Friday June 3, 2016
Tags for: Museum Enhances Award-winning ArtLens App
  • Press Release

Museum Enhances Award-winning ArtLens App

ArtLens App scanning Van Gogh

ArtLens 2.0 available for download on June 7

CLEVELAND, OH — The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) announces the release of ArtLens 2.0., an enhanced version of its award-winning collection application.  A collaborative creation, ArtLens 2.0 combines the most current technology and innovative design with a wealth of interpretive content provided by the museum’s curatorial and interpretation teams.  ArtLens 2.0 includes a high-definition image and object information about every artwork on display in the museum, and is updated in real time, ensuring that users have access to the most accurate information available. Moreover, ArtLens 2.0 enhances a visitor’s museum experience by providing the option to design individual tours, offering tools to better understand artwork through augmented reality and guiding users with interactive real-time maps.  “The Cleveland Museum of Art has focused on enhancing the visitor experience through the development of cutting-edge technologies and on-site interpretive materials,” said William M. Griswold, museum director. “This latest development of ArtLens 2.0 helps our museum remain a global leader in delivering interpretive content and we will continue to generate new content, further enriching the visitor’s experience.” 

The CMA collaborated with Local Projects on ArtLens 2.0. Developers of the museum’s world-renowned Gallery One, Local Projects is the firm that takes the app to the next and highest possible level of technical fidelity, ensuring a rapid initial download, optimizing the interactive, real-time wayfinding maps and streamlining the design. 

“ArtLens 2.0 is the backbone of the CMA’s digital strategy at the museum,” said Jane Alexander, Chief Information Officer for the Cleveland Museum of Art. “It is focused on the visitor experience.  It is adaptable to the different browsing styles of our visitors and effortlessly provides the information our visitors need.  ArtLens was an amazing app and we have made it better utilizing the latest technology.”

Listening to user feedback, the CMA ensured ArtLens 2.0 has enhanced its usability.  ArtLens 2.0 is faster and more user friendly.  For example, the app download time has been reduced to 30 seconds.  Improved optimizations have reduced the size of the app making ArtLens 2.0 comparable in size to popular social media apps like Snapchat.  The redesigned interface is clean and intuitive and the wayfinding is responsive and comprehensive.  ArtLens 2.0 now uses Bluetooth to connect to the museum’s Gallery One Collection Wall, making synchronization seamless.  Improvements to the maps and new descriptions of each gallery make finding the information or artwork easier for visitors. Also, the app may be used on-site or from anywhere in the world. 

“ArtLens 2.0 includes a reconceived map with galleries now grouped and color-coded by theme and a new layer of content at the gallery level that offers an overview for each space,” said Lori Wienke, Associate Director of Interpretation for the Cleveland Museum of Art.  “These enhancements will allow visitors to more easily navigate the museum and to locate artworks that meet their particular interests, providing a more satisfying experience for both on-site and virtual visitors.”

New ArtLens 2.0 features include:

Galleries: The most significant changes to the app are in the “Galleries” feature with updates to the maps, content, wayfinding and nearby objects.

  • Maps: Galleries are color-coded and grouped thematically to facilitate easier navigation. Tap any gallery number to see what type of art is on display in that location or find gallery descriptions by tapping the gallery name. 
  • Wayfinding: Create a path to explore artworks. Push the Find Me button at any time to find the exact location in the museum.
  • Content: All artworks on display are identified and findable in ArtLens 2.0 with additional content available for selected artworks. New content is generated on an ongoing basis.
  • Nearby Artworks: Nearby artworks that might be of interest are suggested based on the artwork selected.

Scanning: Using innovative image-recognition software, ArtLens 2.0 seamlessly recognizes a selection of two-dimensional artworks and provides additional curatorial and interpretive content.

You: Favorite artworks by tapping the heart icon on the Collection Wall in Gallery One or on individual artworks in the app.  All favorites are saved under “You.”  Favorites can be used to create personalized tours, find specific artworks in the museum or share on social media.

Tours: Select from both museum-curated and visitor-created tours.  The mapping feature locates specific artworks and navigates the entire tour.  Choose to create a personalized tour that may be added to “visitor-created tours” and shared with the world.

Search: Search by artist’s name or by keyword to discover corresponding works on view in the museum.  Find the exact location of an artwork identified on a map with a quick tap.

Bluetooth: ArtLens now uses Bluetooth to connect to the Collection Wall making synchronization seamless.

Top Ten: Explore the museum’s dynamic list of visitor favorites, as well as curators’ top picks of must-see artworks.

Museum: Get a daily snapshot of exhibitions and events occurring at the museum as well as the location of restrooms, restaurants and exits. 

ArtLens 2.0 is supported by Swagelok. “Supporting and giving back in the communities where we live and work comes naturally to Swagelok associates,” says Arthur F. Anton, president and chief executive officer of Swagelok, a $2-billion manufacturer of high-performance fluid system solutions employing over 4,300 people around the world. “Our company invests heavily in innovation that serves customers,” adds Anton. “We see a great parallel between our customer focus core value and what the museum wants to accomplish with the ArtLens app.”

ArtLens 2.0 is available for free download to iPads or iPhones running iOS9 or higher, or an Android device (4.4+), from the iTunes App Store or Google Play.  Once ArtLens is downloaded, simply launch the app.  If ArtLens was downloaded prior to May 25, 2016, users must update the app.

ArtLens has received several awards including Gold from the 2015 Edison Awards for Content Delivery, Winner of the 2014  Museums and the Web Award for best Mobile App and Bronze from the 2014 Media Technology Muse Award for Mobile Applications.

Centennial Celebration

One hundred years ago the Cleveland Museum of Art opened its doors to the public. In 2016 the museum invites all audiences to celebrate its 100th anniversary, honoring the past and looking ahead to the future. Program highlights include special centennial exhibitions representing the creative genius of four continents, spanning ancient to contemporary art, as well as the presentation of extraordinary individual works of art on loan from top-tier institutions all over the world, and once-in-a-lifetime events and community programs.

For more information about centennial year events, visit

Contact the Museum's Media Relations Team:
(216) 707-2261