De Young Museum:

Trick of the Eye: 19th-century American Still Life

Available on Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream, Oculus Go and Oculus Rift.

Themes for the Classroom: Art history; American art; 19th-century art; still-life painting; American history; language arts and literacy; storytelling; art making; technology.

This Boulevard experience features twenty American paintings displayed in Gallery 25 at San Francisco’s de Young Museum: nineteen 19th-century still lifes, by artists including John Frederick Peto, John Haberle, William Harnett and William Keane, and one still life from 1994 by contemporary artist David Ligare.

Users can move around the gallery and study any painting. A zoom feature for all objects allows for close looking. A tablet offers extended written labels and information about the de Young Museum. The audio narration is provided by Elizabeth Reede, Boulevard Co-Founder and former Curator of Painting & Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art.

By activating the “double Os” from either one of two places in the gallery, users can access the “Curator’s Choice” feature, in which de Young Curator Emma Acker discusses the five works she finds most compelling. In addition, to highlight the trompe l’oeil (or “fool the eye”) quality of these still life paintings, a virtual butterfly and bee appear, hovering near the works, as if they themselves were tricked by the illusion of the painted fruit.