Virtual exhibition tools are becoming more and more advanced. After an initial wave of enthusiasm, driven mainly by Google and larger museums, the range of products has expanded noticeably in recent years and at the same time become more specialized. This has resulted in extensive software programs for exhibition planning and design, the collection work and curating. As with the proverbial tip of the iceberg, however, only a small part of the available digital know-how comes to the surface. All the more so when one turns one’s gaze away from the organizations with a clear mandate and budget and focuses on artists whose work and motivation often find themselves caught between the chairs of academic and commercial interests. They are constantly on the lookout for spaces for development beyond museums and galleries. For places where their own works can be attractively shown, contacts arise and new plans can be made. In the best case scenario, they also make it possible to reward the often high effort behind the work with a purchase or admission. More than enough reasons, then, to take a look at the most promising partners for the creation of virtual exhibitions.

Feel wellcome to have a look at our own implementations of virtual exhibitions using our photographic archive.



Artsteps (Athens)

is aimed at artists and organizations that want to plan physical or virtual exhibitions without a large budget. An individual exhibition space can be created with a 3D editor, while one can also opt for a finished room template. Inside this space you can create your exhibition and your visitor can walk around it freely. For the exhibition 2D media (pictures, photos, paintings) can be used as well as 3D media (sculptures, installations) and videos can also be integrated. The results can be distributed via link or integrated into websites. This means a computer with internet access is all you need for creating your exhibition and the virtual visit.

Besides this free service Artsteps offers further services in form of a so-called “Private Space”. Depending on the academic or commercial use as well as the number of user accounts, these services cost between a few hundred and a few thousand Euros per month. In contrast to the free offer, the appearance can be individualized with your own logo including login screen, backgrounds and much more. Also the machine-generated URL will be replaced by an independent .artsteps domain and additionally access restricted exhibitions are possible.

Access free Access / Platform
Features 2D and 3D-objects, free positioning of walls, more features to come
Text/Linking title, dimensions, licence, external linking to follow
Image Quality good
Movement free, Guided Tours via fixpoints
Fees free // when ordering an individual exhibition architecture 300 – 1500 €/month



Screenshot einer ARTSEPTS-Ausstellung


We have been using Artsteps ourselves to create our first virtual exhibitions on industrial architecture in Saxony:

Industrial Architecture in Saxony



Kunstmatrix (Berlin)

has specialized in the comprehensive support of visual artists. They can create 3D exhibition spaces and virtually present their work on clients’ real walls, as well as plan and document parallel organizational and administrative work. This makes the tool also interesting for projects where the participants are located in different places. Phone calls can be planned, contacts and invoices can be documented. The core of the tool, however, is the administration of the artworks and exhibitions in which they are to be shown. Accordingly, after the artworks have been recorded as comprehensively as possible (dimensions, price, artist, etc.), it is possible to try out different rooms and scenarios in a short time, since curation is done via numbered fields. Due to this stringent structure, subsequent changes in frame thickness, passepartouts or the information shown can be implemented behind the scenes and without great effort.

The described range of functions can be used in principle from 10€/month for an exhibition with 50 works of art. With size and number of exhibitions the costs increase. Additionally Kunstmatrix also offers the realization of art fairs. Depending on the scope of services (virtual rooms, exhibition booths, etc.), this results in significantly higher costs. The result, such as Photo Basel 2020, is a customized large room. The limits of the offer are based on the technical, but also legal challenges. For example, it is not possible to stage lighting moods, a concession to the rendering service to be provided. As for (re-)financing the exhibition with entrance fees, you need to work with workarounds (access codes, invitations, etc.). However, if you like to finance your work via print sales, that is easily done as you can link each artwork to your own print store directly.

Access free Access / Platform
Features 2D and 3D-Objects, professional tools (passepartout, frame colour etc.), administration and organisation of processes, exhibits and contacts
Text/Linking title, dimensions, licence, external linking available, contact-button
Image Quality good
Movement free, Guided Tours via fixpoints
Fees free basic usage // different rates for publication, depending on the size of the exhibition // four to five digit costs for creating a custom fair-like exhibition


Raumauswahl bei Kunstmatrix


Our example exhibition: “Panoramas and City Scapes



Ikonospace (Amsterdam)

The Ikonospace offer is aimed at clients with clear demands, expectations and a larger budget. The costs are in the high multi-digit range and the offer is directed rather to institutions and commercial suppliers who can plan real exhibitions or create virtual exhibition worlds with Ikonospace. The exhibition architecture is individually created based on existing plans, adapted with the help of photos and filled with high-resolution objects of any kind. The result of this labor-intensive combination of digitalization, management and this changeability of all aspects are correspondingly professional and impressive exhibitions. These can be viewed and experienced via a browser but also it can be used as a virtual reality station inside your real world exhibition. As with Partner Kunstmatrix, the functional scope goes beyond the creation of exhibitions. Contacts, processes and artworks can be managed in parallel. Depending on the size and effort involved, however, considerable costs may be incurred.

