NCMA Launches Mobile App to Provide Self-Guided Tours


NCMA mobile app 

The North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) this week launched a new mobile app that offers themed, self-guided audio tours of the Museum’s permanent collection. Each tour lasts about 30 minutes and features art in the Museum’s free permanent collection. The free app is available in English and Spanish and can be downloaded through the iTunes Store or at

“This mobile app will encourage NCMA visitors to slow down in the permanent collection galleries and look more closely at the works of art—something we hope will enhance and deepen their appreciation of the art and make their Museum visit a more memorable, personal experience,” says Lawrence J. Wheeler, director of the NCMA. “It perfectly aligns with the mission and vision of the NCMA, which focuses on our commitment to provide compelling encounters with art, present innovative educational opportunities, and enrich lives through the wonder of art.”

The app launches with three themed tours—Curator’s Choice, Lunch Break, and Date Night—and the Museum may add more in the future.

  • Curator’s Choice: What is a curator? In art museums curators choose the works of art that go into an exhibition. They also assist in acquiring works for a museum’s collection. Each part of our collection is curated by an expert in a particular period of art history. Listen to a tour from each part of our collection with that curator’s top picks.
  • Lunch Break: Experts say changing up your environment can help overcome mental blocks and re-energize your thinking. This tour lets you experience art and food from around the world while taking a quick break from the day. Are you hungry for art? Why wait?
  • Date Night: In today’s world of swiping right and posting “It’s complicated,” romance can be tough. Luckily, wandering the galleries of a museum is a great way to spend time with someone special to you. Whether you’re on your first date or going on your first decade as a couple, listen to a tour all about romance and love—as interpreted by artists throughout time.

“This new technology will help us better connect and engage with visitors on our campus in a whole new way,” says Michelle Harrell, the NCMA’s director of teaching and learning. “We see the mobile app as an opportunity to provide customizable experiences, rather than simple audio tours. It introduces art in a manner that many people might not have considered before—for example, as something that can energize you on a lunch break or spice up a date night.”

The mobile app replaces the Museum’s cell phone tour, which is no longer available. It joins the Museum’s Moede app, an interactive work of art designed by Kael Greco and Gregg Perkins that creates a soundtrack to a visitor’s experience in the NCMA’s Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park.


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