The television has forever transported viewers from the living room to immersive other worlds, but the apparatus of glass and liquid crystal has hardly been considered a work of art in its own right. In 2017, Samsung sought to rectify this by releasing The Frame, a 65-inch mantlepiece dweller that doubles as a picture frame, and the South Korean technology giant promptly began collaborating with global museums.
On September 16, Samsung announced a partnership with the Louvre to bring 40 paintings and photographs into its Art Store inventory. Frame owners can now put the Mona Lisa or the museum’s iconic Pyramid on the wall. Samsung and the Louvre have promised to release more exclusive content later this year.
What’s Samsung’s The Frame?
A television that presents art when “turned off.” The device can be accessorized with 29 frames, including the ornate wooden Tuscan Antique Gold or the minimalist Gloss White. More than 1,500 artworks of 4K quality are accessible through the television’s Art Store with Samsung having previously signed agreements with Madrid’s Prado Museum, Vienna’s Albertina Museum, London’s Tate Modern, Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum, Saint Petersburg’s Hermitage, and LUMAS art gallery.
Why it matters
The Samsung-Louvre deal is representative of two major trends that have preoccupied the art world since the pandemic’s inception. First, cultural institutions have focused on new digital initiatives and making collections available beyond their own walls (and platforms). Second, the absence of ticket sales and on-site commerce has encouraged a search for new revenue channels and partnerships with large technology and entertainment companies are proving particularly fruitful.
What Samsung said
“Ever since we launched our lifestyle TV portfolio in 2017, we have focused on developing the Art Store platform with prestigious partners. We want to offer much more than a television, inviting Art into the homes of The Frame owners everywhere. We are proud to join forces with one of the most famous museums in the world, the Louvre, to enhance this collection.” — Wonjin Lee, president and Global Head of Software Services and Partnerships, Samsung Electronics
What the Louvre said
“The Louvre is a venue of discovery, imbued with emotion, a spectacular setting for artistic masterpieces. Admiring works from its collection every day, at home, as well as views of the building, galleries and gardens, is a wonderful way to see and understand the extraordinary beauty of this museum.” — Yann Le Touher, Head of Development, Brand Licensing and Commercial Partnerships, Louvre Museum