I have been meaning to post this for some time now. Google has embarked on a fantastic mission of cataloging the world's museums and all the artwork they contain. And I don’t mean take a few grainy pictures and post them on a website. Google Art Project is the most ambitious online art community ever built.
The museums are laid out using Google street view technology so you can "virtually" walk through the halls of the museum's going from one piece of art to the next. And the image of each piece is taken with such high resolution that you can zoom in to see great detail. In fact you can get much closer to the paintings than a guard at the museum would ever let you stand. Try zooming into one of Van Gogh’s pieces and you can see every hair on every brush stroke.
The work is cataloged and each piece has a general description, short history of the piece, and a Google map link that tells you where the piece can be found. Very friendly layout, easy to navigate and you never get tired of zooming into the work. Another great feature is you can “favorite” works of art and build your own online collection. Save your collection for future reference, use your saved collection to give a slideshow lecture, share with online friends or just post your collection for all the world to see.
You can search with several categories including: artist, museum, type of work, date, and country. The search results are displayed in a slideshow format. This enables you to search across numerous collections to find artworks that fit your parameters of interest. So for example you can search across all the participating museums for works created in the year 1889 or search for all the art created by Henry Moore or search for all the paintings of a "beach" or "small children" or how about all abstract paintings or all paintings from Spain. The search possibilities are fantastic.
There is a section of “Art Talks” with well-known art historians with subjects like, “Look like an Expert”.
And Google is just getting started. Imagine walking around Art Basel from the comfort of your home. Or broadcasting an artist’s opening for the world to see. How about a taste generator to alert you to selections of work you may not know but fit your personal taste? So many possibilities.
So far there are over 46 museums and over 32,000 artworks online and Google Art is available in 18 languages. Google continues to announce new partnerships and already has commitments with over 151 new museums.
Here are some links;
Google Art Project website here
Google Art Project Posts here
Engage Article here
Wikipedia Art Google info here
It’s funny to me, friends and family complain about all the advertising and monitoring that Google does. I have a completely different take. I am amazed by all the free tools Google has given me. My email address and email service, getting directions and checking the traffic on I-95 every morning on Google maps, house shopping with street view, finding the right hotel with the perfect beach on Google earth, searching the web and finding answers to anything, storing my important documents on Google drive, Google docs where I view, create and edit documents, my calendar, my address book, my web browser, Picasa web to store all my family pictures, this blog site, Google translate and now the ability to virtually walk around Museums and see artwork I may never have seen. And so far I have paid $0 for these tools. Remember when software cost money? So what if they do some targeted advertising? For all those tools I think it’s worth it! If someone has to take over the world, I’m cool with Google doing it. GL