Google expands Art Project

When Google launched their Art Project last year, offering up 360 degree tours of 17 museums’ collections, the art world couldn’t have been happier.

And now the project has been expanded to feature tours of 46 additional institutions, which means more than 30,000 objects can now be seen in great detail.

Images larger than a billion pixels can be found on the website, and a zoom-in feature gives viewers the ability to see details like cracks in the parchment that aren’t visible to the naked eye.

Some of the new additions include the Victoria and Albert Museum, Imperial War Museum, Royal Collection, Serpentine Gallery, Dulwich Picture Gallery, National Galleries of Scotland, the Jewish Museum, the Museum of London, and the Walker Art Gallery.

Google’s President Margo Georgiadis said of the project, “From now on anyone can visit these great institutions with just the click of a mouse. This project breaks down all of the barriers and allows people to study art in a seamless way.”

Institutions such as the White House in Washington, the Santiniketan Triptych in the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi, India, and the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar, are all now available for online tours as well.

As of right now, the Art Gallery of Ontario is the only Canadian collection currently available.

The project allows users to filter galleries and institutions by location, providing quick access to collections all around the world.

Google has also signed partnerships with 151 other institutions in 40 countries around the world to show objects in their collections.

All this comes after Google helped put the Dead Sea Scrolls online, offering up ultra-high resolution images of several scrolls from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Digitizing them allowed amateur and professional scholars unparalleled access to 1,200 megapixel images of the historical scrolls.

Noted photographer Ardon Bar-Hama used ultraviolet-protected flash tubes to light the artifacts for 1/4000th of a second, protecting the scrolls from damage.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were found between 1947 and 1956 inside 11 caves off the shore of the Dead Sea, east of Jerusalem. Scrolls available online include The Temple Scroll, The War Scroll, The Community Rule Scroll, The Great Isaiah Scroll, and The Commentary of Habakkuk Scroll.

Sources: Google, BBC

Photo credit ©Reuters

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