At the new Kremer Museum, the lighting is perfectly optimized to accentuate the colors, brushstrokes, and details in each painting. The frames reflect light differently than the art, and soon, all of the lighting will be adjusted according to each visitor’s height to entirely eliminate glare. Visitors can not only view the front of each painting, but also the back, and potentially the X-ray as well—and they can do so from anywhere in the world, as long as they have the proper gear. The museum exists solely in virtual reality.
The Kremer Museum, which was announced at the end of October, is a collaboration between Dutch art collector George Kremer and his son, Joël Kremer. While George has spent the past two decades amassing a 74-piece collection of 17th-century Dutch and Flemish masterpieces, Joël—now the collection’s director—has been working in the tech sector, formerly employed at Google as a retail and entertainment industry manager. Now, Joël is merging his excitement about new technology with his family’s legacy of art appreciation.
According to Joël, the family had considered building a brick-and-mortar museum, but were discouraged by the cost and difficulty of finding the perfect location. However, as he told Artsy, their primary motivation to go virtual was the opportunity to make the works in their collection accessible to people who are unable to travel to Holland, where the collection is based. “The best museums in the world do nine to 10 million visitors a year, and whilst that is amazing, compared to the world population, it’s limited,” said Joël. But an important question remained: “If we actually did this in VR,” he had asked, “could it be good enough?”