Google Collaborates with International Museums, Launches ‘Art Project’

Thoughts of Walter Benjamin‘s famous essay The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction aside, yesterday Google launched Art Project, an online gallery holding a collection of art compiled across seventeen high-profile museums, ranging from London’s National Gallery to New York’s MoMA, the Met, and the Frick, to the Palace of Versailles. The site allows users to wander around the galleries, Google Street View-style, bouncing around from room to room and spinning in 360-degree circles. More impressive is the ability to zoom into a large assortment of pieces from each museums’ collection, some all the way to what feels like near microscopic levels. We were particularly happy to see the Van Gogh Museum included in the mix, having the ability to zoom very far into the artist’s The Bedroom, the restoration of which we’d enjoyed following throughout last year. If you’re trapped at home today due to any assortment of blizzards that are likely hitting your town, it’s the perfect way to while away the hours. Here’s some behind-the-scenes on how Google created the project: