Named after the priming layer of paint that must first be applied to a canvas before crafting a masterpiece, Gesso makes audio-first, geo-responsive digital guides that go under the surface of a city.
We present the world’s hidden gems through exclusive original content, a curated selection of the best podcasts, and official audio guides through the storied cultural institutions and forgotten corners of the world’s most famous cities.
*Autoplay - Put on your headphones, enable autoplay, and let geotagged stories scattered throughout the city automatically play as you pass by historical statues, overlooked architecture, public art, and other neighborhood secrets. This feature is currently available for New York.
*Accessibility - Our content includes transcripts and translations in 10 languages, designed for a mobile experience that advances our understanding of culture and society with the least amount of barriers.
*A Curated Touch - We’ve listened to hundreds of podcast episodes so you don’t have to. We make sure that the podcasts we recommend and the audio we produce are impactful, informative, and inspiring, allowing you to reward your curiosity and celebrate human creativity around the world.
Gesso In Action:
*Go For A Walk
Consider us your digital friend that can always show you the most interesting places to explore. Beginning with the streets of New York City and Brooklyn, we’re producing audio tours that uncover...
-Nature, mindfulness, and history in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park
-Hipsterism and the history of local businesses in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
-The history of the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge
Every neighborhood has a story to tell. Our self-guided walking tours are also a great way to get outside and explore local neighborhoods.
*Visit A Museum
No need for communal devices or guessing what that painting means. Our exhibition audio guides are easy, accessible, and personal. Whether you’re visiting in person or exploring an exhibition remotely, you can access our digital audio guides at any time.
No robotic voices here, listen to the curators and artists themselves reflect on the paintings, photographs, and sculptures in front of you.
Hear stories from 50+ institutions including New Museum, International Center of Photography (ICP), Queens Museum, Oakland Museum of California, and Pollock-Krasner House.
*Discover Something New
Our audio content illuminates the nearby hidden history surrounding you.
With 500+ audio snippets and curated podcasts geotagged throughout New York City, you’ll have short-form and long-form options to hear about historic buildings, community activism, architecture, local legends, and more. Hear the stories of the city on-site or listen remotely!
You can also discover podcasts in 9 other cities including London, Paris, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C.
Ready to see the world in a whole new light? You’re in good company, here’s what our users have to say about Gesso:
"Their walking tours are so impeccably executed it’s hard to imagine how this didn’t exist sooner. Become an early adopter, you won’t regret it!" -soapboxdarby
“I recently had a chance to take one of their audio guided tours through Williamsburg. And it was one of the greatest walking adventures of my lifetime. And I’ve walked around in nearly 24 countries. This app was magic and the content nothing less than brilliant.” -minnianda
“I’m an avid art lover and museum goer. This app has brought many fascinating insights to my attention and I can’t wait to explore all it offers!” -anonyogi
"Incredibly interesting and enjoyable guided audio tour of Prospect Park. Seamless location based tour with great narration and historical facts. Such a good way to take in some history about Brooklyn (and I’m a resident). Would be excellent for tourists and visitors as well. Highly recommend!"
Bug fixes and improvements
Ratings and ReviewsSee All
Fun, immersive way to learn more about the city
I first found out about this app when visiting the New Museum last year and thought it was cool that I could use my own phone to navigate the exhibits, learning more about the artwork. It was a better, more immersive experience than simply reading the info card on the wall. I’ve since tried the app at home and find it’s a nice way to consume content and get little chunks of info on various sites in my neighborhood and other parts of New York. As a New York native, I find it fascinating how much I still learn about this city. The Gesso app helps me do that by giving me cool facts about architecture, art, history and culture. The beautiful visuals and user-friendly features make it a fun and pleasant app to use. I’m really excited for when we are able to do Meetups where we can get out and explore on foot together. I enjoy traditional walking tours and think this app will just add to that experience, using technology in an interesting way.
Unique, interesting, and fun
Gesso is one of my favorite apps. If you're interested in art, history, or just in finding new things to appreciate about where you're living or visiting, it's such a fun and unique way to do so. It's easy to use, and the content great. Segments are more than just a quick little blurb - you get info that is genuinely useful and interesting, but still short enough that you can keep things moving along. And it allows you to explore special things about different cities without having to pull out a guidebook and immediately identify yourself as a tourist, which I appreciate. (It's especially great for imaginary trips right now.) Can't wait for more cities to be added!
This App Saved Me
“The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends towards Gesso” - Madame Curie
This app is fabulous. I’m sitting in quarantine eyeing the last few drops of whisky and wondering, “is this it? What else is there to do.” Then my good friend suggested I try Gesso. I, being something of a comedienne (Fr.), said “I Gess.” I downloaded the app and was immediately transported to a world that I hardly knew existed. I had been seeing the world in black and white and BOOM Gesso brought color into my life (similar to the Giver or American History X). Anyway it’s really great; definitely download it.
Data Linked to You
The following data may be collected and linked to your identity:
- Contact Info
- Search History
- Usage Data
Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More
- Gesso, Inc.
- 107.8 MB
- Requires iOS 10.0 or later.
- iPod touch
- Requires iOS 10.0 or later.
- Requires macOS 11 or later and a Mac with Apple M1 chip.
- Age Rating
- 12+ Infrequent/Mild Sexual Content and Nudity Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humor
- This app may use your location even when it isn’t open, which can decrease battery life.
- © Gesso, Inc.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.