An Augmented Reality tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art



great hall
Welcome to Metaverses, an augmented reality tour of selected pieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collections, created in conversation and collaboration with artists (ages 60+) who live and work at the Westbeth Home to the Arts in New York City. A metaverse is a collective, shared, virtual space.

This self guided tour is ideally shared by intergenerational pairs, but you may enjoy it with someone your own age, or by yourself. To participate follow the following three easy steps:

    1.) To utilize all of the features of this tour, you will need the following:
    • an electronic tablet or smart phone with a bulit-in camera and the Wi-Fi turned on. (devices such as an iPad, Samsung Galaxy, or google Nexus tablet work best. iPhone and Android phones work as well.)
    • a pair of headphones for each participant. (Both the Auras and the sound files require headphones, but take them off to speak to your partner.)
    • a headphone splitter to connect each pair of participants
    • a clear and open mind
    2.) Install the Aurasma app to your tablet using one of the following links:
          Apple App store

    3.) Connect to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's wi-fi. When you are in the museum's great hall, open your browser. It will open a page that invites you to join the museum's network. Click the button to connect.

    4.) Here's a link to a PDF MAP of the Metaverse Met . Click the up and down arrows to navigate layers.

When you are ready, put on your headphones and click on the orange & white circular button in the Sound Cloud banner. Follow the instructions:





When you are ready to test your first Aura, click the blue button with the Aurasma logo. Then hold the tablet or your smart phone up to the trigger item. It should appear on your screen, like the image below.

Move your framing of the object so that it matches this image:Aurasmagreat hall

G. 153    Statue of Eirene


The personification of peace re-imagined with chakras by interdisciplinary artist, Justine Wiiliams, and collaged from images in the Met collection.


G.153  Marble Statue of the So-Called Apollo Lykeios


Color is returned to Greek statue, Apollo, as traditional prints by Christina Maile are re-mixed by interdisciplinary artist, Justine Williams, using visual programming language, Max MSP.


G.164  Cubiculum (bedroom) from the VILLA of P. FANNIUS SYNISTOR at BOSCOREALE


Puppet artist, Penny Jones, shares her home studio. A collaboration between Penny Jones and Justine Williams.

G.167  The Black Room (Villa Boscotrecase)

Villa Bosco

The "Black Room" of the Imperial Villa at Boscotrecase provides an apt setting for Penny Jones' mourning women from her Sicilian puppet play, The Baroness of Carini in which the heroine meets an untimely death.

**This piece is best viewed with your iPad in landscape position.


G. 354  Ceremonial House Ceiling

Ceiling Paintings

Printmaker, Christina Maile, talks about the "unfinished print" and shares her work's Dayak roots with interdisicplinary artist, Justine Williams.

G.355  Shield (Klai or Kliau)

A study of shields, based on a traditional Kayan shield from Borneo and its contemporary counterpoint, created by Christina Maile. A collaboration between Maile and Williams.


G.350  Oracle Figure (Kafigeledjo)

An opportunity to connect with the Kafigeledjo, a figure used in divination that was accessed by community elders. Filled with fingernails, hair and caked in a thick crust of mud and sacrificial blood, this Kafigeledjo is a powerful occult figure who prevails over the toughest issues facing individuals or a community. Conjure a question you have about something you need guidance on in your life or in your community. Inspired by a divination practice from Benin, now make your hand into a fist, put it up to your mouth, and whisper your question into your hand. Yaelle Biro, a curator in the African collection, tells us that oracles often answer questions in riddles. The Oracle has heard your question...

click this link to reveal Kafigeledjo's reply.

* This piece currently only works with electronic tablet devices. Sorry, Kafigeledjo doesn't like iPhones.

G.399  Kiosk

Kiosk An interlude at the kiosk. Stand with your back to the posters on the wall and regard the kiosk before hitting play on the audio.

G. 548   A brief detour through.... Europe!

Europe1 Europe2





Walk toward Perseus and continue straight down the hallway through European Decorative Arts to the Medieval Collection. Consider these talking points on your journey:

  • "My most vivid memory of being in a museum is..."
  • "Something unusual about my current living situation is..."
  • "Something you wouldn't know about being my age is..."
  • "if you were from another culture, time or place, where would you be from?"

G. 305  The Life and Miracles of Saint Godelieve

Who are these people? Saints, strangers, or both? What are the hidden symbols that lie here within? Playwright/Director Paul Binnerts and Interdisciplinary Artist, Jason Schuler follow the fair haired Godelieve as she wanders through the panels of this altarpiece and wonder, "Why make art?" featuring Theater Director Nancy Gabor.

G. 374  Bergonet

A discussion between artists Stephen Hall and Patrícia Faolli about images, patterns and textures.

G. 375  Pair of Flintlock Pistols

Flintlock Pistols
Following the Flintlock Pistol's patterns interdisciplinary artist, Patricia Faolli creates an image based on a stencil by visual artist, Stephen Hall, bringing movement to the object and reflecting on its meaning.

**This piece is best viewed with your iPad in landscape position.


G. 376  Armor of Infante Luis, Prince of Asturias

Infante Luis Armor
Being a child in the early part of the eighteenth century was not a walk in the park - nor was being a king. Imagine being both. One doesn't often consider the good fortune one has of being a nobody in the 21st century.


G. 371  Field Armor of King Henry VIII of England

Henry VIII
King Henry the VIII is known for his many marriages and his critical role in the English Reformation. A contemporary background composition collaged by sections of Stephen Hall's paintings creates a new landscape for this famous King's armor.


