With most museums and art galleries now closed, ART Museum – or Augmented Reality Art Museum – lets you hang AR versions of paintings on the walls of your home …

Bring masterpieces from some of the world’s top museums into your own home using the power of augmented reality (AR). With [AR]T Museum, you can experience your favorite artworks from the comfort of your own home!

“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the widespread closures of museums across the world, the necessity of creating an alternative, remote way to experience art and culture has never been greater,” said Brendan Ciecko, CEO & Founder of Cuseum. “In these unprecedented times, we’re helping people across the globe feel connected with works that bring them joy and inspiration. Just imagine experiencing your favorite artwork from the comfort of your own living room – we’re excited to make this a reality.”

The app is currently limited to paintings from six museums, but this includes famous (and arguably topical) ones like The Scream by Edward Munch, and the developer is working on signing up other museums and galleries.

A neurological study commissioned by the company claims that you have the same emotive responses when viewing the AR versions as you do the real thing.

Cuseum has published the results of a 10-month long research study on the neurological perceptions of original artworks as compared to their Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and digital versions. This groundbreaking research supports the claim that AR and VR can provide an equally immersive and neurologically stimulating experience on par with that of viewing the authentic, original artwork in-person at a museum or gallery.

This study was conducted by a team of neuroscientists and advised by Dr. Pawan Sinha, a world-renowned neuroscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The researchers examined the emotive responses to original artworks versus their digital equivalents.

According to the research team, the “current EEG findings would suggest that aesthetic experience is not denigrated by a digital interface representation and, in fact, digital reproductions in the case of augmented reality are shown to improve the magnitude of brain activity compared to the viewing of original works of art.”

I’m not personally convinced you get anything like the same wow factor, but it’s certainly a very convenient way to view.

ART Museum is a free download from the App Store. It doesn’t appear to require any particular iPhone spec, and runs on iOS 11.3 or later.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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