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Art Institute gears up with new mobile app

The Art Institute of Chicago gets as many as 7,000 visitors every day. And with collections spanning 8 buildings and a square footage of over 15 football fields, it’s easy to picture getting lost.

“People get lost all the time,” said Logan Dean, who sells audio guides that go along with the museum’s exhibits. He says he also gives a lot of directions.

“It’s a big museum.”

That’s why the Institute launched an app called Art Institute of Chicago Tours -- it’s got indoor GPS, maps, directions, and even museum tours, all on your mobile phone.

Erin Hogan, a representative for the Institute, says the app isn’t designed to keep you from wandering the exhibits at your own pace. Instead, it’s for people who are looking for specific pieces of art or who want guidance along their trip.

Hogan’s favorite visitor-getting-lost-in-the-museum story? She heard it from a volunteer at the front desk:

“Apparently someone stormed out of here saying, ‘I give up. I can’t find the T-Rex anywhere.’”

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