G. 305  Shrine of the Virgin

Shrine of the Virgin
In honor of theatre artists Nancy Gabor's work, which primarily uses bodies and space, this short video introduces each of the participating artists from the Westbeth.


G. 305  The Visitation

The Visitation
This sculpture celebrates a joyous meeting between the Virgin Mary and her kinswoman Elizabeth soon after their discovery that they are expecting. We love this statue because of the sense of equality and kinship in their pose and the awesome crystals at their cores, which may have held images of the unborn baby Jesus and John the Baptist.

For this, the final station on your tour, find someone near you in the gallery and ask them to use your camera to take a picture of you and your partner in front of the statue.

Can you mirror Mary and Elizabeth's pose or capture your own moment of joyous meeting?

We will upload the photos to our website and email you a link!


great hall
With the magic words: "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet." You are free to continue to explore the museum considering where you have been and how you now might consider differently, the objects that you have encountered in this Metaverse.

About this project

Artists Justine Williams, Jason Schuler, Vanessa Gilbert and Patricia Faolli from the Performance and Interactive Media Arts (PIMA) MFA program at Brooklyn College are in residence this spring at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Media Lab, exploring creative ways to use augmented-reality to tour the Museum’s collections. Inspired by community-based artistic collaborations, the emerging artists are collaborating with established older artists Paul Binnerts, Nancy Gabor, Stephen Hall, Penny Jones and Christina Maile, who have sustained artistic practices, living and working at the historic Westbeth Home to the Arts. The group calls the collaboration “Metaverses” - referring to collective virtual shared space.

The intergenerational collaboration between the artists has resulted in the creation of original material to augment museum visitors’ experience of the Met’s collections with elements of time-based, visual and sound art, and digital media. Augmented-Reality (AR) technology mediates sensory input, altering a participant’s perception of their physical environment. Technology also functions as the artists’ central collaborative tool, enhancing the exchange within the group as they create work in response to selected pieces in the Met’s galleries.  

Collaborating Artists

  • Justine Williams is an interdisciplinary artist and performer interested in art as social practice and a faculty member at the Yale School of Drama.
  • Jason Schuler is a multimedia artist and Artistic Director of the award-winning Operating Theater Company.
  • Vanessa Gilbert is an interdisciplinary artist and former Artistic Director of Perishable Theatre in Providence, Rhode Island.
  • Patrícia Faolli is a multidisciplinary Brazilian artist and part of the international performance art group Ajuntamento MeninasJoão.
  • Paul Binnerts is an international theater director and writer whose work has been produced in The Netherlands, UK, Germany, France, Japan, Israel and US.
  • Nancy Gabor is a theater director who has worked internationally with Joseph Chaiken and Sam Shepard.
  • Stephen Hall is a painter whose recent work, featured in the New York Times, focuses on humans’ impact on the planet.
  • Penny Jones is a puppeteer who specializes in puppet performances for children and puppet ballets with live music for adults and children alike.
  • Christina Maile, recent recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and Joan Mitchell Foundation Studio grant, works as a visual artist reflecting her multicultural West Indian and Dayak background.
Supporting Institutions:
The Met’s Media Lab “…explores ways that new technology can affect the museum experience, in its galleries, classrooms, and online. As digitally mediated experiences play an ever-greater role in our lives, it's important that museums—the great repositories of the world's cultural expression—stay abreast of these developments,” states Don Undeen, Senior Manager of Media Lab, Digital Media. “In parallel with the development of new tools for creative production is the rise of a culture of ‘hacking’ and ‘making’ a do-it-yourself ethos that believes it's more fun to create than consume. Central to this culture is a spirit of sharing, with everyone building on the work that's come before, passing knowledge to new generations.”

The PIMA program at Brooklyn College is a cutting-edge graduate program in collaborative, experimental, multidisciplinary performing arts production. It brings together experienced professional artists from a wide range of backgrounds to collaboratively create performance that draws upon and hybridizes theater, performance art, dance, music, puppetry and new forms.   Artists in the program share an interest in digital media and technology.

Westbeth Artists’ Housing is the first and largest federally subsidized artists’ colony in the United States, opened in 1970 through funding by the National Endowment for the Arts and J.M. Kaplan Foundation. Artists of Westbeth range from emerging to well-established, representing a variety of disciplines and have all chosen the arts as their life’s work.

Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) an organization that empowers older adults through technology, has donated the use of technology for the demonstration of Metaverses and has worked with the artistic team to share the work with members of the population they serve through their programming.

Don Undeen, Senior Manager of MediaLab, Metropolitan Museum of Art
David Grubbs, Associate Professor, PIMA program, Brooklyn College
Helen Richardson, Ph.D., Program Director, PIMA program, Brooklyn College
Griffith Mann, Michel David-Weill Curator for Medieval Art and The Cloisters
Pierre Terjanian, Curator for Arms and Armor, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Yaëlle Biro, Ph.D., Assistant Curator for the Arts of Africa, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Edward Hunter, Associate Conservator for Arms and Armor, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Donald LaRocca, Curator for Arms and Armor, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Hermes Knauer, Armorer for Arms and Armor, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Eric Kjellgren, Associate Curator for Oceanic Art, Metropolitan Museum of Arts
Thomas Kamber, Ph.D., Executive Director, Older Adult Technology Services
Kimberly Brennsteiner, Director of Programs, Older Adult Technology Services
Erica Fae, Westbeth Liaison
George Cominskie, Westbeth Volunteer Coordinator
Keith Chandler, video and effects editor for Infante Luis
Stéphanie Fribourg, Performance coach
Valentino, performer
Pierre-Marc Diennet, performer
Eva Peskin, performer
Nathan Lundie-Maynard, technical support