NEW YORK, NY.- The Museum of Modern Art
, along with 16 other art museums from the United States, Europe, and Russia, is collaborating with Google on the Art Project, a website that enables users to discover and view more than 1,000 artworks online in extraordinary detail. The site launched today and can be explored at googleartproject.com.
Over the last 18 months, Google worked with a range of museums, including four from the United States: MoMA, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Frick Collection, and the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian, Washington. The partnership involved taking a selection of extremely high resolution images of famous artworks, as well as collating more than 1,000 other images into one place. It also included capturing 360-degree tours of individual galleries using Street View "indoor" technology. With this unique project, anyone anywhere in the world will be able to learn about the history and artists behind a huge number of works, at the click of a mouse.
Each of the museums worked in extensive collaboration with Google, providing expertise and guidance on every step of the project, from choosing which collections to feature, to advising on the best angle to capture photos, to determining what kind of information should accompany the artwork. Each museum selected one artwork to be photographed in extraordinary detail using super high resolution, or "gigapixel" photo-capturing technology. MoMA's gigapixel photo is of Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night (1889). Each image contains around 7 billion pixels, enabling the viewer to study details of the brushwork and patina beyond that possible with the naked eye. In addition, museums provided images for a selection totalling more than 1,000 works of art. The resolution of these images, combined with a custom-built zoom viewer, allows art-lovers to discover minute aspects of paintings they may never have seen up close before. The gigapixel image of The Starry Night is accompanied by a MoMA-produced video that features visitors' points of view of the painting.
In the indoor Street View feature, users can move around galleries virtually, selecting works of art that interest them and clicking to discover more or diving into the high resolution images, where available. In MoMA's Street View, visitors can explore works by Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Odilon Redon, Henri Rousseau, Georges Seurat, and Vincent van Gogh. The info panel allows users to read more about an artwork, find more works by that artist, and watch related YouTube videos. The gallery interiors are also visible on Google Maps in Street View.
The "Create an Artwork Collection" feature allows users to save specific views of any of the 1,000 artworks and build their own personalized collection. Comments can be added to each painting and the whole collection can then be shared.
Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin - Germany Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian, Washington, DC- USA The Frick Collection, NYC - USA Gemäldegalerie, Berlin - Germany The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC - USA The Museum of Modern Art, NYC - USA Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid - Spain Museo Thyssen - Bornemisza, Madrid - Spain Museum Kampa, Prague - Czech Republic National Gallery, London - UK Palace of Versailles - France Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam - The Netherlands The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg - Russia State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow - Russia Tate Britain, London - UK Uffizi Gallery, Florence - Italy Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam - The Netherlands
The Art Project in numbers:
11 Cities, 9 Countries
17 "gigapixel" pictures
385 gallery rooms
1,061 high res artwork images
More than 6,000 Street View "panoramas"