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National Galleries of Scotland announce ArtHunter, the first ever collaborative free app for art
Screengrab of ArtHunter app showing The Virgin Adoring the Sleeping Christ Child, Sandro Botticelli, about 1940.

EDINBURGH.- Ever wondered how art from paintings to sculpture, from modern art to the classics, can knit together? Ever pondered a link between Picasso, Botticelli and Martin Creed? Then get collecting with the new free app for art from the National Galleries of Scotland.

ArtHunter is a free multi-platform mobile app for the intrepid cultural visitor. Created in association with one of the UK’s leading mobile app development companies, Kotikan, ArtHunter allows visitors to build their own art collection at the touch of a button. The new app sends art fans on a voyage of discovery, opening up the Galleries to reveal little-known masterpieces as well as capturing old favourites. The app will grow over 2013 to include artworks and artefacts from galleries and museums across Scotland.

ArtHunter works on a simple premise: every month a new themed collection will link artworks that will be available to ‘hunt’ around the Galleries. Each work found will give the user a special code they can use to unlock unique content – this will vary from facts related to the work or artist, hidden details, music clips and specially commissioned videos of artists, curators, conservators and celebrities commenting on, or related to exhibitions. The more works collected – the more ArtHunter trophies there are to win!

Month by month ArtHunter will draw attention to works across all three sites – the Scottish National Gallery, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, encouraging visitors with a favourite gallery to seek out gems across Edinburgh. Art fans will then make return visits to Galleries to ‘capture’ each new set.

The first set links artworks including Picasso’s Meré et enfant, FCB Cadell’s Blue Fan and Martin Creed’s Work No. 975 EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT, through the colour blue. ArtHunter is funded by the Digital Research and Development Fund for Arts and Culture Scotland, a partnership between Creative Scotland, Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Nesta and supported by the Friends of the National Galleries of Scotland.

Sir John Leighton, Director General of the National Galleries of Scotland said: ‘The ArtHunter app is an exciting new venture and I hope it will bring artworks into people’s lives in a new way, with lots of room for new art fans to get to know the collection in bite-sized portions. We’ve had great success with apps developed for specific exhibitions, and now we are able to do something which pulls all the collection together from across the whole of the National Galleries, and in time will roll out to partner organisations across Scotland – which is a fantastic achievement.’

Gavin Dutch, CEO, Kotikan added: ‘Born from the huge increase in people using their smartphones to build relationships with the world around them, ArtHunter was created as a fun and engaging way to enrich the experience of viewing art before, during and after a gallery visit. We are delighted to have collaborated with the National Galleries of Scotland on this world leading project and look forward to seeing the impact it will have on how visitors interact with the galleries around Scotland.’

To become an ArtHunter, visitors need to download the app from the Apple and Google play app stores and can then use it to guide their visit round galleries in Scotland, starting in April with the National Galleries in Edinburgh. From July, ArtHunter will partner with galleries and museums across Scotland that will contribute content and works from their own collections to the app. Organisations include the Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums; The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery; The Pier Arts Centre Orkney; Stirling University; Highlife Highland; Scottish Borders Council’s Museums; Kirkcaldy Art Gallery and Glasgow Life, including Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Riverside Museum, GoMA and The Burrell Collection.

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