Atlanta’s High Museum Has Launched a ‘Dating App’ to Match Visitors With the Perfect Artwork

Jupiterimages/iStock via Getty Images
Jupiterimages/iStock via Getty Images

Visiting an art museum can be illuminating, emotional, and educational. It can also be totally overwhelming, especially somewhere like Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, which houses more than 15,000 works.

To give you some direction, Julia Forbes (the High Museum’s Shannon Landing Amos Head of Museum Interpretation and Digital Engagement) and Ivey Rucket (Manager of Web and New Media) brainstormed and built Heartmatch, a Tinder-inspired app that personalizes a museum itinerary for you based on artworks you swipe right on, Smithsonian.com reports.

No need to download this app—just head to Heartmatch.org on your device and tap “Get Started” under the title slide’s headline “Ready to Fall in Love?” You’ll be shown a series of works from the High’s collection and asked to swipe right for each one you like, and swipe left for each one you don’t particularly care to see (you can also hit the heart and X buttons below each artwork to indicate like or dislike). After several swipes, the app will deliver you a map of the museum with your artwork matches clearly marked. The top of the map shows the museum’s three wings with how many matches you chose in each wing. Below, the map breaks down each wing with the specific galleries where you can view your matches. You can email the map to yourself, or you can choose to keep swiping for the opportunity to add more works to your existing map. And since the app includes 100 works, you can keep swiping until you have a pretty extensive personal visitor’s guide.

Another similarity between Heartmatch and an actual dating app is that Heartmatch will only add artworks to your tour that you’ve already swiped right on, just like Tinder won’t match you with a person you haven’t already said you like.


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Forbes and Rucket told the American Alliance of Museums that they had three specific goals in mind while creating the app: to show their on-site visitors their collection’s diversity, to direct them to artworks they liked so they could experience them in person, and to collect data on their tastes.

Collecting data on visitors' tastes will help the museum know which popular works to highlight in their marketing efforts, but it won’t leave the under-liked pieces left in the dust. Instead, the High will feature them in their educational programming, to “turn ‘swipe lefts’ into ‘swipe rights.’”

[h/t Smithsonian.com]

Rotting Fruit—Made of Glass—Is the Focus of a New Exhibition at Harvard

Strawberry with Penicillium sp. mold, Rudolf Blaschka, 1929
Strawberry with Penicillium sp. mold, Rudolf Blaschka, 1929
Jennifer Berglund © 2019 President and Fellows of Harvard College

A fuzzy blue strawberry, a pear mottled with unseemly blotches—rotting fruit is not normally thought of as beautiful. But just like the trees, flowers, and more attractive crops often featured in artwork, fruits dying on the branch are a normal part of nature. By spotlighting the summer fruits that never make it to market, the Harvard Museum of Natural History is calling on people to examine them in a different light.

The new exhibit, “Fruits in Decay," consists of astonishingly realistic glass models of apricots, plums, and other fruits in various stages of rot. Each intricate sculpture showcases the effects of a real-life agricultural disease. One branch is depicted with peach leaf curl, a disease caused by the fungus Taphrina deformans, and a pear bears the telltale dark spots of pear scab. There are more than 20 glass items on display.


Pear with pear scab, Rudolf Blaschka, 1929
Jennifer Berglund © 2019 President and Fellows of Harvard College

“Fruits in Decay" is the new focus of the Harvard Museum's famous "Glass Flowers" gallery. Every piece in the glass collection was crafted by either Leopold or Rudolf Blaschka, a Czech father-son team descended from a line of glassblowers stretching back to the 15th century. Active in the 19th and 20th centuries, they were known for creating realistic glass models of scientific specimens, 4300 of which are housed at Harvard today. The rotten fruit models were sculpted by Rudolf Blaschka between the years 1924 and 1932, at the end of his career.

“Rudolf Blaschka’s last work centered on the creation of these models of diseased fruits," Donald H. Pfister, curator of the Farlow Library and Herbarium of Cryptogamic Botany, said in statement. "They are the culmination of his lifelong attention to accuracy and innovation. They illustrate the effects of fungi as agents of disease in plants and point to their importance in agricultural systems.”

“Fruits in Decay" is open now at the Harvard Museum of Natural History and will be on view through March 1, 2020.

Branch with peach leaf curl, Model 798, Rudolf Blaschka, 1929
Branch with peach leaf curl, Rudolf Blaschka, 1929
Jennifer Berglund © 2019 President and Fellows of Harvard College

Collection of Star Wars-Inspired Insect Art Is Coming to Los Angeles Gallery

Richard Wilkinson
Richard Wilkinson

The Star Wars universe is known for its larger-than-life spaceships, weapons, and characters. For his new gallery exhibition, "Arthropoda Iconicus," artist Richard Wilkinson decided to take a different approach. As Gizmodo reports, he has reimagined pieces of Star Wars iconography as new species of insects.

The creepy collection goes on display at the Hero Complex Gallery in Los Angeles on September 6. At first glance, the bugs look like specimens you'd find at a natural history museum. But pop culture connoisseurs will recognize that each critter is inspired by something from a movie, television show, video game, comic book, or even a popular product or brand.

The Star Wars-inspired insects are the stars of the show. R2-D2 has been reinterpreted as a beetle dubbed Robodoubus deoduoubus, and Yoda appears as Dominos magister. C-3PO, a stormtrooper, and Darth Vader are all represented, too.

R2-D2 beetle.
Richard Wilkinson

C3PO bug.
Richard Wilkinson

Yoda insect.
Richard Wilkinson

Stormtrooper as bug.
Richard Wilkinson

Book of Star Wars icons as bugs.
Richard Wilkinson

Many of the works on display are taken from Wilkinson's book Arthropoda Iconicus Volume I: Insects From A Far Away Galaxy. All 148 pieces in the exhibit will be available to purchase for $20 as 8-inch-by-10-inch prints when the show opens Friday. The art will also sold through Hero Complex's website starting at 11:00 a.m. PST on September 7.

[h/t Gizmodo]

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