Tick Yes Blog

The Google gallery

For online content at its best, this simply can’t be beaten

Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ can be seen on the Google Art Project

There’s a rather condescending theory that suggests online content is somehow inferior to its traditional counterpart; that for all technology can offer, it cannot replace the thrill of seeing something of immense historical and cultural importance ‘in the flesh’. The Mona Lisa, for example. For about a minute before being made to move on. Surrounded and jostled by about three and a half thousand other people all thinking, ‘Isn’t it small?

Sure, it’s an experience, but is it a good one when you don’t get time to admire the exquisite detail of a classic painting, the brush strokes of genius, the finesse of the artist?

Not only that, but visiting the likes of the Museum of Modern Art in New York or the National Gallery in London or even the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney simply isn’t an option for most people, constrained by money, time, location and circumstance.

Which means that, when done properly, online content can use technology to become an enabler. And Google has certainly done it properly with its brilliant Art Project.

This online platform allows people to access high-resolution artworks housed in some of the world’s leading museums. But it’s not just looking at a static image, you can magnify sections to see in clear details the techniques applied – an opportunity that simply isn’t possible with the real McCoys hanging on various walls around the world.

Originally launched in February 2011 with 17 partner museums, the Art Project now features over 32,000 artworks from 46 museums. And it keeps getting bigger, with Google recently announcing that a further 151 museums from 40 countries will be participating.

This wonderful initiative further shows how traditional mediums can be enhanced by technological advances. It really is online content at its best.


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