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Google Art Project

Updated on April 3, 2012

Take A Virtual Museum Tour with Google

The Google Art Project is an amazing way to tour many of the finest museums of the world from the comfort of your own home. The online Google Art Gallery is a quick and inexpensive way to take a virtual museum tour vacation.

The Project, launched in February 2011, makes is easy and very economical for parents and teachers to take their kids on virtual tours. With the Google Art Project you can visit 150 top art museums in Germany, the United States, Spain, the Czech Republic, the UK, France, the Netherlands, Russia and Italy all for the price of an Internet connection.

I think that is pretty amazing.

The Google technicians combined the technology of street views from Google Earth and took these inside of the museum, so viewers get a feel of moving inside the actual museum to virtually walk around and discover where the art works are located within each of the museums. You can watch the Behind the Scenes video clip to get a sense of the work that went into making this incredible online resource possible.

The galleries and artwork displayed in the project were chosen by curators at the partner museums. Google technicians photographed the artwork, so online viewers can zoom in and see details of brush strokes from some of the great masterpieces. Included in the GoogleArtProject on YouTube are video clips with street views of the 17 different museum.

The Google Art Project includes following museums the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin - Germany; the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian in Washington DC - USA; The Frick Collection in NYC - USA; Gemaldegalerie in Berlin - Germany; The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC - USA; MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art in NYC - USA; the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid - Spain; the Museo Thyssen in Bornemisza, Madrid - Spain, the Museum Kampa in Prague - Czech Republic; the National Gallery in London - UK; Palace of Versailles in France; the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam - The Netherlands; The State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg - Russia; State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow - Russia; the Tate Britain in London - UK; Uffizi Gallery in Florence - Italy and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam - The Netherlands

Take a Virtual Museum Tour Vacation with the Google Art Project. The cost is Priceless.

Image by Ambrozjo with screen shot on Starry Nights from MoMa, New York.

Google Art Project Teaser Video

See some of the fascinating art you can view now online from the GoogleArtProject.

Google Adds More Museums

On April 3, 2012 Google expanded it's online art project by adding another 134 museums. All total, the Google Art Project has 151 museums representing 40 different countries online.

Image by Josh Staiger
Image by Josh Staiger

Sharing a Visit to Virtual Museum with My Kids

I have been able to visit several of the museums featured on Google Art Project when I was in my 20's on a trip to Europe. On that trip I remember marveling looking at Rembrant's Night Watch at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and being in awe of the Palace of Versailles.

On a later trip my husband and I visited the Tate Britain where I became mesmerized by Sir John Everett Millais' Ophelia and other Pre-Raphaelite paintings.

We haven't traveled as much since having the kids, but with the Google Art Project, it is now possible to share a trip to the museum with your children online. I think that is pretty amazing.

I've never had a chance to see Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night in person, but thanks to the Google Art Project, I can "see it" at the MoMA in New York and share the experience with my daughters.

Image of Van Goh's Starry Night at the MOMA by Josh Staiger.

My Google Art Project Collection

Google Art Project allows you to create your own Collection of art.

This is the start of my Google Art collection. I was able to visit and include Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night from the MOMA along with several other saved artworks from different museums that I have visited in person and now online.

Google Art Project Visitor Guide - Video

Take a tour around the Art Project, powered by Google.

Links for the Google Art Project

The Google Art Project is a unique collaboration with some of the world's most acclaimed art museums to enable people to discover and view more than a thousand artworks online in extraordinary detail.

The Initial 17 Museums in the Project

The museum partners chose the galleries and artwork they wanted to include and Google technicians photographed the artwork. With all of the images online viewers have be ability to zoom in and see details from some of the great masterpieces.

The following museums are the first 17 museums included in the project, listed in alphabetical order.

