Mobile app central to experience new Boijmans depot

Today King Willem-Alexander opens the depot of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, a large mirrored building in the middle of Rotterdam. As a narrator, guide and source of information, the mobile app plays a central role for visitors to the new, central storage location.

It depot houses more than 151,000 works with a total value of eight billion euros. It is the first publicly accessible museum depot in the world, the museum explained to the press earlier this week. Normally only four percent of the collection is on display and the rest is stored in seven separate warehouses on anonymous industrial estates.

With the opening of the storage facility to the general public, it is emphatically not a museum with exhibitions, the Boijmans wants to appeal to a wider audience. It is a work building for conservation, restoration, packaging and the transport of works of art. The building is arranged in such a way that visitors can move over six floors and can literally look into the depots through large windows. There are large racks with thousands and thousands of works of art hanging and standing shoulder to shoulder.

In order not to let visitors get bogged down in impressions, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen developed with DOOR, the cultural label of agency IN10, an app.

The depot app tells stories behind the works of art in the depot and the works in display cases. These are unique stories about how the works ended up in the collection, how they were made and how they are stored. Each room and each display case has its own QR code. A scan tells you which works can be seen there and at that moment. Several swipeable ‘cards’ with background information and viewing and thinking questions can be seen per work, as well as supporting audio and video.

Every work you view in the app is saved in a personal art collection, in a local cache, so you can view it again at a later time.

With a specially developed content management system, the museum itself determines which objects are presented and how. The underlying information comes via an API from the so-called StoryEngine. It uses, among other things, Elastic. Information can be displayed from the same StoryEngine on information screens above the entrance and later, when the renovation is completed, on digital screens in the museum of the same name.

Visitors with questions about certain works of art can submit them directly to the team of curators via the QR-scanned story card. Depending on the complexity of the question, they usually reply within 48 hours.

Source: Mobile – Emerce by

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