If not, this post is for you. Though Google Art Project has been here for a few years, I found it important to mention it once again as it is probably the best online cultural archive in the world. The Google Art Project was launched in 2011 and using the “street view” technology is continually scanning and documenting the great museums’ art works from around the world and allows a 360-degree view of the museum space and the art works inside.
What I love about this idea is that Google democratizes the art; with this project everyone, everywhere can get direct access to the world’s most important art. Researchers, educators, students, art lovers and others can go online not only to see the art works in the different museums but also to explore their placing in the space.
Google Art Project allows users to dive into brushstroke-level detail, to explore inside the museums and to create their own collection. With this interactive map users can browse more than 600 museums and cultural institutions and their collections from around the globe.
Besides the great result of democratizing the art, Google Art Project helps museums promote themselves. In her article “Google taking ‘street view’ technology into museums” Alice T. Carter interviewed Robert Goldsmith, deputy director and chief operating officer at the Frick Collection in New York, who said that “When the Google site first launched, our Internet traffic doubled… it makes people aware (of the Frick) who wouldn’t otherwise find us.”
“The idea behind the project wasn’t to replace museums and their websites, but to widen awareness. When people know more about a collection, they are more likely to want to visit it,” said Piotr Adamczyk, a program manager at Google Cultural Institute. “We were trying to reach people who were trying to look for a particular artist or kind of art.”
This project “started when a small group of us who were passionate about art got together to think about how we might use our technology to help museums make their art more accessible – not just to regular museum goers or those fortunate to have great galleries on their doorsteps, but to a whole new set of people who might otherwise never get to see the real thing up close,” as the project’s founder and the previous head of the art project Amit Sood said. He talked about it in this TED Talk:
And an extended version of Amit Sood’s talk on the Google Art Project:
Read More About Google Art Project.