If you have visited the Hunterian Art Gallery since it reopened recently, or if you’ve made a trip to The Hunterian Museum, you might have noticed some signs encouraging you to download the ‘Bloomberg Connects’ app on your smartphone.
What does it do? And how does it work?
Bloomberg Connects: Free to download, free to use
Bloomberg Philanthropies is funding the development of digital programs at leading cultural institutions around the world to increase access and visitor engagement.
That means Bloomberg Connects is free to download and free to use, and allows you to engage with our wonderful collections in new and inspiring ways – regardless of whether or not you make a physical visit to our venues.
Not only that, you can access and explore expert-curated content and guides from over 170 museums, galleries, sculpture parks and cultural spaces from across the world.
Sounds pretty good so far, right?
Downloading and using Bloomberg Connects at The Hunterian
You can download the Bloomberg Connects app to your smartphone whether you’re at home, or in several of our venues.
Once you’ve got it, you can explore all sorts of collections from lots of different cultural organisations. To find our content – search ‘The Hunterian’.
The app is available in over 20 languages thanks to integration with Google Translate. Select which one you would like the guide to open with, then, simply click ‘Start Guide’.
If you are not at any of our venues physically, you can explore the content from the main menu in any way you like. The guide also has all the information you need to plan a visit in the future.
If you are in the Art Gallery, the Museum, or the Zoology Museum, you can use the Bloomberg Connects app as you explore the displays.
You can follow floorplans of the venues to help you find different items, or you can explore the venues room-by-room from the main menu.
When you find a ‘Lookup Number’ next to the displays, you can type this into the app in order to access additional content about the object that has caught your attention.
What type of content can I expect to find?
We’ve been working on a range of bespoke audio, video and text content, and we’re updating our digital guide all the time.
The Bloomberg Connects app makes it easy for you to explore arts and culture in your own time and at your own pace – so there’s a mixture of quick, ‘snackable’ content right through to more in-depth tours and trails to follow as you go.
The Hunterian Museum
In the Museum, we have a few self-guided tours you can follow as you explore the halls. First of all, there’s the ‘Highlights Tour’. This showcases some of the most popular objects from across the collection, and includes some audio from our fantastic curators.
We also have some content that supplements the ‘Curating Discomfort’ intervention. This audio tour is brought to you by our Community Curators, explaining why they chose particular objects for Curating Discomfort.
Audio tours by our brilliant Museum Student Educators (or MuSE guides) will give you even more information about Scotland’s Roman past, with a closer look at our Antonine Wall collection.
The Hunterian Zoology Museum
The specimens in the Zoology museum cover the whole of the animal kingdom, from sponges to giant squid and from lampreys to elephants. Many of the objects are over 100 years old – there are taxidermy mounts and replica models made to show life-like representations of the animals.
Like the tours at the main Hunterian Museum, we also have a ‘Highlights Tour’ at the Zoology Museum showcasing our top ten ‘must-see’ animals – from the Leatherback turtle to the Goliath beetle.
The Zoology Museum recently opened a new display, highlighting the The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. You can learn more about the different levels of threat faced by some of the animals and insects found in the museum through our ‘Extinction Crisis: Animals in Danger’ audio tour.
The Hunterian Art Gallery
In April, we reopened the Art Gallery after a couple of months of closure following a full refresh and rehang of the artwork on display. Exploring new themes, and introducing new art into the display, the rehang asks visitors wider questions about how art should be defined.
Enhance your experience of our revamped Art Gallery through the digital offerings available via Bloomberg Connects.
As you explore, why not follow our Spotify playlist recommendations? We’ve asked our staff across The Hunterian for their musical suggestions linked to specific works of art – there are several playlists to choose from!
In the Gallery’s opening room, there are no physical labels. We asked staff from across The Hunterian for their perspectives on several works on display in Bay 1, which you can access exclusively via Bloomberg Connects.
For all you poetry lovers out there, we’ve also put together a special tour with a mix of poems which have been written in response to the artwork in our collection. Listen or read along in the gallery, or from the comfort of your own home!
You can also take a behind-the-scenes look at how the artwork was chosen, and how the themes and questions emerged through exclusive video and audio content.
Bloomberg Connects allows you to take a closer look at the objects and artwork in our collection – literally! You can also zoom in and explore the high-resolution images in ways you can’t with the physical items on display.
More to Explore
We are still at fairly early stages with Bloomberg Connects, but it’s a brilliant platform which allows us to bring you additional and more meaningful insight on The Hunterian’s collections going forward.
So – before, during, or after a visit to one of our venues – be sure to download the app and explore!
Stay up to date with all things Hunterian via our blog. We’ll have more features about the Art Gallery rehang in the coming weeks and months, with lots of new Bloomberg Connects content to follow too – as well as stories from right across our collections!