HTC's VR arts program brings exhibits to your home

Vive Arts helps creators produce and share work in VR.

Virtual reality is arguably a good medium for art: it not only enables creativity that just isn't possible if you stick to physical objects, it allows you to share pieces that would be difficult to appreciate staring at an ordinary computer screen. And HTC knows it. The company is launching Vive Arts, a "multi-million dollar" program that helps museums and other institutions fund, develop and share art in VR. And yes, this means apps you can use at home... including one that's right around the corner.

The first project to officially arrive under the Vive Arts banner is Modigliani, a collaboration with London's Tate Modern museum that will showcase its namesake artist's work in VR. Once the exhibition opens on November 23rd, you'll both get an "integrated" VR experience if you visit the museum and a Viveport app you can use in your den.

HTC is promising over a dozen art projects on launch, including team-ups with the UK's Royal Academy of Arts, the French National Museum of Nature, the Newseum (for a Berlin Wall exhibit, shown above) and Taiwan's National Palace Museum. Will this persuade you to get a VR headset? Probably not, at least not by itself -- gaming and 360-degree video are still VR's core uses right now. This helps make a stronger case for VR as a creative medium, though, and might just expand VR's audience. Whatever HTC spends on Vive Arts might be worthwhile if it leads to greater acceptance of VR and a wave of first-time Vive headset buyers.