Rockwell’s Laurie Norton Moffatt comments
“The Norman Rockwell Museum is pleased to be part of the Google Art Project,’ said Laurie Norton Moffatt, CEO, “and to share the extraordinary art of Rockwell and other American illustrators with viewers from afar who might not have the opportunity to visit the Museum’s home site in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where the artist lived and worked for his last 25 years. During his career, Norman Rockwell’s art was viewed by millions at the turn of a page, and it is fitting that the Google Art Project is making it possible, once again, for the artist’s imagery to be seen and enjoyed by worldwide audiences.”
Response from Malcolm Rogers at Boston MFA
The venerable Museum of Fine Arts is part of this project in a big way. Malcolm Rogers, Director of the MFA remarked: “We’re delighted to be included in the Google Art Project, through which visitors from across the globe can experience works from the MFA’s collection in Boston with just the click of a mouse or touch of a screen. Making art accessible is key to our mission. It’s exciting to think that our works will take Google Art enthusiasts on a journey that includes treasures such as Head of Aphrodite from ancient Greece, Paul Revere’s Sons of Liberty Bowl from colonial America, and Claude Monet’s Rouen Cathedral Façade (Morning Effect) from 19th-century Europe.”
Changing Cultural Habits?
Much speculation is afoot over the question of whether such online accessibility will impact in-person visits. Museums around the world are fighting changing cultural habits as they build additional gallery space and visitor amenities while struggling to build annual attendance without being dependent on blockbuster attractions.
From now on, in the digitial world of information, with a few simple clicks of their fingers, art lovers will be able to discover not just paintings, but also sculpture, street art, and photographs. Creations from a wide variety of cultures and civilizations are represented, including Brazilian street graffiti, Islamic decorative arts and ancient African rock art.
Dramatic Expansion of Digital Reach into Museums and Galleries
The project has expanded dramatically. More than 30,000 objects are available to view in high resolution, up from 1,000 in the first version. Street View images now cover 46 museums, with more on the way.
A wide range of institutions, large and small, traditional art museums as well as less traditional settings for great art, are represented in the expanded Art Project. Click here and take a look at the White House in Washington D.C. Explore the collection of the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar. Continue the journey in India, exploring the Santiniketan Triptych in the halls of the National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi.
Key features of the new Art Project
Users may browse the content by the artist’s name, the artwork, the type of art, the museum, the country, the city and the collection. Google+ and video hangouts are integrated on the site, allowing viewers to create even more engaging personal galleries.
A specially designed Street View ‘trolley’ took 360 degree images of the interior of selected galleries which were then stitched together, enabling smooth navigation of over hundreds of rooms within the museums. The gallery interiors can also be explored directly from within Street View in Google Maps.
Extraordinary High Resolution Images are now online
More than 30,000 artworks are featured in high resolution. Some have been photographed in extraordinary detail using super high resolution or ‘gigapixel’ photo capturing technology, enabling the viewer to study details of the brushwork and patina beyond that possible with the naked eye.
An enhanced My Gallery feature allows users to select any of the 30,000 artworks – along with their favorite details – and ‘build their own personalised gallery. Comments can be added to each painting and the whole collection can then be shared with friends and family. It’s an ideal tool for students.
The new Art Project includes other completely new tools called Explore and Discover. Users can find artworks by period, artist or type of artwork, displaying works from different museums around the world.
Google’s Curators are Technologists
The key people at Google who are involved are Nelson Mattos, VP Engineering, Google who offered this take on it: “Google is committed to bringing all types of culture online and making it accessible. The Art Project demonstrates how the Internet helps spread knowledge.”
Amit Sood, Head of Art Project, Google suggested a breaking down of cultural barriors: “The Art Project is going global, thanks to our new partners from around the entire world. It’s no longer just about the Indian student wanting to visit Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It is now also about the American student wanting to visit the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi.”
The Art Project illustrates Google’s commitment to bringing culture online and making it accessible the widest possible audience. Under the auspices of the Cultural Institute, Google is producing high resolution images of the Dead Sea Scrolls, digitizing the archives of famous figures such as Nelson Mandela, and creating 3D models of 18th century French cities.
The Art Project has its own YouTube channel, and website which you can explore. Visit the project at the www.googleartproject.com The only problem in that you may be asked to install and use Google Chrome.
There’s a motive behind everything these days. There is still is no free lunch.