New York museums are open with Covid-19 compliant rules, tiered entry, and limited capacity. But art lovers may still feel uncomfortable visiting their favorite galleries during a pandemic. That’s why Verizon and the Metropolitan Museum of Art have created a unique new way to experience the museum from home.
The art of un-framing
The telecommunications company has partnered with the largest art museum in the US to launch The Met Unframed, a mobile-only virtual experience with more than 12 digitally rendered galleries and nearly 50 works of art from The Met’s extensive collection.
The five-week experience, accessible from any 4G or 5G smart device at themetunframed.com, also allows users to play games that unlock augmented reality (AR) versions of the graphics displayed virtually at home can be.
“The Met Unframed enhances digital inclusivity for audiences who have never seen art so personally,” said Andrew McKechnie, Verizon’s chief creative officer. “We are leveraging the power of technology and improvements that Verizon 5G enables to bring loved art from one of the world’s most prestigious museums full access, extensive training, and interactive and sharing opportunities.”
Put the AR in “art”
Met director Max Hollein added that the experience enables people “to learn more about the works in a playful way and to bring the art into their own environment through AR. The Met Unframed expands the possibilities to understand, experience and appreciate art. “
Verizon used the Unit9 production studio to work with the team of curators at The Met and digitally render some of the museum’s iconic locations and exhibits such as the Great Hall and the Temple of Dendur. Unit9 executive producer Jason Legge said the process began in August. His team eventually curated four digital galleries that dealt with the topics of power, home, nature and spirituality.
“The hardest part of the process was also the most fun: recreating the best-known art institution in the US in WebGl,” said Legge. “The games were actually the easiest part – so much craft went into the Great Hall, Dendur and every inch of the museum.”
The convergence of art and technology
Famous art that brings AR to life includes Emanuel Leutzes Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851) and The Unicorn Rests in a Garden (1495-1505) from The Met Cloisters unicorn tapestries, both users of Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband are accessible.
Additional games within the experience, including trivia questions, puzzles, and a “Zoom and Spot” challenge, also encourage close observation of the art and its descriptions and content. Another game, Analysis, uses the infrared and RFA conservation documentation scans of paintings by The Met to reveal signatures and other hidden details of The Met paintings that may go unnoticed during a personal visit.
“The convergence of art and technology is stronger and more important than ever. We hope that we have helped inspire people,” added Legge. “Personally, I very much hope that we have inspired copycat projects in the near future. I would like to see other agencies and institutions try something similar. “
Production company – Unit9
Mindy Lubert – Production Manager
Giacomo Vigliar – Managing Director
Jason Legge – executive producer
Jakub Jakubowski – game master
Evi Nathanaili – project manager
Karol Goreczny – art director
Scott Ashmore – Technical Director
Max Rusan – Technical Director
Luc Palombo – Senior Developer
William To – Front End Developer
Julian Faas – Motion Designer
Mathew Borrett – 3D environmental artist
Shaun Larkin – 3D artist
Dani Valkova – sound designer
Isabelle Kim – UX Lead
Luis Chique – 3D animator
James Stokes – QA Head
Alex Hughes – Copywriter
Davide Bianca – Creative Director (only pitch)
Yifei Chai – Creative Director (only pitch)
Romain Demongeot – Creative Director (only pitch)