Google’s Art Project collection grows larger

Posted filed underGalleries, Internet, Museums.

Google has added 134 museums and the White House to its Art Project, which takes the search giants StreetView cameras inside world famous galleries.

The Google Art Project launched in February last year with the National Gallery and Tate Britain among the launch partners. Each museum chose one artwork to be featured in ultra-high resolution ‘gigapixel’ photographs.

Google has expanded that feature and more than 30,000 art works are now available in high resolution, which allows web users to zoom in and see objects and paintings in phenomenal detail.

Culture Monster: “newcomers in the U.S. include the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass., the Rubin Museum in New York, and the White House.
New partners from outside the U.S. include the Sao Paulo Museum of Modern Art in Brazil, the Musée d’Orsay in France, the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico, Islamic Museum of Qatar, and the National Museum of Indonesia, just to name a few. Altogether, 40 countries are now represented.

This expansion addresses early complaints from cultural critics that the site was too Eurocentric and Old Masters-heavy, because of offerings from such venerable institutions as the Frick Collection and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Uffizi in Florence, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the National Gallery in London.

According to Diana Skaar, head of partnerships for the project, Google was also responding directly to other museums’ desire to take part. “After the launch of round one, we got an overwhelming response from museums worldwide. So for round two, we really wanted to balance regional museums with those that are more nationally or globally recognized,” she said.

In all cases, the museums supply Google with high-resolution digital images of selected artworks. (For the White House, this will include paintings as well as porcelain from the China Room.) In some cases, the Getty’s included, Google also sends trolleys rigged with cameras, lasers and GPS devices to the museum galleries to shoot footage that will ultimately give the user a navigable, virtual tour like the popular “street view” function on Google Maps.

Skaar said the site, which started with about 1,000 objects, now has 30,000 artworks, including additional works from some of the original partners.”

Read on at Culture Monster.

Amit Sood: Building a museum of museums on the web

Imagine being able to see artwork in the greatest museums around the world without leaving your chair. Driven by his passion for art, Amit Sood tells the story of how he developed Art Project to let people do just that.

Amit Sood is the head of Art Project, Google’s effort to bring the world’s greatest museums onto the web.