Museums of the world, up close

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?).

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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.

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