Smartify Your Mobile Phone to Access Info on Museum and Art Gallery Collections

As art museums and galleries across the globe digitally compiled information about their collections, a company called Smartify CIC created an application that allows users to access them through a database.

Now you don’t have to just stand and visually appreciate museum art works in different galleries located in some parts of the U.S. the U.K. and European countries. Rather than just stare and wonder whose hands are behind the artwork and what inspired him or her to create a masterpiece, installing a Smartify app will furnish you all those information and more.

Awesome even is that you can install the Smartify app free of charge.

Smartify users can even scan and save images to build a personal digital collection of all the favorite paintings, sculptures and gallery pieces they have seen. That way, they can share not just images but also related facts, audio commentaries and artwork interpretations; allowing better appreciation of the impressive artworks viewed up close during their travels.

List of Museums to Which Smartify can Connect

When visiting art galleries and museums in the U.S. UK and European countries like Amsterdam, Russia, Germany, Greece, and Italy or even in Singapore, Smartify can connect with the following institutions:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art NY
The Met Cloisters NY
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Paul Getty Museum Los Angeles
Los Angeles County Museum of Art LA
Laguna Art Museum LA
Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery Washington DC
Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Gallery of Arts Washington DC
Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago
Nelson-Atkins Museum of.Art Kansas City
Shangri La Museum Honolulu
The Mint Museum Charlotte, North Carolina
National Gallery London
Sculpture in the City London
Guildhall Art Gallery London
British Library London
House of St, Barnabas London
National Portrait Gallery London
Royal Academy of Arts London
The Wallace Collection London
Ben Uri Gallery London
Saatchi Gallery London
Tate Britain London
Royal Academy of Arts London
Waddesdon Manor Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire, England
Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art Middlesbrough, England
The Lowry Manchester, England
The Bowes Museum Barnard Castle, Teesdale England
Turner Contemporary Margate Kent. England
The National Library of Wales Aberystwyth
Kelvingrove Art Gallery Glasgow, Scotland
The Louvre Paris
Spray Collection Paris
Rijksmuseum Twenthe Enschede, Netherlands
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Foam Amsterdam
Mauritshuis The Hague, Netherlands
Museo Correr Venice, Italy
Madre Museo d’arte Contemporanea Donnaregina Naples, Italy
The State Hermitage Museum St. Petersburg, Russia
Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, Russia
Urban Nation Berlin, Germany
EMST National Museum of Contemporary Arts, Athens Greece
Hepta Art Gallery Tehran, Iran
Indian Heritage Center Singapore

How Smartify Works

  • Allow the Smartify app to capture an image of an art piece by pointing and focusing your phone camera on the object. As the app gets to recognize the captured display, swiping left will show every information about the artpiece, as collected and recorded by the museum.
  • A swipe to the right will reveal the name and relevant information about the artist.
  • Scrolling down activates the audio commentary along with additional information provided through the app’s link with Wikimedia.
  • To get a closer view of a particular gallery display, pinch the screen to zoom in and out.
  • In case you want to save an image, tapping the “Heart” icon at the upper right corner will allow you to store it in your phone’s image gallery.
  • Manage your image collections by creating a file that you can edit and customise via the Profile page.

Toxic Philanthropists : The Do-Gooders Who Mask Their Misdeeds by Way of Donations

The term “toxic philanthropy” has once again surfaced as several artists made a show of support to activists calling for the resignation of “Warren Kanders”. Eight artists whose works are on exhibit or supposed to have gone on exhibit at the ongoing Whitney Biennial, withdrew their artwork.

 

They did so after learning that the reason why Warren Kanders is being asked to resign from the museum board, is because he made his fortune by being chief executive to the tear gas maker Safariland. The brand of tear gas being used on refugees seeking asylum in different borders, including those entering the U.S. Mexico Border.

 

They are also called “philanthrocapitalists” who take form as wealthy do-gooders claiming to change the world and speak reverently of global poverty, but rarely examine how their business is contributing to poverty and inequality.

Another Example of Toxic Philanthropy: Sackler Family of Purdue Pharma

 

 

The Sackler family name linked to the Sackler Gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has recently been taken down in several museums and other institutions. This was after art activists launched month-long protests over the acceptance of dirty money coming from toxic philanthropists as funding support for galleries.

The protest actions came about when word spread out that the Sackler family is the owner of Pharma Purdue, manufacturer of the addictive painkiller OxyContin. The problem with OxyContin was that Purdue Pharma did not disclose the addictive ingredient, which spurred the so-called opioid crisis. Doctors prescribed OxyContin as painkillers to hundred of patients, many of whom become drug addicts and at worse, died.

 

Since the Sackler family is well-known as philanthropists and benefactors of arts, lawyers were able to keep the family name from being dragged to court, and by entering into out-of-court settlements.

French Art Works Auctioneer Collects €41.3m from Sale of Aristophil Collections

French auction house Claude Aguttes SAS, one of four auction houses assigned by France’s Tribunal de Commerce (Commercial Court), reported that up to April 15 of this year, as much as €41.3 million in revenues have been realized from auction sales of the Aristophil Collection. Claude Aguttes’ designation as auction house for the said collection was in line with the Tribunal de Commerce’s handling of the receivership and liquidation of the scandal-ridden and bankrupt Aristophil company.

However, the €41.3 million revenue achieved by the Claude Aguttes SAS, auction house, plus the more than €140 million cash and assets sequestered from the Aristophil company and from the Lhéritier family, is still a long way off from the €850 million collected from Aristophil investors. When the investment scheme came under investigation in 2015, it was unraveled as an organized fraud that promised overstated returns on an investment product that was not as highly lucrative as it was purported to be.

What was the Aristophil Company’s Investment Scheme?

The Aristophil Company was an entity founded in 1990 by Gérard Lhéritier, a former insurance broker. Lhéritier cooked up an investment scheme by enticing people to expend money to be used in buying, and then selling precious documents and historical manuscripts. Through the Aristophil company, Lhéritier promised investors that the money they contributed will earn as much as eight percent (8%) per annum.

In fact, the Aristophil company even opened a small museum and named it Musée des Arts et des Lettres, displaying about 130,000 precious documents, which soon drew attention and attracted more investors. The museum held a rich collection, including manuscripts produced by the likes of Victor Hugo, Proust, Balzac, of the Marquise de Sade, and even by American President John F. Kennedy. Investors were assured therefore that the money they contributed were being properly invested, which all the more made them sure that they made a wise investment.

As it turned out though, Aristophil was paying returns on investments using fresh funds collected from new investors to the scheme. Similar to Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scam, the fraudulent set up collapsed when the company was no longer successful in enticing new clients. The company’s subsequent bankruptcy led to the investigation of how the Aristophil company operated.

In March 2015, Gérard Lhéritier was found guilty of deceptive marketing methods, breach of trust, organized fraud, misuse of corporate assets, presentation of unfaithful accounts, and money laundering, Aristophil company was immediately placed under receivership in February 2015, and later into liquidation in August, 2015.