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Milwaukee Art Museum launches kids app

The Milwaukee Art Museum (Photo by Kevin Harnack)

The Milwaukee Art Museum (Photo by Kevin Harnack)

Want to foster your kids’ excitement for the arts? There’s an app for that.

An innovative app designed exclusively for children visiting the Milwaukee Art Museum has been launched by Antenna.

The new app is segmented for two groups of young visitors – ages 4 to 7 and 8 to 12 – and is designed to engage kids, provide fun ways to experience the museum, and inspire them to explore the content and collections.

It is the first museum app developed specifically for audiences this young.

The “A is for Art” audio tour experience is designed for the museum visitors ages 4 to 7 and is voiced by child actors. By way of this tour, kids are immediately engaged in the ABCs of what they are seeing in the artworks, starting with “A is for Angel” at  Abbott Thayer’s An Angel (1893) and ending with “Z is for Zoo” at Giovanni Castiglione’s Noah and the Animals Entering the Ark, (ca. 1650).  The app features short audio excerpts that encourage discussion between the adults and the children in the group, according to a news release from the museum.


The “Eye-Touch” tour is for children ages 8 to 12 and uses a mix of audio, video and interactive games to introduce kids to more than 40 works in the collection. The tour balances experiences – such as behind-the-scenes video footage of artists at work and on-screen activities, with audio-messages aimed at helping kids to look closely and engage with the art.

Antenna has taken the popular social media phenomenon – “selfies” – and created the “Art Selfie,” a camera function to encourage kids to connect directly with the art they are looking at, and in turn, be creative themselves. Using the camera, kids take a selfie and insert themselves into a selection of art works, then share the resulting image on social media or save them on their device.

The feature uses the museum’s collection of anonymous 18th and 19th century portrait miniatures to give visitors a chance to see how they would look as a work of art.

The app was developed as part of the Kohl’s Art Generation project, for the museum’s Apple devices – and it can be downloaded as well, allowing kids to resume the experience at a later time, either at the museum or remotely.

About Kirsten Yovino

Kirsten Yovino is a Milwaukee-area resident and co-owner of brewcityparent.com.

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