I came across Sukiennice – A New Dimension a few months ago, and dropped Krakow Museum a line to find out who best to talk to. Pawel emailed me back and we did a quick online interview about their iPhone app.
Please introduce yourself, and tell us the name of your project and what your involvement is with it:
My name is Pawel Martosz and I’m the New Technology and Promotions Manager for the Gallery of 19th Century Polish Art in Sukiennice, part of the National Museum in Krakow. Our project is called Nowy Wymiar Sukiennic (Sukiennice – A New Dimension). We prepared this project for the opening of the newly renovated Gallery. I am responsible for overseeing this project and ensuring that it functions properly.
What does your app do?
The main idea behind the creation of this app was to bring the history hidden in the painting to life for the viewer through the use of new technology. Here is a picture of the app in use:
You hold the app up to one of the featured works and overlaid 3d comes into view.
Thanks to the app you can discover the historical context of the painting, the artist’s life and other interesting facts about the work. The characters come to life and speak directly to the viewer eliminating the divide between the viewer and the work.
The works we are featuring were created during the 19th century – a turbulent time in Polish history – and consequently the meaning behind the work can often be difficult to grasp. Part of the reason behind the app was to approach these challenges in an innovative, meaningful way.
Who is your audience?
The most likely consumers of new technology is typically young people – they’re often more interested in tech novelties, but as it turns out people of all ages rent our iphones and use the app. We believe this is a large contributor to the success of the project.
How are you marketing the app?
We are marketing the app through social media, specifically Facebook. We also promote it at the museum entrance. We do not have a marketing campaign designated specifically for the app.
Can you tell us a bit more about the financial model?
Both the iPhone App and iPhones were made available thanks to our sponsor PZU; the app was created by K2. Thanks to our sponsor the app is free and free iPhone rental is available at the Gallery’s front desk.
How are you thinking about growing the project in the future?
The current project, Nowy Wymiar Sukiennic App, is completed and we do not have plans to expand the project. However, we are working on a platform that would be available to everyone with a smartphone. I’d prefer not to discuss the details of the project, but it should be finished by the end of the year and I would be thrilled to discuss the details then. I will say that if no one gets ahead of us, we will be the first Gallery in Poland where visitors will be able to obtain information about works directly from their smartphone.
What are the things you’ve learnt most about as you’ve gone through the project?
The greatest discovery was seeing how very popular the app is amongst visitors. I came to the conclusion that museums are not utilizing mobile mobile technology enough and that needs to change.
In conclusion I can say that mobile technologies are a great supplement to current museum offerings. Thanks to apps and mobile technology, access to information about the works of art has become more available than ever. That’s why creating apps, such as Nowy Wymiar Sukiennic, is becoming a necessity these days. New technology offers an opportunity for a museums, especially galleries with permanent exhibitions and lesser-known museums, to promote their works.