  1. Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin - Germany
  2. Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian, Washington DC - USA
  3. The Frick Collection, NYC - USA
  4. Gemäldegalerie, Berlin - Germany
  5. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC - USA
  6. MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art, NYC - USA
  7. Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid - Spain
  8. Museo Thyssen - Bornemisza, Madrid - Spain
  9. Museum Kampa, Prague - Czech Republic
  10. National Gallery, London - UK
  11. Palace of Versailles - France
  12. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam - The Netherlands
  13. The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg - Russia
  14. State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow - Russia
  15. Tate Britain, London - UK
  16. Uffizi Gallery, Florence - Italy
  17. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam - The Netherlands

See Details of the Birth of Venus Online

Image by leocub
Image by leocub

Screen Shot of Uffizi Gallery on Google Art Project on Computer Monitor.

Monitor by leocub.

How to Take a Virtual Museum Tour Vacation

If you are going to take children on a virtual museum tour vacation there are several items to bring to make the online experience more memorable:

  1. Computer or laptop for visiting the online museum.
  2. Flip Video Camera to record 'walking' through the museum.
  3. Camera for taking online photographs.
  4. Art Pencils for drawing artwork.
  5. Art Paper for drawing one's own masterpieces.
  6. Art Book on the Museum.
  7. Healthy Snacks.

Navigating the Google Art Project Artwork

Image by Google Art Project
Image by Google Art Project

Image of Screen Shot Google Art Project The Cathedral by František Kupka at Museum Kampa with navigation instructions added.

See where the areas are to find a Museum, locate artwork, discover more about the particular art piece, the museum or the artist, how to resize the image, sign into your Google account and create your own collection of artwork.

Create a Art Collection on Google Art Project

As part of your visit to the virtual museums in the Google Art Project you can put together a unique collection with the 'Create an Artwork Collection' feature. The link is found in the lower right hand corner of the screen.

You start by signing into a Google Account.

With the 'Create and Artwork Collection' feature you can build your own collection by saving custom views (zoomed or expanded) of any of the artworks in the project. You can add your own comment to paintings. Finally you can share the collection by with friends, family and even teachers by emailing a link to your Google Art Collection.

It will be very interesting to follow how the Google Art Collection is used by teachers.

Make Your Own Google Art Collection

The ability to make your own Google Art Collection (after logging into Google) is a great way to get children interested and involved in Art.

Parents and children can visit the online museum and create their own art collection. Children can visit online art museums as part of a class assignment and create their own art collection to share with their teachers.

Children Drawing at the CoBrA

Image by Alix Guillard
Image by Alix Guillard

Image of Children Drawing at the CoBrA museum in Amstelveen by Alix Guillard

Image by Eden Pictures
Image by Eden Pictures

Encouraging Children to Explore Art

As part of a virtual museum vacation (or a virtual classroom visit) children can be encourage to create their own artwork.

There are many ways to encourage children to love art. Have pencils, paint and paper available for the children as you are visiting the online museums, so if they are inspired to sketch, to draw or to paint what they are seeing on the tour.

Let them create, draw and color their own masterpieces.

Be sure that they sign their masterpiece then hang some of them up on the walls.

Image of Children's Museum of the Arts by Eden Pictures.

Masterpiece Coloring Books to Color

Several of the many different coloring books on various Art Masterpieces for children (and adults) to color. You might even feel like an artist coloring these pages.

Visit Museums of the World via YouTube

Street view visits to the member museums of the Google Art Project.

These video clips feature the street views of the following museums: the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin - Germany; the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian in Washington DC - USA; The Frick Collection in NYC - USA; Gemaldegalerie in Berlin - Germany; The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC - USA; MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art in NYC - USA; the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid - Spain; the Museo Thyssen in Bornemisza, Madrid - Spain and the Museum Kampa in Prague - Czech Republic.

More of the Museums of the World on YouTube

More street view visits to the member museums of the Google Art Project.

These video clips feature the street views of the following museums: the National Gallery in London - UK; Palace of Versailles in France; the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam - The Netherlands; The State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg - Russia; State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow - Russia; the Tate Britain in London - UK; Uffizi Gallery in Florence - Italy and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam - The Netherlands.

Books on Art History

In case you want to learn even more about Art, a collection of books on Art History.

Taking a Virtual Class Trip to the Art Museum

Image of Flat Panel Monitor by leocub and Children discovering Van Gogh by Randy OHC.

