iPads at the Cleveland Museum of Art

Throughout the museum, the iPad offers options for learning about items in the collection. “There is only so much information you can put on a wall, and no one walks around with catalogs anymore,” Mr. Franklin said. One of the app’s simplest features is also one of the most effective: in many cases, it can produce a photo of the artwork’s original setting — seeing a tapestry in a room filled with tapestries, rather than in a white-walled gallery, is revelatory.