Access Job/Project based
Features 2D and 3D-Objects, professional tools (passepartout, frame colour etc.), administration and organisation of processes, exhibits and contacts
Text/Linking title, dimensions, licence, external linking available
Image Quality very good
Movement free, Guided Tours via fixpoints
Fees different tariffs for the use of prefabricated rooms // five digit costs for the creation of an individual exhibition architecture and use of the curating software


vorgefertigte Räume bei Ikonospace


Example-Exhibition: Das Liebermann-Haus



cura3D (Leipzig)

The services of Cura3d are primarily aimed at the administration, planning and implementation of real (museum) exhibitions. For these, the real world exhibition architecture can be transferred into a 3D model, alternatively, prefabricated rooms can be curated. Inside the 3D architecture, walls can be placed individually and works of art and 3D objects can be added accordingly as well. Design elements such as frames and showcases can be imported and adapted. The result – an almost photorealistic virtual exhibition – can then be used in a wide variety of contexts: for the touring of a special exhibition, the planning of an upcoming revision or even the web presentation as a virtual exhibition. A main difference to the tools above is the movement inside the exhibition, which is realized by jumping between individually set 360° viewpoints instead of moving freely. If you decide to use one of the prefabricated virtual rooms as a starting point, the costs for the software are 150€/month.

Access Job/Project based
Features 2D and 3D-Objects, professional tools (frame colour etc.), free positioning of walls, administration and organisation of exhibits
Text/Linking title, dimensions, licence, external linking available, contact-button
Image Quality good
Movement Jumping/Movement between fixpoints
Fees 150 €/month for using the software, higher costs for individual projects


Exponat-Bearbeitung bei CURA3D


Example Exhibition: Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz



Curat10n (London)

Curat10n offers a comprehensive approach to the planning, visualization, archiving and communication of exhibitions. This means that the curator deliberately keeps the entire process in view, from the joint start with the client to the conclusion. Real existing exhibitions can be reproduced, individual exhibitions can be created. In addition, one of the prefabricated exhibitions can be used as a basis for your own exhibition. The result is an executable file that can be easily distributed, but must be installed on a PC or MAC. However, you can alternatively create a guided video version including voice-over. The costs depend heavily on the scope of the work and the number of exhibits to be presented. For example, unit prices are called up for the digitization of collections and the integration of videos or 3-dimensional objects must also be taken into account. When creating a smaller gallery based on an existing exhibition with 30 exhibits, some media content and license fees for the software, relatively low costs in the three to four-digit range can be expected. Once created, the rooms can be used in any way desired. The corresponding software for independent work can also be purchased at a reasonable price of about 300 euros. In addition, discounts are granted to educational institutions, students and artists, depending on the scope of the project.

Access Job/Project based, demo of the software is available
Features 2D and 3D-Objects, Walls can be adjusted (colours, positioning of exhibitis)
Text/Linking title, technique, artist, price, external linking possible
Image Quality good
Movement free
Fees per piece costs for the digitalization of exhibits, 300 Euro for the creation of the executable file, 300 Euro for the software


Screenshot einer Ausstellung von Curat10n


Example Exhibition: Stand – Virtual Exhibition 2020



VR ALL ART specializes in the realization of a virtual reality experience in the shape of an exhibition. Although the rooms, which meet high quality standards and can be designed in great detail, can also be viewed on screen, the photo-realistic presentation aims at a complete immersion with the help of VR glasses. At first as visible informations of reality, only the name and artist of a work are given. If the user is more interested, he can interrupt his visit and find, scrollable under the exhibition window, a list of the works with more information as well as a possible price. The handling of a purchase or the collection of an entrance fee is being considered, but currently still has to be realized via external solutions. Overall, the offer is directed more towards galleries and exhibition spaces than artists, since the implementation is associated with considerable work and budget. At the time of completion of this article, an interview has unfortunately not yet been conducted, so that no more precise statements can be made about the price structure.

Access Job/Project based
Features 2D and 3D-Objects, comprehensive adaptation of the environment, installation and lighting
Text/Linking title, technique, artist, price, external linking possible, listing below the exhibition window
Image Quality good
Movement free


Screenshot VR ALL ART

Example Exhibition: Pedro Pablo Oliva – Cuban Art Platform


Bottom Line

In the field of virtual exhibitions there are now tools for a wide variety of tasks and projects. So artists, self-employed and others with a small budget should have a look at Artsteps and Kunstmatrix. Commercial exhibition organizers, museums and similar institutions should take a look at Cura3D and Ikonospace. Art galleries might find what they are looking for at VR ALL ART and Ikonospace. This, of course, non-exhaustive list should show that a lot has happened here in recent years. In addition, discussions with the various providers have shown that numerous improvements and features are yet to come. We are curious where the journey will take us.

In addition to the possibilities of virtual walk-in exhibitions presented here, there are a number of other technical implementations of online exhibitions. Already established are e.g. 360° photo tours. There is a multitude of providers who come to your real world exhibitions and document them photographically in spherical panoramas at a multitude of points and then implement them as virtual tours. To name two providers you can take a look at, there is V21 Artspace from London or VRENDEX from near Chemnitz – the latter is currently implementing a virtual trade fair for companies in the region of Central Saxony.

Do you know of any other projects we should check out? Do you have any ideas or projects you would like to discuss with us? Are you looking for a possibility of cooperation? We ourselves have further projects and exhibition ideas in preparation, which we can report on soon. So come back here or contact us directly.


The research and preparation of this article was made possible by a grant from the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony (Kulturstiftung des Freistaats Sachsen).