Four countries, four museums in just a few seconds, it’s been a journey. This all became possible with the launch of Art Project powered by Google, simply street view in 17 of the world’s most famous museums. You can travel from Italy, to Russia to America and right back to Britain at a touch of a button, getting a 360-degree look inside museum collections. You can even view one chosen piece of artwork, (that is by the museums themselves) microscopically; a term “gigapixel” has been coined to describe this type of resolution. But what will this do, can it help or will it aid a digital generation with yet another excuse not to experience life in all its realism?
For me, I am undecided, only time will tell. But what is sure is that the software needs some work, the images are poor and the collections are rather canonised, no surprise there though. But what is good is that this software will definitively get more people looking at artworks that might never have thought it possible to see MOMA or the Palace of Versailles in their lifetime. Lets see what happens.
Image above is section of "The Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh in MOMA.