Yesterday we featured the National Gallery of Art’s site NGA Images, where you can download 25,000 high-quality digital images of that museum’s works of art. Today, why not have a look at Google Art Project? Though we’ve posted about it before, you’ll want to check out its slick new redesign — not to mention its expanded collection, which now includes more than 40,000 works of art from over 250 museums. TechCrunch’s Frederic Lardenois writes that the latest iteration of Google Art Project’s “improved search tools now make it significantly easier to filter any list of artworks by artist, place, data and related events. [ … ] Some of the most important artworks are also available as gigapixel images. Many museums also allow you to browse their galleries using Google Street View.”
The collections newly added to Google Art Project come from institutions as far- and wide-ranging as Kuwait’s al Sabah Collection, Japan’s Kawabara Memorial DIC Museum of Art, Denmark’s Statens Museum for Kunst, and Australia’s Art Gallery of New South Wales. At the top, we have an image of Sunkwan Kwon’s “A Man in Stripe Shirt Who is Dropping His Head for a Long Time After Phone Call,” made available in the Korean Art Museum Association collection. But don’t look at the image in this post; look at the piece’s entry in Google Art Project, which lets you scroll and zoom as you please. And you will want to zoom, since Kwon’s very large-format photography demands close attention to detail. At such a high resolution, you can pay that attention, looking right into the windows and observing the people behind them. Viewers, as the work’s description says, “should keep having tenacious questions that ask who the characters are, why they show tense expressions on their face and what their situations are.”
Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture and writes essays on literature, film, cities, Asia, and aesthetics. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall.