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Broad Museum gets a slick new app

LACMA has one. So does the Getty. As of today, the Broad Museum does, too. We're talking about mobile apps, the modern accessory no major museum can do without.

In addition to offering basic information about ticketing, fees and parking, museum apps now function as digital tour guides, offering background information on tens of thousands of artworks.

Forget bulky handsets and headphones, a location-sensitive app automatically knows where you are and as you approach a painting — or a sculpture or a video or a pile of dead moss that's ostensibly a conceptual statement on life and death — it can offer information about the work.

Like most museum apps, the Broad Museum's offering is free (unless it decides to start charging for it in eight months).

It includes audio, video and descriptive text about the building, the collection and the artists, which means you get way more information than could fit on a wall placard. Plus, you don't have to jostle other patrons or squint to see it.

Other features of the Broad's app include self-guided audio tours, one of which is targeted at kids and is narrated by "Reading Rainbow" host LeVar Burton. Another — "Artists-on-Artists" — lets you explore how some of the museum's creators view the work of their peers.

Ever wondered what Kara Walker thinks of Barbara Kruger's iconic "Your Body Is A Battleground" image? Or Jeff Koons thinks about Roy Lichtenstein's "Femme d'Alger" painting? Now, it's as easy as a tap on a screen.