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Get Really Close--No One's Going to Call Security

6 Jun 2012

What was that beautiful work I saw at the Met? Which room was Sargent's portrait painting, Madame X, in? I loved that Renoir but didn't have time to go back and spend a little more time with that work and that work alone. How do I answer these questions? Simply, Google Art Project.

Google Art Project is a great way to explore the oil paintings, drawings, sculptures, and more that are in museums all over the world.
Google Art Project is a great way to explore the oil paintings, drawings, sculptures, and more that are in museums all over the world.

From the Editors of American Artist magazine
Last month Google unveiled it's second iteration of the project, offering more than 32,000 works of art from museums all over the world. I think it is a fantastic way to explore museums without having to pay for a flight, hotel, and endure a trip through TSA security. Places like the Met, the Musee d'Orsay, and the Museum of Fine Art in Boston are all included. The features are incredible. Have you always wanted to go to the Uffizi? Stroll the halls with the Google Art Project's "Museum View," and you see the museum like you would with Google's "Street View."

In my digital exploration of the Met using this feature I was amazed to see how much smaller David's oil painting, The Death of Socrates, than I had imaged it to be once I saw it placed within the museum. I viewed many of Sargent's great portraiture (including one housed in the White House) from around the world.

Each image of a fine art painting or sculpture is captured in a resolution so high that you can zoom in closer than you'd ever be able to at the museum, and see all the detailed brushwork it took to create that piece of art without security being called in because you've gotten too close or you having to rush by because museum hours ending. And if you've found a collection you wish you could have in your very own home, you can create your own collection of works through Google Art Project called My Galleries. This is quite nice for putting together an inspiration gallery of your own.

You can create galleries of a single artist or of works you love from all over the world.
You can create galleries of a single artist or of works you love from all over the world.

In addition to your own online art gallery, you can check out a host of other galleries that other people all over the world have created. For instance, I found a fantastic collection of French work from artists including Manet, Monet, and Degas that a user just like me created. It was so inspiring!

The entire interface of the Google Art Project is very slick, so you should have a pretty easy time navigating it. Take a look if you haven't already, and tell us what your favorite works were in the comments below. And if you create a gallery, let us know what works made the cut and include a link to it!

--Ben

Ben Berlin is the video producer for American Artist magazine.

 

 

 


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Comments

j.b2 wrote
on 7 Jun 2012 10:31 AM

The only bad thing about this is that you have to run Google Chrome...

KatPaints wrote
on 11 Jun 2012 9:05 AM

Several art museums offer viewing of their collections online directly from their website- including many of the well known European museums.  I was in a museum trying to view a Sargent (and getting a neck ache.) A guard was kind enough to get me a ladder so I could see the work up close!

Chorcai wrote
on 14 May 2014 5:58 PM

@j.b2 as opposed to what ? the buggy, slow, vulnerable crap that is IE!