Tate Modern launches virtual tours

The Tate Online is the online presence of the major UK arts organisation (alongside Tate Britain, Modern, Liverpool and St Ives) and a new interactive tour of Tate Modern has been launched.

The feature Explore Tate Modern has been revamped – with aid from its sponsor, BT – for a better virtual cultural experience. Specifically, the Flash-based feature coincides with the Kandinsky: The Path to Abstraction exhibition. You can investigate the Thames-side institution room by room, artist by artist, or by the decade.

As well as allowing users to interact with a timeline to find out how the collection is distributed across the 20th Century, you can research particular art movements, explore non-gallery spaces and can create your own ‘virtual virtual’ tour of the gallery. Based on a map format, users can follow the layout of the building and hone in on individual galleries to see the works on display in each room.

TV journalist Andrew Marr was chosen to promote the revamp and was suitably enthusiastic. ‘The concept of being guided through the recent rehang of the Collection at Tate Modern, and being able to explore it from your own home or from wherever you are in the world, is quite unique,’ said Marr. ‘Thanks to Tate and BT, Explore Tate Modern offers a depth of information and interactivity about the artworks on display that is groundbreaking, making art accessible to everyone, everywhere.’

‘I read of a survey that said 40 per cent of men online were viewing porn, well, this is more exciting!’ he quipped.

Lovers of art that is modern can see for themselves at www.tate.org.uk/modern/explore/.

‘Explore Tate Modern extends the redisplay of the artworks to audiences all around the world, offering visitors online and onsite enhanced opportunities to interact with the new Collection displays,’ said Jemima Rellie, head of digital programmes at Tate. ‘It has never been easier for visitors to locate a work or movement of interest or indeed to re-visit the space that captured their imagination.’

With Explore Tate Britain already online, plans are afoot for Tate Liverpool and Tate St. Ives to get the Explore treatment, she told us.

Traffic to the site is approaching 1 million unique visitors per month, according to Tate Online, which is best known for its presentation of the Tate’s Turner collection. It completed the digitisation of its 65,000 works in 1998 with the help of lottery funding.

The Tate website is intended to serve both as the focus of an online community for those interested in the vast Tate collection, but also as the primary means for providing remote access to the works held by the state-funded organisation.

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