Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The top four free phone apps for art in Cambridge

Do you have a smart phone and want to keep up with art on the go?  Here are my four favourite mobile apps for keeping up-to-date with the art world of Cambridge.  

1.  Live Cambridge

Great little app for quickly checking what's on and its own 'Art' category.  Also lists films, comedy, theatre, music, local events  and 'Style Week'.  The 'Walk 2012' lists 6 different routes with landmarks , incl. some art venues.  Other features include a short restaurant guide, train times (although not 100% reliable) and a Guide to colleges, museums, gardens and (this is handy) toilets.

Limitations:  The listing is by no means comprehensive, and the 'Art' section is skewed towards University of Cambridge events.

Verdict:  It's a fun and handy quick-reference tool.  Plus the interface is nice and colourful.

Best discovery:  This is to do with the art of Indian filmmaking...  :-)  A few weeks ago, this app told me that the film Jab Tak Hai Jaan (directed by Yash Chopra) was being shown at Cineworld, and I rushed out to see it.  Wouldn't have known about it otherwise!

2.  Cambridge

Hundreds of events hosted by the colleges and institutions of the University of Cambridge.  The best thing is that you can sort the 'Events' by 'Categories'.  One category is 'Exhibitions', and another is 'Talks'.  'Talks' includes lunchtime lectures at the Fitzwilliam and events at Kettle's Yard.

Limitations:  Clearly it lists only University of Cambridge events.  And it's patchy:  none of the art history and classics research seminars is listed, for example.  Boring interface.

Verdict:  On the plus side, you get an overview of tons of public events and exhibitions.  No time to see them all!

Best discovery:  Lunchtime talk on 13 March at 12.45 in the Fitzwilliam Museum on the ancient Greek Lansdowne Relief by James Whitley, Professor in Mediterranean Archaeology at Cardiff.  Found out about this via this app.  (The link takes you to the 'University of Cambridge What's On' blog.)

3.  Art Guide

This lists selected shows from all over the UK.  It includes a nifty 'Nearby' map with museums and galleries marked in, and a 'Trip Planner' for visits farther afield.  Includes images of the exhibited artwork, an overview per exhibition, exhibition highlights, and 'What the Critics Say'.  Plus contact details and 'How to get there'.  Can be sorted by 'Must See', 'Popular' or 'A-Z', and alerts you to the 'Last Chance' to see exhibitions that are about to end.  You can also make your own 'Wishlist' by adding a star to your favourites.

Join the Art Fund for discounts to exhibitions nation-wide.

Limitations:  Highly selective:  doesn't include everything!

Verdict:  But sometimes you don't want info to include everything; you'd like someone to pick and choose for you.  The selection is good, and it's great to have actual pictures of art.

Best discovery:  I found out about the Jeff Koons exhibition at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, from May - September.  For me, this is incredibly exciting, and I had no idea it was on before I got this app! (The link takes you to the Art Fund website.)

4.  Cambridge Sculpture Trails

Brilliant app that summarises info about the three fabulous Cambridge Sculpture Trails.  You get a map, divided up into the three Trail regions:  city centre, north and west, and south.  Each sculpture is pictured, with artist, title and date, and a short paragraph with interesting context and information.  Plot your path through town, using the map; hunt for statues; then read about them on your phone.

Limitations:  No search function.  This applies to the Cambridge Sculpture Trails website as well.

Verdict:  The top art app for rambling about Cambridge in search of sculpture.

Best discovery:  Matthew Lane Sanderson's Grasshopper.  Watch this space:  I will blog about this soon!

Find out more:  Article on the Sculpture Trails app in the Cambridge News.

These apps are free so so you can try them out at leisure on your phone, ipad or other mobile device.  Let me know how you get on with them via email!  And if you know of any others that I've not listed here:  do tell me about them!

If you have no mobile device:  just scroll on by and sorry for being irrelevant...  :-)

Further reading:  Hasan Niyazi's excellent review of the Raphael at the Louvre app

Please note that I am not affiliated to any of these apps.

Permalink:  http://artincambridge.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-top-four-free-phone-apps-for-art-in.html


  1. What a cool post for those who love art and live in the Cambridge area! In a parallel life/world it would be awesome be living there, or at least visiting, and have the opportunity to try out these apps! Thanks for sharing! :)

    1. Thanks, Kathy!! I'm sure that there may be similar apps for wherever you live -- I hope you find them. And at any rate: a good opportunity for some armchair travel. :-)


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