There’s art and then there’s Art — and Samsung apparently knows the latter when it sees it. The electronics giant just announced a partnership with the Van Gogh Museum to add 25 Van Gogh masterpieces to The Frame, an expensive 4K TV marketed as a video showpiece that can display beautiful crisp images of artwork.
Samsung calls it the “world's largest art platform for TV,” and the set itself comes with optional special bezels that can be fit around the screen that make it look like a black, white, walnut or beige frame.
Since Samsung began offering the product last year, its library has grown to more than 800 art images. A month ago it also announced deals with England’s Tate Museum and Magnum Photo, while The New York Times photo library is already part of its stable.
"The Frame’s innovative display technology [will] transform any room into a dynamic gallery,” says Andrew Sivori, vice president of TV product marketing for Samsung,
Samsung explains in promotional literature how users can display their new video artwork: “For example, they can display Van Gogh’s famous ‘Sunflowers’ when they want to create a warm and welcoming space for a dinner party,” the Samsung pitch reads, “or they can display ‘Orchard in Blossom’ to welcome the first signs of spring.”
The Frame is not based on a brand-new concept. Television sets and over-the-top apps often feature screensavers that fill the screen when programming doesn’t — and ArtCast, among others, comes as a VOD option in nearly 2 million hotel rooms, restaurants, doctors’ offices and private homes, and boasts a library culled from 400 galleries.
The television that becomes The Frame comes with a collection of artwork, but more is available with a subscription that costs $4.99 a month. (The one seen in the photo above is Van Gogh’s “The Bedroom.”_
The TV operates within a 55-inch ($2,000) or 65-inch ($2,799) screen, similar to Samsung’s 2018 QLED TV line, encased in a very thin frame. The Frame also comes with One Invisible Connection, a single slim and translucent cable that eliminates the clutter of cords and the need to place the TV near data or power outlets.
Samsung and the Van Gogh Museum are coordinating a Van Gogh Museum pop-up tour at some malls featuring “curator-approved” replicas of nine Van Gogh works: “Almond Blossom,” “Sunflowers,” “The Harvest,” “Wheatfield under Thunderclouds,’ “Boulevard de Clichy,” “Undergrowth,” “The Bedroom,” “Fishing Boats on the Beach at Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer” and “Landscape at Twilight.” Proceeds go toward restoration projects and educational programs at the museum.