iOS – Master Pieces: The Curator’s Game for iPhone – Review

We reviewed the iPad version of this app last year (you can read that here) but this purpose built iPhone version is brand new and offers even greater portability. Read our review as we take a deeper look into the new version of this classic art game.

This game has a great history to it which Thomas Hoving (who is the author of the book upon which the app is based) explains in the foreword to the app. "I was introduced to it (this game) when I joined the staff of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Once a week, at morning coffee a different curator would bring a bunch of photographs of details taken from works in collections. The players would then try to match the details to the appropriate work…"



Once you have downloaded this app, it retails for $2.99/£1.99, you’re in for a treat. There are three initial sections to choose from, these include Foreword, Play Games and View Gallery. The foreword explains in more detail what this app is all about and gives a great background to the history.

Play Games


If you select Play Games for the first time you will need to create a Player name, just type in something memorable. You then get to choose two styles of games, either Study Then Guess or Guess The Artist. The iPad has a third game called Match Three Details but this is not available in the iPhone version, at the moment.

Study Then Guess allows you to study six presented masterpieces and memorize the artists names. Once you’re ready to begin you need to guess the artist that painted each detail in the artwork. It’s a challenge but a really great one. Multiple choice answers are available to select and there’s also a Hint feature. The Hint feature gives you a little extra information regarding the artist, perhaps where he painted the art, something that might trigger that grey matter into action.

Guess The Artist allows you to jump right in and see how many randomly selected details you can identify from the catalog of 54 included masterpieces.

View Gallery


The third option from the beginning of this app is View Gallery, within this section you will find the complete 54 paintings from which all the details are taken. All the artists and their paintings are arranged in chronological order. There are essays that also accompany the paintings and give more information and background to each artist’s life and work. The essays are fascinating as they are written from personal experience and the reader can glean so much from them. We found the essays almost as enthralling as the gallery itself.


Image above by Leonardo da Vinci ‘Woman with an Ermine’ – 1483-90

There are so many aspects to this app that make it brilliant. You do not have to be an art buff by any means to appreciate it. If you have always admired art and wanted to learn more but didn’t know where to start, then this app is ideal. In addition though, if you already consider yourself an art buff then you will enjoy some of the more challenging aspects of this app to hone your knowledge.

It is enjoyable in so many ways, you can learn so much in a short time but you don’t feel like you really are. That’s is until it comes to playing the games and you realize you’ve remembered so much.

Works by the following artists are included: Blume, Bosch, Boticelli, Brueghel, Canaletto, Carravagio, Chagall, Constable, Cosimo, Dali, Degas, Delacroix, El Greco, Ensor, Fra Angelico, Gainsborough, Gauguin, Giotto, Goya, Hicks, Hogarth, Holbein, Homer, Hopper, Ingres, Leonardo da Vinci, Manet, Michelangelo, Munch, Picasso, Raphael, Renoir, Rockwell, Rousseau, Rubens, Sargent, Seurat, Titian, Uccello, Velazquez, Vermeer, Wood, Wyeth, van Eyck, van Gogh, and van der Goes.

We truly defy anyone to not be totally enthralled by this app. If you own an iPhone then you have to download this app, now. You can purchase it here for $2.99/£1.99. But the developer has also given us some extra codes to share with our readers. So if you’d like one just reply to this post and tell us what you love most about our review. We will select winners at random and send a code directly to your in box.


Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website—— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at:


  • Rosalind M Green-Holmes

    I’d been vacillating back and forth about this one. I’ve always wanted to gain more knowledge about some of the classical images that have become so familiar, but I’ve been hesitant to pick up something that was too dry and “educational”. You make it sound like this is a lot of fun as well.

  • Laurence Zankowski


    I went and read your other review first to see how it compares to this one. My feeling I get is your enthusiasm for this art app shows up in spades. Having been in the wilderness of the american southwest for nearly 11 years I am finally coming back into the art fold. So your part about art buffs brushing up on their history and love is what I like the best in this review.

    Be well


  • elise london

    I am an art history major and love the sound of this game. You do make it seem fun yet educational. Does the developer add additonal artwork with periodic upgrades, as I am sure these might become repatice over time. Take care!