Moyosa approached the National Gallery in 2020, at a time where the global COVID pandemic caused UK museums and businesses to close down, adhering to the advice of the PHE and the lockdown regulations that the UK government. This of course caused huge losses across the board for the NGL and the industry as a whole. Not being able to receive (paying) visitors for the year round galleries and special exhibitions creates a significant disturbance, not only financially, but also in the communities they serve. Our idea was to create a digital version of the gallery and curate shows to offer to the public, in a 3D setting that would look and feel similar to the gallery.
Dr Gabriele Finaldi, the director of the National Gallery, decided that his email campaign to members over the past COVID year, would be an interesting test case to house the first digital exhibition. The gallery was built in record time, and included a live “curating session”, where our 3D team showed how easily we hang & rehang paintings, put up walls and play with the light settings. Dr. Finaldi, says “There is an element of playfulness and even daring to this but it provides us the opportunity to explore how new digital technologies can broaden the range of approaches to experiencing our paintings. I hope people enjoy it.”
Lawrence Chiles, National Gallery Head of Digital Services, added “With our doors closed we have had to adapt and find new ways to bring the collection to the public. Technology like this offers exciting possibilities for creating digital experiences that can complement and broaden access to the Gallery and the work we do.”
The result is a beautiful gallery space, accessible for almost anyone with a browser, desktop or mobile, to hear a director’s view on some of the world’s most famous paintings. Discover at your own pace and interact with the paintings to discover the smallest of details, such as the amount of bunnies in the Mantegna painting! Use the 3D model viewer to trigger and AR function, and see what a painting would look like in your bedroom, office or kitchen! All in all a fantastic project, for one of the world’s greatest museums.