Monday, February 7, 2011

Google Art Project: A Great Tool for Art Lovers

I recently found out about the Google Art Project in the Washington Post and New York Times, and thought it was one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while. Google is now using their street view camera inside some of the world’s great art museums such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Hermitage, and the Van Gogh Museum so that people can take virtual tours of the museums. Sadly, the Louver is not on the list, but hopefully it will be one day. The resolution of the museum view camera is not very high, but taking virtual tours from your laptop is still pretty amazing. My favorite feature of the Google Art Project is the collection of famous pieces from each museum that can be zoomed in on in ultra high resolution. You can zoom in so closely that you can literally see the brush strokes. It’s like the art work is right in front of your face. Naturally, Aristotle with a Bust of Homer by Rembrandt was one of my favorites.

Besides adding more museums it would be nice if Google could add piece descriptions to their zoomed in collection. Higher resolution views for the museum tour would also be nice. However, I think Google has a good start with their Art Project. It’s a great tool that brings art lovers and the object of their affection a little bit closer.

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