Image by Randy OHC
Image by Randy OHC

Benefits of Online Museums for Teachers

The Google Art Project is being hailed as an outstanding educational resource for teachers at all levels.

With the availability of 17 online museum, teachers now have an easy and very inexpensive way to share some of the great masterpieces from museums in the classroom with children (and even college students). Children can visit online art museums as part of a class assignment.

Google Art Collections allows students to create their own custom collection of art work complete with comments. For art teachers there is even a greater benefit. Thanks to the technology from Google Earth, viewers can zoom in on the museum masterpieces close enough to see brush strokes, as in the first image showing art strokes from Starry Nights.

It will be interesting to follow the development of lesson plans as teachers explore how to utilize this new online resource to teach children and older students about art.

Image of Child drawing at MOMA by Randy OHC.

Behind the Scenes of the Art Project - Video

Watch behind the scenes footage of the Street View and high resolution captures from the Art Project.

While watching the video clip, you can really get a sense of the hours and the time that was put in behind the scenes photographing all of the artwork in great detail and also capturing the insides of the museums so viewers get a sense of actually being inside and walking around the project museums.

Google Art Project Copyrights

With over 1,000 artworks featured on the Google Art Project one has to wonder what are the copyrights involved in using and viewing of these masterpieces.

According to their FAQ page:

  • The high resolution imagery of artworks featured on the art project site are owned by the museums, and these images may be subject to copyright laws around the world.
  • The Street View imagery is owned by Google.
  • All of the imagery on this site is provided for the sole purpose of enabling you to use and enjoy the benefit of the art project site, in the manner permitted by Google's Terms of Service. The normal
  • Google Terms of Service
  • apply to your use of the entire site.
They also note that some of the paintings and features captured with Street View were blurred because of reasons pertaining to copyrights.

Image Copyright by Kirsti A. Dyer

Cost of Taking a Virtual Museum Vacation...

Image by theswedish
Image by theswedish

Image of Gilt Frame by theswedish with van Gogh's Starry Night done impressionist style.

Do you think you might take a virtual museum tour through the Google Art Gallery?

Comment on the Google Art Gallery

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    • HealthfulMD profile image
      Author

      Kirsti A. Dyer 4 years ago from Northern California

      @anonymous: Thank you for sharing the resource on your Continuing Ed board.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Google's use of technology to advance civilization, modernize our world, and make the inaccessible accessible never ceases to amaze me. They took "It's a Small World After All" to a whole new level. Shared this on Pinterest via my Continuing Education board. http://pinterest.com/pin/183943966001751408/

    • profile image

      Terrie_Schultz 5 years ago

      This is fantastic! I will definitely be visiting some of these museums online!

    • Coreena Jolene profile image

      Coreena Jolene 5 years ago

      How nice! I have never heard of the Google Art Project. Thank you for sharing.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 5 years ago from New Zealand

      This is absolutely fantastic. It is exactly what I am looking for. Blessed.

    • Barb McCoy profile image

      Barb McCoy 6 years ago

      I am just now finding time to explore the Art Project with my children. Amazing! Great lens and a much deserved Purple Star. Adding to my favorites and lensrolling to my art lenses.

    • profile image

      GiftsBonanza 6 years ago

      What a great idea... certainly going to look into this one

    • rlivermore profile image

      rlivermore 6 years ago

      What an excellent idea! I never heard about the Google Art Gallery before, but it is truly a great way to explore many of the wonderful art museums without ever leaving home.

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 6 years ago

      This sounds perfect for my eldest, so favouriting this one for later :)

    • gypsyman27 lm profile image

      gypsyman27 lm 6 years ago

      Yes I will take a tour, and thankyou for sharing this information. I had no idea Google was involved in a project like this. See you around the galaxy...

    • profile image

      Quirina 6 years ago

      Great stuff, thank you for sharing!

    • profile image

      WhitePineLane 6 years ago

      Wow! Great lens! I did not know about the Google Art Project, but now I'm very excited to check it out. I can think of lots of uses.... Also I like your ideas for things to bring along on your virtual tour, like sketchpads!