250,000 Artworks from 250 Museums, Now Viewable for Free at the Redesigned Google Art Project


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 250,000 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.”

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Nation­al Gallery Makes 25,000 Images of Art­work Freely Avail­able Online

Down­load Hun­dreds of Free Art Cat­a­logs from The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Muse­um of Art

Free: The Guggen­heim Puts 65 Mod­ern Art Books Online

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 Ange­lesA Los Ange­les Primer. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall.

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