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  • Writer's picturePress Release

Augmented Reality Brings A Museum Collection To Life

Across campus, on the Trail, in the Gardens, and around the world

Words and Images courtesy of the Barry Art Museum.

On Tuesday, May 18, Barry Art Museum joins institutions from around the world through the International Council of Museums to celebrate International Museum Day and this year’s timely theme - The Future of Museums: Recover and Reimagine.

The COVID-19 crisis served as a catalyst for crucial innovation that was already underway in many museums and institutions. Including the Barry Art Museum, investing in, and increasing focus on, digitization and the creation of new forms of cultural experience and dissemination. The Museum uses the launch of interactive 3D models of selected works in its collection, and community partnerships, as a tool to advocate for the creative potential of culture and collaboration as a driver for innovation and recovery.

“We’re now thinking about our visitors beyond students and our typical Norfolk and Hampton Roads arts supporter, to a global audience, and it’s very exciting!” said Charlotte Potter Kasic, Barry Art Museum, interim director. “The 3D models were a natural fit for our continued strategy of engaging the public through digital programming, this AR project allows anyone — from anywhere — to explore the collection with the click of a button. These investments, reimagining how we view art, will pay dividends long after the Pandemic

is over,” she added.

The augmented reality (AR) sculptures will come to life locally on the Elizabeth River Trail, Norfolk Botanical Garden, and the Old Dominion University campus. Users of both iPhone and Android scan a QR code or use a link that redirects to a project-specific site. The site includes info on the art and artists, and clickable models to play with 3D recreations of glass sculptures in the Museum’s permanent collection. The interactive models

appear in the camera app for easy filming, photography and sharing. A sneak preview can be found here, best viewed on a mobile device.

In support of creating these replicas, the project’s 3D designer processed a sequence of images of each piece and translated the images into high-quality models; a process called photogrammetry. “It’s inspiring to explore other scalable applications and uses for augmented reality, especially in more creative fields like the arts and rethinking the future of museums,” said Jacob Galito, creative director and co-founder of Ario Technologies, inc, an AR software company.

The Barry Art Museum team, under the direction of Charlotte Potter Kasic, used the past year to rethink relationships with the communities it serves, experimenting with new platforms and hybrid models of exploring and educating through art, strongly reaffirming the essential value of the future of museums.

Since the onset of the Pandemic in March 2020, the Barry Art Museum has launched four Multimedia Tours exploring its collections. From Black Artists and Subjects to Early Art Appreciation, these Zoom tours are hosted live by an Artist Educator from the Museum, and include video, images, stories, and in-depth information about the works in the collection and the people behind the piece.

Additionally, the Museum launched a robust new website, to feature its many virtual programs and resources, which include a monthly online lecture series that has engaged hundreds of artists and participants from around the world over the past year. Learn more at

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) established International Museum Day in 1977 to increase public awareness of the role of museums in the development of society, and it has been steadily gaining momentum ever since. In 2020, despite the limitations imposed by a digital-only format, #IMD2020 activities reached more than 83 000 000 users on social media, on May 18 alone!


The Barry Art Museum, located at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, is an educational and cultural resource for Coastal Virginia. With pieces from important artists from around the globe, the Barry Art Museum further cements Hampton Roads as an international arts destination and extends Old Dominion's commitment to providing arts education within a research institution. For more info:


Old Dominion University is Virginia's entrepreneurial-minded doctoral research university with more than 24,000 students, rigorous academics, an energetic residential community and initiatives that contribute $2.6 billion annually to the commonwealth's economy.


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