Two New Paintings Added to Boulevard AR iOS App

New York, NY July 26th, 2018 – After a widely-publicized release to the App Store in March, Boulevard Arts has responded to overwhelming user demand and is debuting today two new additions to its augmented reality app, Boulevard AR. Users can now explore the life and work of nineteenth-century artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti and that of twentieth-century scientist Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin. Each portrait represents an important figure in history- one a painter, poet and designer, the other a Nobel-Prize winning chemist and crystallographer. The paintings are linked by the theme of “optics”- how we see things, what shapes our perspective, and what comes into focus when we look closely. With Boulevard AR’s “Eye of the Beholder”, users will explore the stories of a 20th-century scientist and a 19th-century artist, and discover that these two individuals have much more in common than first meets the eye.

Though both works are part of the National Portrait Gallery’s collection which is based in the UK, the scope of these paintings extends far beyond Britain. With Hodgkin’s and Rossetti’s portraits added to the Boulevard AR app, the contributions of these two remarkable individuals can now be shared with millions of people all over the world.

Using any ARKit-ready device running iOS 11, place the watercolor of Dante Gabriel Rossetti on an easel in your space. For iPhones and iPads running version 11.3 or newer, the picture can also be mounted on the wall. The artist sits in his parlour, reading a poem to his close friend Theodore Watts-Dunton, in a room decorated with mirrors and an eclectic array of other curious objects and furniture, brought to life by Rab MacGibbon, National Portrait Gallery’s 17th and 18th-Century Collections Curator. Rossetti’s personal and creative life can be explored through this intimate Victorian setting and all it reflects. Look into a three-dimensional convex mirror that lifts from the painting to reveal an 1880s photograph of the very house that contained this sitting room. Hear a dramatic reading of one of Rossetti’s poems and consider his careful cultivation of such a visually-integrated environment.

Boulevard AR users can also meet Dr. Dorothy Hodgkin through contemporary artist Maggi Hambling’s 1985 portrait. Once the painting is placed on the wall or on an easel, unique sections of the work are highlighted, like the facets from one of Hodgkin’s own crystalline samples. The largest fragment shows a mirrored disc, partially covered by and reflecting a model of vitamin B12 and two models of insulin– which Hodgkin spent much of her life researching. Watch a 3D insulin molecule appear and rotate in the air as you listen to National Portrait Gallery’s Senior Curator of 20th-Century Collections, Rosie Broadley, explain the x-ray crystallography process Hodgkin employed in her work. Throughout Hodgkin’s 60-year career, she pioneered the imaging of atomic and molecular structures, producing key findings that led to wide-ranging discoveries which continue to be built upon to this day.

Illuminate the dynamic parts and possibilities for connectivity between art, science and literature with “Eye of the Beholder,” a free update for current users of the Boulevard AR app and now an included part of the complete set of experiences available to new users for $2.99 in the App Store.

About Boulevard

Boulevard brings art, architecture, and culture to people around the world. Partnering with leading museums and cultural sites, Boulevard revolutionizes the way the world looks at the arts. With 21st-century innovation and dynamic content, Boulevard is reshaping the landscape of storytelling and bringing history to life for anyone, anywhere, anytime.

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About National Portrait Gallery, London
The National Portrait Gallery was founded in 1856 to encourage through portraiture the appreciation and understanding of the people who have made and are making British history and culture. Today it promotes engagement with portraiture in all media to a wide-ranging public by conserving, growing and sharing the world’s largest collection of portraits. The Gallery, located just off Trafalgar Square, holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. With over 1000 portraits on display across three floors, from Elizabeth I to David Beckham, the Gallery has something for everyone. Artists featured range from Holbein to Hockney, and the Collection includes work across all media, from painting and sculpture to photography and video. As well as the permanent displays, the Gallery has a diverse and ever-changing programme of exhibitions and events that promote an understanding and appreciation of portraiture in all forms.

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