Artfinder aiming to transform gallery experience with fine art image recognition apps

  • LONDON, United Kingdom
  • /
  • July 29, 2011

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Artfinder image recognition app


Apps launched with Dulwich Picture Gallery and Bold Tendencies include image recognition app.

Artfinder, the home for art on the web, today made its first step towards transforming the art gallery and museum experience, with the launch of two pioneering fine art image recognition apps. The first apps are launched in partnership with Dulwich Picture Gallery’s Twombly and Poussin: Arcadian Painters exhibition, and Sculpture Project 5 from Bold Tendencies.

The apps enable users to identify and find out more about artwork simply by taking a picture with their iPhone or iPod touch. This lets visitors immediately create a customized audio tour of the works they like without keying in any special codes. Users of the apps can also share the things they like with their friends, bringing the art viewing experience into the social media age.

Visitors to Dulwich Picture Gallery will be able to use the Arcadian Painters app to identify any of the exhibited paintings by Twombly and Poussin, and have more information about each one sent to their device. Despite the abstract nature of the late Cy Twombly’s work, the Artfinder app can recognise each painting within seconds of a photograph being taken, even from a small detail, and even if there are gallery visitors or other obstructions in the way.

The Artfinder app for Bold Tendencies represents the first time it has been possible to use image recognition technology on 3D, sculptural artworks. A selection of the 15 new large-scale sculptures commissioned by Bold Tendencies, exhibited in a multi-storey car park in Peckham, can be identified by Artfinder’s app, regardless of the angle or amount of detail photographed.

Artfinder’s image recognition technology works by creating digital fingerprints of each work of art, and comparing those fingerprints to the picture that is taken. Even partial digital fingerprints are quickly matched to the original and once identified, artworks can be shared with friends via Facebook, Twitter and email directly from the apps.

Spencer Hyman, Artfinder co-founder and CEO, said: “We’re really excited to be working with Dulwich and Bold Tendencies to pioneer fine art image recognition. We’ve built up an unparalleled database of over 500,000 artworks on the website, and now we want to give people the opportunity to harness that huge catalogue on their smartphones and tablet devices in a new and inspiring way. Our goal is to make art accessible and purchasable at the click of a button, whether you’re browsing at home or out and about in a gallery or museum, and today’s launch is our first big step towards achieving that.”

Watch a video of the app in action at Dulwich Picture Gallery:

The app is available now in the App Store for £1.99:

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Christian Ward
Clarity Communications

About Artfinder

Artfinder is the place for consumers who want to access art via the web. A marketplace for art, Artfinder works with museums, galleries and artists to bring their works to a global consumer audience via the web, smartphones and tablet devices such as the iPad. Artfinder members can find and share art from the most comprehensive database of art online, discover new art through the platform’s innovative personalised recommendation system, as well as purchase on-demand prints of favourite works. Artfinder comprises a team of entrepreneurs and engineers from, Amazon, IAC, Yahoo, Tangozebra, Moshi Monsters and The Guardian. For more information, visit

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