Art to Go
August 5, 2007 9:15 PM   Subscribe

The Grand Tour. Until August 31st, the National Gallery in England is putting reproductions of famous paintings on the streets of London, with MP3 audio guides and maps available for download. The reaction has been good.
posted by djgh (22 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

This is like... the best graffiti ever.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 10:07 PM on August 5, 2007

Apparently the paper or whatever they're printed on is graffiti-proof.
posted by djgh at 10:09 PM on August 5, 2007

This is a great way of bringing the art to the people. I wish that the museums here in Stockholm would do something similiar. Also, a great photo from the related Flickr group.

Thanks, djgh.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:25 PM on August 5, 2007

Foci for Analysis - I know. These are all available to view for free, but this is a much better way to, literally, get them out there. I'm just really annoyed that I've only just found out about this, when I won't be in London again until September!

I'd be really interested to see more examples of this around the world, even in different areas (like the Washington Post's Joshua Bell stunt).
posted by djgh at 10:48 PM on August 5, 2007

That's a damned good idea. Heres hoping other museums follow suit in time.
posted by edgeways at 10:48 PM on August 5, 2007

posted by edgeways at 10:49 PM on August 5, 2007

What a simple and wonderful idea!
posted by LarryC at 10:57 PM on August 5, 2007

I also approve of this idea. In fact, I'd like to see bandana-disguised guerrilla museum directors out on the streets at night replacing bus-stop Calvin Klein underwear ads with great paintings.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:24 AM on August 6, 2007

Wow! Thanks for the great posting!
posted by homodigitalis at 1:33 AM on August 6, 2007

Yeah, these are all over town. It's really strange, but very cool, to be wandering down the street in Soho and see a beautiful painting like this hanging in the street.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:05 AM on August 6, 2007

One of my favorite things about the big museums in London is that they try to engage the public so much. This is just another good example of this.
posted by grouse at 2:57 AM on August 6, 2007

Wonderful scheme! I especially like the fact that there's a 'phone number with each reproduction, so you can make up tours of your own, or just find out about a painting, even if you had no idea that the National Gallery were doing this.

And, without getting too wanky and psychogeographical about it, going on one of the tours could well completely change one's understanding of that area of London.
posted by jack_mo at 4:12 AM on August 6, 2007

"All the paintings on The Grand Tourâ„¢ are beautiful reproductions produced by our sponsors Hewlett Packard, but you can visit the real thing every day free of charge in the National Gallery collection."

OK... so I get the idea of bringing art to the people... but if you're going to go to the trouble of getting a map or downloading an MP3 tour why not just go visit them in the museum?
posted by Jahaza at 4:31 AM on August 6, 2007

Jahaza - because it's fun! It is actually really nice to be wandering round London and see these pictures randomly on walls, totally out of context. It gives them something extra special which you don't get while shuffling round a gallery on a boring Sunday afternoon.
posted by Summer at 6:16 AM on August 6, 2007

Cockle-of-your-heart-warming quote from the Guardian link above:

"But most had at least one person poring over every detail, and many had clumps of people blocking the pavement talking about art, as startling a sight as I've ever seen in London."

(Whoever thought of this concept should be damn well knighted!). Super post, too.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 9:05 AM on August 6, 2007

I never thought I'd hear of National Gallery doing something so... Banksy. It's a great idea.

All I can say is that when street art shows so much artistic talent that people actually get arrested for painting over it... something is right in the world.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:41 AM on August 6, 2007

You can get up close to the Holbein painting and get a picture of the anamorphic skull (see the comments).
posted by vacapinta at 3:04 PM on August 6, 2007

I never thought I'd hear of National Gallery doing something so... Banksy. It's a great idea.

This is the exact opposite of what Banksy does nowadays, surely?!
posted by jack_mo at 2:45 AM on August 8, 2007

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