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National Portrait Gallery Launches First 'Interactive' Family Audio Guide
National Portrait Gallery Family Audio Guide. © National Portrait Gallery, London.

LONDON.- The National Portrait Gallery has launched an innovative audio-visual guide for families. Following a ‘treasure hunt’ format using interactive maps incorporated into the audio guide, young visitors can easily find their way around the galleries to find selected pictures and information without needing to refer to numbers or logos printed on Gallery labels.

The guide offers a choice of four 45-minute themed tours (‘We are Family’, ‘Making Faces’, ‘Face of Fashion’ and ‘Famous Faces’), with special activities and insights with discussion points for family groups. Aimed at 7–11 year-olds, the tours - which can be joined at any point - have been developed with ATS Heritage following the findings of research into family visits carried out by the Gallery last year. All tours cover the first and second floors, beginning in the Tudor Galleries and continue following the chronology of the Collection.

The Family Audio Guide is the most recent development of the Gallery’s new audio system that makes the most of touchscreen technology to access new content. Visitors to the Collection who hire the Family Audio Guide also have access to the general guide’s content of over 300 illustrated audio tracks on works in the Collection. These include interviews with artists such as Darvish Fakhr and Marc Quinn and sitters such as Fiona Shaw and Akram Khan. The hand-held guide also includes a series of specially-made short films by the Gallery’s curators which introduce the Collection and tell the story of over 500 years of British history.

New visitors to the Gallery might choose to follow tours such as ‘Kings and Queens’, ‘Science and Discovery’, ‘Fame and Celebrity’ and ‘Writers’, all of which offer visitors the chance to theme their visit around subjects in which they are particularly interested. Visitors who are short of time can opt to follow a 45-minute ‘Highlights’ tour to guide them through the Collection and plan their visit to the Gallery.

Andrea Easey, Interpretation Editor, National Portrait Gallery, London says: ‘This innovative audio guide system offers visitors of all ages the opportunity to enjoy the National Portrait Gallery by making personal choices about their time here. Families can now explore the Collection together – choosing their route while sharing facts and inspiring stories about the portraits they discover.’

Gallery audio guide (English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese): £3 per player.

The National Portrait Gallery | Interactive' Family Audio Guide | Andrea Easey |

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