What is WbVR’s Curator’s Choice?

deyoung-banner_2This week, WoofbertVR (WbVR) launched its latest immersive art museum experience, built around the exceptional collection of 19th-century American still life paintings at San Francisco’s de Young Museum. But we are just as excited to be inaugurating a feature we call Curator’s Choice (CC), which we hope to include in many of our future VR releases.

WoofbertVR has the potential to create many different types of immersive learning opportunities that don’t normally exist within an actual gallery space. Through these, we can deepen the possibilities of interpretation and storytelling in myriad ways. But we still appreciate how engaging it can be to listen to different perspectives while standing before a work of art. With this in mind, WbVR has initiated Curator’s Choice — a new pathway that allows users to gain deeper access to expert opinions and layers of information, including discussion of curatorial, framing, and conservation issues, and other behind-the-scenes facts.

Within the de Young experience, the Curator’s Choice option can be selected by tapping on the red/blue OO icon on the gallery wall. It’s really up to you.

Over time, WbVR’s Curator’s Choice will come to include a range of voices and choices—from artists to conservators. The first CC, however, kicks off with a curator’s point of view, that of Emma Acker, Assistant Curator of American Art at the de Young Museum.

DeYoung_052316_01Ms. Acker graciously shared her time and seemingly infinite knowledge while we were producing content for the experience of the de Young’s Gallery 25, a room dedicated to a particular kind of extremely compelling 19th-century painting known as trompe l’oeil — or “trick of the eye” — because it tricks our senses into believing it is real.

For her Curator’s Choice, Ms. Acker chose to discuss five paintings: James Peale’s Still Life with Fruit (1821), William Joseph McCloskey’s Oranges in Tissue Paper (c. 1890), William Harnett’s After the Hunt (1885), and John Frederick Peto’s Still Life with Pitcher, Candle, and Books (c. 1900), and David Ligare’s Still Life with Grape Juice and Sandwiches (1994). And, her audio introduction to the broader theme of trompe l’oeil illusionism serves to wonderfully frame the entire gallery and bring the milieu of America in the 19th century to life.


Who knows these stunning paintings better than Emma Acker? Not many. And, now we all can know more about–and experience–these images through her eyes and fascinating

A big thank you to the digital and curatorial staff of the de Young—especially to Emma Acker.

WbVR couldn’t have started off the Curator’s Choice in any better way. Try out this new feature within the “Trick of the Eye: 19th-Century American Still Life” experience on the WoofbertVR app, using either the Oculus Rift or Samsung Gear VR. But, don’t be fooled, despite appearances, these trompe l’oeil paintings are what they say–art meant to trick the senses. Again, that’s what VIRTUAL REALITY is all about!

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