Think New York, and what comes immediately to mind? For some it’s Central Park, for others it may be Times Square, and still others may think immediately of the Statue of Liberty. Me? I’ve always thought of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The main points of attraction for me are its Egyptian art, European paintings and sculpture and medieval arts collections. I could spend a couple of days at the museum…wandering through the Temple of Dendur – a large sandstone temple that was given to the US in 1965 and was assembled in the Met’s Sackler Wing in 1978 – and examining the many Egyptian artefacts scattered through the Met’s 40 Egyptian galleries. Then there are the European masters – Monet, Vermeer, Cézanne, Van Gogh…the European sculpture gallery, with a reconstructed 16th century patio from the Spanish castle of Vélez Blanco, and the collection of Medieval art, divided between the museum and The Cloisters.
So you can imagine my delight when I read about the Google Art Project, which brings together over 1,000 works of art by more than 400 artists. Using its Street View technology, Google has mapped 17 museums from around the world, including the Met, allowing you to take a stroll through the museum from the comfort of your own home. Each of these museums has selected one image that Google photographed using some amazingly advanced technology so that you can zoom into it in great detail – maybe greater detail than would have been possible if you were seeing it hanging on the museum wall! You “can zoom in to see Van Gogh’s famous brushwork or watch how previously hard to-see elements of an artwork suddenly become clear – such as the tiny Latin couplet which appears in Hans Holbein the Younger’s “The Merchant Georg Gisze.” You can also create a collection of your favourite works of art, add comments and share it with friends and family.
I clickety-clacked my way over to the site immediately and immersed myself in the beautiful works of art available online. As I slowly work my way through the site, I’ll start sharing my collection of favourite artwork, so stay tuned!
Excited? Hoping to find a particular museum or a favourite artist? Tell me about it in the comments!