conjunction with the opening of The Lens of Impressionism: Photography and Painting Along the Normandy Coast, 1850–1874, the Dallas Museum of Art will launch its newly expanded smARTphone tour, providing visitors with a new way to experience its collections and special exhibitions. First introduced last summer, the smARTphone tour allows visitors to interact with and learn more about the art on display in the galleries from their own Wi-Fi–enabled mobile devices or on loaned iPod Touches available free from the DMA’s Visitor Services Desks. SmARTphone tours will offer direct access to the traditional audio guide stops, as well as access to new supplemental and interactive content that allows for more detailed investigation of the themes and issues explored within a given exhibition.

Visitors accessing The Lens of Impressionism smARTphone tour can view portraits of the artists featured in the exhibition while listening to brief artist biographies, discovering other works by these artists in the DMA’s collections, and exploring maps and period images pinpointing the location in Normandy pictured in various works on view. In addition, a new smARTphone tour of the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection will provide new interpretative materials for this unique holding of 1,400 works, which is installed in a re-creation of the couple’s Mediterranean villa on the DMA’s third floor. Participants will enjoy seeing archival photos of celebrated guests to the couple’s home, including Salvador Dali and Winston Churchill, as well as seeing the villa as it appeared when first owned by Coco Chanel. Users can also listen to Wendy Reves speak about the couple’s collecting and fond memories of vacations at the villa.

“The expansion of our smartphone initiative supports the DMA’s educational mission and commitment to enhancing visitor engagement with our deep and diverse collections,” said Bonnie Pitman, The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art. “Many of our visitors are eager for more information and for new ways to engage with the works on view in our galleries. The smARTphone tour allows us to open our archives to them, further enhancing the objects presented in our galleries through interactive and engaging new experiences.”

Launched in June 2009 as part of the Dallas Museum of Art’s Summer Spotlight, the smARTphone tour introduced a new website specifically designed for easy navigation on Wi-Fi–enabled mobile devices (DallasMuseumofArt.mobi), which provides direct access to interpretive materials and supplemental information about works in the DMA’s collections. The first phase of the initiative, still accessible to DMA audiences, offers visitors bonus materials on thirteen highlighted objects in the Museum’s encyclopedic collections. Visitors can choose among introductory audio tour stops; videos of curators, preparators, and anthropologists commenting on works; videos of artists at work; and interpretive responses to works of art by area students.

In the coming months, the DMA will begin constructing a new tour for the upcoming exhibition African Masks: The Art of Disguise, on view August 22, 2010–February 13, 2011. Drawn mainly from the DMA’s collections, the exhibition complements the recently published catalogue The Arts of Africa at the Dallas Museum of Art by Rosalyn Adele Walker, Senior Curator of the Arts of Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific at the Dallas Museum of Art. This new smARTphone tour will offer visitors the opportunity to hear the curator speak about individual works, to view contextual videos, and even to see clips of contemporary dance performances commissioned to accompany the exhibition.

About the Dallas Museum of Art
Located in the vibrant Arts District of downtown Dallas, Texas, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and groundbreaking educational programs. At the heart of the Museum and its programs are its encyclopedic collections, which encompass more than 24,000 works and span 7,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Established in 1903, the Museum today welcomes more than 600,000 visitors annually and acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary readings and dramatic and dance presentations.

The Dallas Museum of Art is supported in part by the generosity of Museum members and donors and by the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas/Office of Cultural Affairs and the Texas Commission on the Arts.