Google Art Project is an online platform through which the public can access high-resolution images of artworks housed in the initiative’s partner museums. The project was launched on 1 February 2011 by Google, in cooperation with 17 international museums, including the Tate Gallery, London; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; and the Uffizi, Florence.
The platform enables users to virtually tour partner museums’ galleries, explore physical and contextual information provided about artworks, and compile their own virtual collection. The “walk-through” feature of the project uses Google’s Street View technology. The virtual images of artworks were reproduced at extremely high quality, and each partner museum selected one artwork to be captured as a Gigapixel image (with over 1 billion pixels).
|Type||tempera on canvas|
|Dimensions||172.5 cm × 278.5 cm (67.9 in × 109.6 in)|
Seventeen galleries and museums were included in the launch of the project. The 1,061 high-resolution images (by 486 different artists) are shown in 385 virtual gallery rooms, with 6,000 Street View-style panoramas. Each institute contributed one item of gigapixel artwork (all images shown are actual images from Google Art Project) via Wikipedia.
On April 3, 2012, Google announced a major expansion to the Art Project as it signed partnership agreements with 151 museums from 40 countries. Now, the platform features over 32,000 artworks from 46 museums, and the image acquisition process is underway at the remaining partner museums. Additionally, Google launched a second, improved version of the website with new Google+ features, enhanced search capabilities, and a series of educational tools. Google intended for this second-generation platform to be a global resource; accordingly, the Art Project is now available in 18 different languages, including: Bahasa, English, French, Japanese, Polish, and Portuguese.