Google has just announced a massive expansion of its Art Project, adding collections from a number of museums around the world, including tthe Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar.
The Project was started a year ago with a mere 1,000 high-resolution images from only 17 museums.
Now, wide range of institutions, large and small, traditional art museums as well as less traditional settings for great art, are represented in the expanded Art Project. Viewers can look at the White House in Washington D.C., explore the collection of the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar and continue the journey in India, exploring the Santiniketan Triptych in the halls of the National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi.
Moreover, instead of just featuring paintings, the site now contains sculpture, Brazlian street art, and even rock art from its 151 partner museums and art galleries in over 40 countries.
In the UK alone, 10 new gallery partners were announced to join existing British partners National Gallery in London and the Tate Britain, including Dulwich Picture Gallery; the Royal Collection; Victoria and Albert Museum; Serpentine Gallery; Imperial War Museum; National Galleries of Scotland; and the Jewish Museum, among others.
Key features of the new Art Project: -- Users may browse the content by the artist's name, the artwork, the type of art, the museum, the country, the city and the collection. Google+ and video hangouts are integrated on the site, allowing viewers to create even more engaging personal galleries.
-- A specially designed Street View 'trolley' took 360 degree images of the interior of selected galleries which were then stitched together, enabling smooth navigation of over hundreds of rooms within the museums. The gallery interiors can also be explored directly from within Street View in Google Maps.
-- More than 30,000 artworks are featured in high resolution. Some have been photographed in extraordinary detail using super high resolution or 'gigapixel' photo capturing technology, enabling the viewer to study details of the brushwork and patina beyond that possible with the naked eye.
-- An enhanced My Gallery feature allows users to select any of the 30,000 artworks - along with their favorite details - and 'build their own personalised gallery. Comments can be added to each painting and the whole collection can then be shared with friends and family. It's an ideal tool for students.
-- The new Art Project includes other completely new tools called Explore and Discover. Users can find artworks by period, artist or type of artwork, displaying works from different museums around the world. Nelson Mattos, Google's Vice President of Engineering, said: "Google is committed to bringing all types of culture online and making it accessible. The Art Project demonstrates how the Internet helps spread knowledge."
Amit Sood, Head of Art Project, Google: "The Art Project is going global, thanks to our new partners from around the entire world. It's no longer just about the Indian student wanting to visit Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It is now also about the American student wanting to visit the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi."
"Google goes global with expanded Art Project" Easier Technology April 3, 2012
Aaron Souppouris, "Google Art Project now has over 30,000 works including the White House Gallery" The Verge April 3, 2012
Bruce Manuel, "Google dramatically enhances its year-old online Art Project " Mercury News April 3, 2012
Reproduced with permission from Islam Today