Sunday, March 27, 2011

This Week's Online Find:
The Google Art Project

Say what you will about Google -- and apparently a lot of people have a lot to say about Google (See Wikipedia’s Criticism of Google) -- but, for me, Google’s incredible tools have brought me the world, and I’m willing to put up with quite a lot for the pleasure of its company.

In its latest (at this writing : ) attempt to bring the world to my laptop, Google recently launched the Google Art Project, an online initiative to introduce me (and you) to some of the world’s most well-known museums and their most impressive works of art.

It’s hard to describe exactly how fabulous a visit to the Art Project is, but banish immediately from your mind pedestrian photographs of museum exteriors, and instead picture yourself virtually walking the corridors of The Metropolitan Museum in NYC, the National Gallery of London, Italy’s Uffizi Gallery, or the Palace of Versailles.

And don’t for a minute imagine yourself walking those corridors to view the tiny (albeit moderately enlargeable) thumbs of famous paintings that populate other museum web sites. Instead picture yourself -- if you can -- examining in minute, high-resolution detail the brush strokes of Van Gough or the symbolism of Gris; details you couldn’t see even if you were physically in the museum standing in front of the art itself.

At the Art Project home page, visitors can choose to virtually explore any of (currently) 17 museums around the world using Google’s famous Street View technology. They can view -- and navigate -- each museum’s interactive floor plan, learn about the museum’s location and history, and link to each piece of art in the museum’s online gallery, or to the museum’s own web site.

Or they might choose to examine one of the more than 1000 works of art displayed at the participating museums. A menu accompanies each piece of art, allowing visitors to read viewing notes for the piece, to learn more about the art and artist, and to link to more works by the same artist or at the same museum. Most impressive, however, are the high resolution images themselves, and the custom viewer that allows visitors to zoom into the paintings and view them in the kind of exquisite detail usually reserved for museum curators, noted art experts, and major donors.

In addition to viewing, examining, and enjoying the works of art at the site, the Google Art Project also allows visitors to create their own personalized collections and to share them with family and friends. The Google Art Project is truely an amazing place. Check it out for yourself!

And thanks, Google!

No comments:

Post a Comment