Patrum — An Insider View
of the Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums are a world of artistic wonder. Some of the world's most revered artworks are on display. These are the museums located within the boundaries of the Vatican City. They present works from the collection built up by the Popes over the years from the 16th Century, including many renowned classical sculptures. Many of the most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world are on display.

There are 54 galleries in total, with the most famous probably being the Sistine Chapel with its ceiling decorated by Michelangelo and the Stanze della Segnatura decorated by Raphael.

Each year many people visit these museums, with 5.5 million looking at the treasured artworks in 2013. On the last Sunday of each month, the Vatican Museum is open to the public for free. It is so popular that people wait in line for many hours.
Castle's Newest App — Patrum
Now there is an opportunity for art supporters to have an inside view of the Vatican Museums, with the Castle-developed app, Patrum.

In many ways Patrum is a social messaging app with a specific target - art lovers, who have a love for the Vatican collection.

The app is colorful and lush, like the art collection itself. Every day new ideas are published, extending and challenging your thoughts about the collections and the artworks within them.These ideas focus on everything from the art works themselves, to the restoration work lovingly carried out on them, to the architecture of the museums, to the key influential people involved.

You cease to be a tourist, simply viewing the artworks from the outside. With Patrum, you are able to go behind the scenes of the museum, learning about the restoration of the historic treasures.

It is far more than a beautifully illustrated blog, however. Patrum is a social network for art lovers. If you choose to participate you sign up and establish your profile. You can pick your interests, to ensure that your user experience is targeted towards your tastes.

Like most social media applications there is a Chat section, allowing you to communicate with fellow-minded art lovers as well as the curators of the artworks themselves.
There is another very important aspect to this app. One of the main reasons the Vatican Museums chose to create the app was to assist with fundraising for future restorations of the many artworks in the collection. Interestingly, not everybody is so positive about the restoration efforts, with The Guardian's Jonathan Jones believing that "The Vatican's new philanthropy app could ruin everything", not because he sees any fault in the app, but because he does not believe that the restoration activity should occur at all.

The Patrons of the Arts are the dedicated supporters of the restoration projects for the works of art in the Vatican Museums collection. They provide much of the funding used for restoration works. In recognition of this the museums give patrons quite a few benefits, such as VIP events from galas to art historical conferences, complimentary and personalized tours of the Museums, Gardens, Sistine Chapel, Necropolis, and spaces of the Museums otherwise not open to the public. Patrons have direct contact to curators and restorers, and they can skip the queue when accessing St. Peter's Basilica.

Patrum encourages (but does not require) its users to become patrons. They also make it easy for an art lover to sponsor a specific restoration project. A number of the specific restoration projects indicate their funding goals next to the images and descriptions. For instance the museums hope to raise $78,650 to provide educational interactive screens in the Etruscan gallery.

The app tries to immerse art lovers in the Vatican art collection, behind the scenes. In many ways it is a reward to the collection's greatest supporters - who can, of course, now network with each other.
Castle is proud to be involved in the creation of this multi-platform app, through all of the phases from conception to planning to design to development.

If you have any need for an app, web development or digital platform, you can be assured that Castle can meet all of your needs in a professional and timely matter. Contact us to discuss how we can help you.