If you've done a Google search this morning, you may have noticed the home page is promoting something called "Art Project." Well that's too tempting a title for me to resist, so I did a little exploring, and am pretty thrilled with what I found.
"Art Project" is basically a collaboration between museums around the world to upload their artworks online in extraordinary detail, as well as offer virtual tours of their galleries. Users can create their own collections of favorite artworks from the participating museums.
In short, it's an art lover's dream come true.
Currently there are 17 museums participating in the project, including the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, the Tate Britain in London, the Uffizi gallery in Florence and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The website promises more information soon on how other museums can join the project (the Walker and MIA, perhaps?).
According to the Art Project website, Google approached the museum partners with the idea, and each museum was able to chose the number of galleries, artwork and information they wanted to include.
As you might imagine, the images on the site are copyright protected, and Google owns the "Stree View" imagery used for creating the virtual museum tours.
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Here's the current list of museum partners:
Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin - Germany
Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian, Washington DC - USA
The Frick Collection, NYC - USA
Gemäldegalerie, Berlin - Germany
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC - USA
MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art, NYC - USA
Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid - Spain
Museo Thyssen - Bornemisza, Madrid - Spain
Museum Kampa, Prague - Czech Republic
National Gallery, London - UK
Palace of Versailles - France
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam - The Netherlands
The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg - Russia
State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow - Russia
Tate Britain, London - UK
Uffizi Gallery, Florence - Italy
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam - The Netherlands