Kremer Collection launches virtual reality museum

Kremer Collection’s VR gallery

Netherlands-based Kremer Collection is now showing its collection of Dutch and Flemish art in virtual reality.

The Kremer Collection has spent the past two decades loaning out its collection of 17th-century Dutch and Flemish art to museums and galleries around the world. As of Thursday, the collection will have a new permanent home in a virtual museum.

The collection now has VR versions of over 70 Old Masters, according to Bloomberg. A technique called photogrammetry, takes thousands of images of each painting, to create the overall effect.

Visitors step into a virtual gallery by putting on a Vive headset. They will see a brilliant blue sky, redolent of Old Dutch paints and experience walkways that seem to float in space.

Unlike many virtual worlds which are created by game developers, the Kremer Collection is different. It was designed by Johan van Leirop, an architect, who focused on imagining the world through the scientific and artistic gaze of the Golden Age of painting.

The effect is said to be similar to taking part in a private tour – without people walking in front the viewer and the painting.

Perfect views of Old Masters in virtual reality

A handheld wand is used to point and navigate through walkways and art galleries with priceless masterpieces.

The paintings are viewed in high resolution in good lighting conditions using photogrammetry techniques.

virtual reality

Old Masters line up in hi-res virtual reality

Highlights include Rembrandt’s Turkish General and Michael Sweerts’s A Young Maidservant. The artworks can be viewed in detail, looking at the age-worn, crackled canvas surface and layers of paint hundreds of years old.

Information about the paintings is obtained by clicking the wand, with facts and historical notes.

An audio track narrated by George Kremer, the collection’s founder imparts further messages. Kremer is accompanied by a hologram of his wife, Ilone.

The scheme first came about during talks between Kremer and his son Joel. Kremer elder, wanted a permanent site for his art collection. But the expense of a bricks-and-mortar building was deemed prohibitive.

The VR art collection will go to pop-up events worldwide. A mobile application on Google Play for Daydream will be available in early 2018. There is a payment for downloading the app, and this will depend on the number of visits requested.