London’s Tate Britain Museum Brought The AR Power To Art With Facebook Creative Shop

Teamed up with an AR-powered design firm, Facebook Creative Shop and The Mill organized an exhibit at London art museum Tate Britain.

Eight pieces were transformed at Tate Britain while using Facebook’s Spark augmented reality camera effects platform, giving museum-goers more depth, context and background.

The visitors of the museum can use the camera in the Instagram application to scan the museum’s Instagram name tag and activate the experience, after which they will see a welcome message and a map to guide them to all eight AR-enhanced paintings.

Facebook said in a blog post,

Museums are among our most important cultural institutions, preserving art and history, while also forming the backbone of many vibrant urban communities. Our partnership with Tate is a first step. We’re excited to continue exploring how AR can reframe museums and galleries to increase awareness and appreciation with new generations.



Matthew Roberts, Project Manager at Spark AR added,

Unlike traditional cameras, today’s smartphones have both immense computing power and an always-on connection to the internet—a combination that turns out to be profound. More than just capture, this is a camera that can see. By tapping into a wealth of relevant data alongside AI (artificial intelligence) and computer vision algorithms, we can help people learn and connect to the world around them in meaningful ways.

Facebook shared details and descriptions of the eight paintings that are part of the initiative:


Fishing Upon the Blythe-Sand, Tide Setting In, by Joseph Mallord William Turner
Amateurs of Tye-Wig Music (‘Musicians of the Old School’), by Edward Francis Burney
A Youth Relating Tales to Ladies, by Simeon Solomon
The Cholmondeley Ladies, by an unknown artist from Britain
Self-Portrait, by Gwen John
Farm at Watendlath, by Dora Carrington
Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose, by John Singer Sargent
Head of a Man (?Ira Frederick Aldridge), by John Simpson

The potential of contextually-relevant AR is huge, and it’s exciting to help more creators connect with new audiences in valuable ways.