Google and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia help bring art to everyone
Google and the MCA have partnered to enable anyone, anywhere in the world to view works from its Collection online with a few simple mouse clicks. This is part of a broader initiative known as the Art Project, which inspires people to discover and explore the power and beauty of art.
What is Art Project?
A short while ago, a small group of Googlers who were passionate about art started a side project to explore how technology could be used to help make art more accessible. With Google technologies like Picasa, App Engine and Street View—and with the help of some of the world’s most acclaimed art museums— a few Googlers were able to turn an ambitious pipe dream into reality.
Last February at the Tate Modern in London, Google launched the Art Project. The Art Project lets you view super high resolution or ‘gigapixel’ photos that show brushwork details beyond what is visible to the naked eye, such as the individual dots in Georges Pierre Seurat’s Grandcamp, Evening. You can also explore gallery interiors directly from within Street View in Google Maps, and take a virtual tour of architectural treasures like the Palace of Versailles.
Another useful feature is the Create an Artwork Collection tool, which lets you save specific views of artworks and build a personalised collection. Comments can be added to each view and the entire collection can be shared. This is ideal for students and study groups working on collaborative projects.
How has Art Project grown?
On April 3rd at the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, Google announced a major global expansion of the Art Project, bringing new art forms and art venues online. In addition to paintings, art lovers can now discover sculpture, street art and photography at 151 cultural institutions in 40 countries, from the White House in Washington, D.C. to the National Palace Museum in Taiwan. And more than 30,000 objects are available to view in super high resolution, up from 1,000 in the original launch.
According to Google’s Amit Sood, Head of Art Project: “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 MoMA in New York. It is now also about the American student wanting to visit the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi.”
At the MCA, you can explore the fine-grain details of Sophie Coombs’Metaphysical Drawing Sc/101/2005 (2005), or James Morrison’s Colour Green (2007).
According to MCA Director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor,“The MCA is excited to be a part of the expanded Google Art Project, primarily as it allows contemporary living Australian artists to be represented in a truly global initiative. The MCA is committed to the acquisition, interpretation and display of the art of today, so it’s important to us that works in our collection that are not physically on display, are digitally available.”
Why is Google doing this?
Few people are lucky enough to visit every museum and see every work of art they’re interested in. But the Art Project helps bring art to everyone, and encourages people to seek out and visit the real thing.
According to Nelson Mattos, VP Engineering: “Google is committed to bringing all types of culture online and making it accessible. The Art Project demonstrates how the Internet helps spread knowledge.”
Posted by Kelly Stone