July 17, 2013  |  Family & Kids, Tech
The MoMA Art Lab App: Looking for Richard

The MoMA Art Lab iPad app, released in the Apple Store about a year ago, is intended for children aged seven and above. Nine interactive activities feature a work in the Museum’s collection, along with descriptions of the artists’ processes. A drawing canvas area includes creative prompts for further inspiration, and users can save the work they create in the app and share it with others, including MoMA.

As a member of the team that produced the app, I can say that we’ve been delighted to see a wide variety of submissions from across the globe and from users of all ages. When someone submits a work to MoMA, they can identify themselves by first name only, along with age and city. There is one user in particular that has intrigued us—an individual who has submitted several detailed drawings on a regular basis since the app first became available. We don’t know much about him, except that he says his name is Richard and that he is 84 years old and in Syracuse, New York (and, more recently, Sante Fe, New Mexico). Most drawings are unsigned, or the signature is difficult to make out. The works are mainly figurative, including still lifes (pretty “pastel” bouquets); portraits (some rough-hewn and somber, others delicate and satirical); landscapes (bold, multicolored Sante Fe sunsets); and a few humorous abstractions, like a giant lavender foot crushing a figure beneath it. There is even a (self-?) portrait of a man holding an iPad with a drawing on it. Check out the slide show below:

If you are Richard, we’d like to hear from you, and to learn more about why you have selected the iPad—or the MoMA Art Lab app—as a tool for your work. Just so we can be sure it’s really you, please be prepared to provide the name of the little white dog that appears in one of your drawings (hint: a well-known flower in a foreign language).

The MoMA Art Lab iPad app, most definitely for all ages, is available now in the iTunes Store.