Lowe Art Museum and Sketchfab


The Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami sought to showcase 3D scans of their antiquities collection and explore the 3D documentation process performed by project creator Professor Karen Mathews and her students in the Department of Art and Art History. Animating Antiquity received financial support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation CREATE Grants Program. The scans were published on Sketchfab (the YouTube for 3D and VR content), which is fully integrated into the CultureConnect platform and featured in their app!

While CultureConnect has supported 3D object files since 2016, the Sketchfab player offers an additional layer of interactive features and is itself a marketplace for sharing 3D models with the world.

Animating Antiquity provides interactive interpretation to four works of art from the Lowe Art Museum’s antiquities collection by letting visitors explore their origins, meaning, and materials.

While available to explore online, the application is primarily displayed on an iPad Pro in-gallery next to 3D printed replicas of the original busts.

3D scans are meaningful for academic study and conservation and provide the basis for interactivity in your hands or on touchscreens. Publishing on Sketchfab gives access to millions, while publishing in CultureConnect apps provides context and storytelling.

  • In-gallery Interactive
  • Online Exhibition
  • 3D Scanning
  • Sketchfab Integration

From Research to Interpretation

Animating Antiquity beautifully brings together the academic, conservation, and interpretation potential of 3D models.

Each department’s contributions ultimately further the preservation and scholarship around each artifact but also enhance the museum guest experience with a personal, interactive experience.

3D models are a powerful solution not only for documentation and research, but also for interpretation and engagement.


The conservation story of objects is fascinating to visitors – it provides a behind-the-scenes view of museums while folding in interpretation.

VIEW: 3D models are a powerful tool for collection research, conservation, and preservation. A high quality model offers users the opportunity to zoom into granular details and examine an artifact from all perspectives including the underside, markings, and interior.

ACCESS: 3D models provide unprecedented access to artifacts, artwork, and objects for scholars that cannot have physical access to collection items either because of the object’s fragility, size and weight, or geographic location.

RESTORE: Digital restoration can help bring antiquities or damaged objects back to life. Missing paint or elements – common for ancient busts and statues – can be re-applied digitally not only for scholars, but also visitors who are often approaching an object and an exhibition for the first time without context.

Check out the ‘How it’s Done’ section of the application to explore how the team documented the objects, generated 3D models, and created 3D prints. While this quick review is interesting to audiences interested in the process, it also acts as a guide to other museums looking to launch similar initiatives.


Sketchfab is the world’s largest platform to publish, share, and discover 3D content for publication across web and mobile and for AR, VR and mixed reality experiences. Sketchfab offers an easy-to-use platform used by hundreds of museums and cultural organizations around the world.

An integration with Sketchfab means that the CultureConnect platform fully supports any media stored on the Sketchfab platform. Instantly import your Sketchfab model in CultureConnect’s platform for use across in-gallery interactives, online exhibitions, or mobile guides.

CHECK IT OUT: The Animating Antiquity Application (web version)


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