Experience the Museum Your Way With New Audio Tours

September 20, 2023
A photograph of a person standing in front of an artwork. She is wearing earbuds and holding her phone up to the work.

Photo by Mary Tait

SAAM teamed up with the digital firm Smartify to create a series of audio guides that deepen the visitor experience, both in our galleries and online. A tour of the modern and contemporary collections features new and archival audio in which more than a dozen artists talk about what inspired their work as well as commentary by SAAM’s Head Curator Randy Griffey. Insights into the work of Alma Thomas by Melissa Ho, curator of twentieth-century art, is available to complement the exhibition Composing Color: Paintings by Alma Thomas.

Art speaks of who we are at our very best. And you go into a museum and you can see that over and over again, that divine spark, that humanness, that heart.

Kay WalkingStick (Cherokee Nation)

Two additional tours, created in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, provide insights into the remarkable history of the museums’ shared historic Greek Revival building and feature highlights of selected iconic works in our respective collections. A joint tour for families and a tour featuring works by Black artists are in development. 

Visitors also can create a personalized, self-guided tour by answering a few simple questions about particular interests and choosing how much time to allow to explore the collection. The public can access these tours online or in the galleries either through the mobile site or by downloading the Smartify app. Tours are available in English, Spanish, American Sign Language, and Descriptive Audio for visitors with low and impaired vision. 


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