[Interview] Art Store Insiders ③ Bringing Masterpieces Into the HomeShare open/close
We’re back with part three of our in-depth series examining the ins and outs of The Frame’s Art Store.
If you’re just joining us, be sure to check out parts one and two once you’re finished here to find out how collections are curated, and to learn more about how The Frame is helping talented artists expand their reach. In this, the last entry in our series, we turn our attention to museums and the role they play in introducing incredible works of art to users’ living rooms.
Follow along as representatives from museums beloved by art lovers and The Frame users alike – London’s famed Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum, and Madrid’s iconic Museo Nacional del Prado – discuss partnering with the Art Store to make their masterpieces more accessible.
Q: How did your collaboration with the Art Store come about?
The V&A’s Licensing R&D Manager, Amelia Calver: In March of 2018, we started the V&A Collection for The Frame in partnership with Samsung. This collaboration embraces our defining principles of access, education, inspiration, creativity, design and innovation.
Working with the V&A’s expansive archive, Samsung selected over 20 works of art for the Art Store which span centuries and cultures, yet all embody a story of decorative art and design. From classic wallpaper patterns from the celebrated British Arts & Crafts Movement, to dramatic woodblock prints, users can now enhance their surroundings with a digital display of V&A images that are the perfect mix of art and history.
The Museo del Prado Difusión’s General Manager, Cristina Alovisetti: Samsung has been a long-term Prado partner since 2013. We have been working with the common goal of using technology to make art more accessible to society, creating more opportunities for people to enjoy and learn about it.
Q: What does the Museum find most intriguing about the Art Store and The Frame?
V&A: The V&A is the world’s leading museum in terms of art, design, and performances. It holds 2.7 million objects ranging from ceramics to furniture, photography to digital design, and fashion to fine art. With this in mind, we were immediately fascinated by the concept of The Frame. The way the television has been designed to fit seamlessly into a room and appear as appealing when off as it is when in use is an example of great ingenuity and imagination.
Prado: What we found most intriguing was the idea of The Frame as a window for enjoying art with the very specific added value of enabling users to become curators.
If we were to imagine a natural progression for enjoying artworks from museums, postcards would come first, paper copies, such as posters, would come next, and high-definition images on devices would follow. The Frame’s Art Store goes further in a way by becoming a part of people’s homes. People enjoy digital content on their devices when they are ‘connected,’ and The Frame and the Art Store create a way for them to continue enjoying art when they are ‘disconnected.’
Q: How does the Art Store’s philosophy of making art more accessible align with the Museum’s?
V&A: When the V&A was founded in the mid-19th century, it pioneered modern techniques of photography, electrotyping and plaster casts, and enabled working people to access the highlights of Western civilization and high culture without having to travel overseas.
In the same spirit, The Frame’s Art Store brings together highlights from the V&A’s collection, from Japanese woodblock prints to William Morris’s wallpaper designs, creating the impression of entering a digital gallery, and therefore widening the level of access to world-renowned art and design.
Prado: The Prado dedicates considerable efforts to sharing knowledge through its website and the richness of its contents. When an artwork cannot be experienced live, the quality of the images becomes a priority, as even the smallest details can offer a new point of view. The way that the Art Store allows us to admire and enjoy art up close is completely aligned with this way of perceiving art.
Q: How would you describe the importance of appreciating art in our everyday lives?
V&A: Art and design are integral parts of home and daily life. As humans, we naturally react – often subconsciously – to our everyday surroundings, and it is therefore important to realize and embrace the emotive nature of art and design in their ability to create beautiful and uplifting experiences.
The V&A is world-renowned for creating such experiences through its collections and blockbuster exhibitions on a variety of themes. What a wonderful opportunity to invite these experiences into the home through the Art Store!
Q: How would you sum up the selection of art that the Museum is showcasing in the Store?
V&A: The collection includes timeless masterpieces and works from unknown artists, giving you the freedom to discover art you love. It includes the work of the creative pioneers that the Museum is well-known for, such as William Morris, Hokusai and James Francis Danby, but also new and in some cases unknown names and designers, which will help give customers insight into the work and history of the decorative arts museum, and an appreciation for our collection and all its variety.
Prado: Since the beginning, we’ve selected our major artworks with careful consideration for how they would be presented and enjoyed. The constantly updated Prado Image Bank has allowed us to fill our collection with 4K images, achieving the level of quality needed to properly enjoy them through a digital medium.
We selected a wide range of works from the Prado Collection that spans centuries and styles, including both icons and lesser-known masterpieces such as Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights and Velazquez’s View of the Garden of the Villa Medici, 19th-century landscapes like the Riva degli Schiavoni in Venice, and still-life and portrait pieces.
Q: Have you noticed any interesting trends in terms of the types of art that users are most attracted to?
V&A: There’s been a huge surge in the desire to connect with the natural world and show our respect and appreciation for it. Patterns by William Morris and some of his contemporaries, including C.F.A. Voysey and Walter Crane, offer a sense of that connection.
Whether you want bold, bright colors like Walter Crane’s Cockatoo and Pomegranate, or more elegant, earthy tones like William Morris’s Strawberry Thief, these designs can help bring a sense of calm and tranquility into the home.
Prado: Still life, landscapes and decorative art are particularly popular. Other pieces in the mix include lesser-known paintings like The Siesta, or Pompeian Scene – a domestic scene in antiquity for a 21st-century home.
About the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (V&A)
The Victoria and Albert Museum, London (V&A) is the world’s leading museum of art, design and performance with collections unrivalled in their scope and diversity, spanning 5000 years of human creativity. It was established in 1852 to make works of art available to all and to inspire British designers and manufacturers. Today, its purpose is to champion creative industry, inspire the next generation, and spark everyone’s imagination.
About the Prado Museum, Madrid (The Museo Del Prado)
The Museo Del Prado is considered by many to be the greatest public collection of paintings in the world. From the time of its foundation in 1819 the Museum attracted to Madrid the most refined and sensitive art lovers of the 19th century. In the Prado’s tranquil galleries they discovered Velázquez and Goya and through them the entire Spanish School, which from that point onwards enjoyed a new esteem among critics and art historians worldwide. In addition to the key works by those painters, to whose list of names we should add El Greco, the Museum also houses extremely important holdings of the work of other European artists as a result of the collecting interests of the Spanish monarchy. It is consequently impossible to gain a profound knowledge of the work of Titian, Rubens or Bosch without visiting this venerable institution.
During the course of its existence and over more than two hundred years that have passed since 1819, the Museo del Prado has been able to reinforce its collections to a significant degree, becoming one of the most established and highly appreciated institutions of its kind in Europe.
* Users looking to discover artwork collection from V&A and Museo del Prado in The Frame’s Art Store can head to Partner > V&A or Partner > Prado.
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