Own a Van Gogh … in Animal Crossing, with The Met's New Share Tool
The Met is celebrating 150 years of collecting and presenting works of art in its galleries. But now, some of those works can be in a gallery of your very own: the sizable, virtual museums of Animal Crossing.
The in-game art museum and Blathers, its owl curator, have been beloved features of the video game series for nearly twenty years. In honor of their official return in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the latest entry of the popular life-simulation game, and alongside the incredible efforts of our colleagues at The Getty, CAM, and museums around the world, The Met's Digital Department has made the Museum's entire collection of more than 406,000 Open Access images easy to transport into your virtual homes and islands.
Here's how it works:
Browse our collection online, and when you've found an object that you would like to display, select the share icon under its image and look for this icon to access our Animal Crossing QR-code generator. Crop the image to your liking, and scan the QR code using the Nintendo Switch Online app (there are lots of guides on how to use the QR-code scanner, including this one at Polygon).
Note that if an artwork has multiple images, you can only convert Open Access images.
Our gratitude goes to the team behind the open-source Animal Crossing Pattern Tool for publishing their code and letting us adapt it.
Using Open Access images from The Met collection, Hans Memling's portraits can hang next to your bed. Fourteenth-century Ottoman tiles could line your bathroom floor. Stroll past some Views of Mount Fuji on your morning fossil hunt. You may never get an ironwood kitchenette, but you could certainly have a Van Gogh on your wall.
Was your favorite Met artwork left out of the Animal Crossing art-historical canon? Are you missing the appearance of our very own Classic Painting? Now you can collect and display five thousand years of art from around the world however you wish, and enjoy The Met anywhere.
Here are some of our own favorite artworks, recontextualized in our virtual lives: