This story originally appeared in UCLA Today, a discontinued publication.

Hammer art goes app

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Known for its illuminating, provocative exhibitions exploring artistic expression from the classic to the avant-garde, UCLA's Hammer Museum has gone digital, debuting a new mobile phone app providing museum visitors with audio tours of exhibitions, video interviews with artists and more.
 
The free app, downloadable through the iTunes Store and the Android Market, was created with software developer Toura, which has worked with a number of cultural institutions, including the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago.
 
With the aim of providing content that enhances the museum experience, "the app provides a very user-friendly and easy way to access both audio tours and short videos," said Sarah Stifler, director of communications for the Hammer. Users can access interviews with curators and artists discussing the works of art, videos describing the creative process, and excerpts from exhibition catalogs.
 
The app is also linked to social network sites and email so users won’t have to wait until they get home to tell their friends about a new favorite artwork.
 
See details on the Hammer Museum app at iTunes or the Android Market. The app is also easily downloadable through your cell phone’s pre-installed market application. At this time, there are certain restrictions for the software that will support the Hammer app — iPhone users will need to be running iOS 4, and Android phones must have at least version 2.2 of the Android system.
 
For those concerned about cell phone noises punctuating a visit to the Hammer, the museum has a headphone policy in place for all app users, and visitors who leave their headphones at home will be able to rent a pair at the museum.
 
User feedback on the new app has already been overwhelmingly positive, said Stifler. For more information, see the Hammer blog.
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