Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Google Art Project: Accidentally Good For Decorative Art Enthusiasts

The current unrest in Egypt has rightfully dominated the media outlets but almost caused me to miss the launch of Google Art Project. In a nutshell, over an 18 month period Google has used its "Street View" technology from Google Maps to shoot individual galleries within 17 top museums and institutions to allow virtual tours. 1061 artworks were selected to be shot in greater detail but sadly they are all fine art. Additionally, each institution selected one painting to be shot in an astounding 7 billion pixel resolution. While paintings have always been the pinnacle in the hierarchy of the arts, as you navigate through the various museums you can also peruse the decorative art pieces that contextualize some galleries. I highly encourage you to click through these institutions to find old furniture friends....and make some new ones.

The Fragonard room at the Frick Collection with its amazing French furniture and Sevres porcelain.

Marie Antoinette's Chamber at the Palace of Versailles. Versailles is an interesting case as you are allowed to click beyond the Hall of Mirrors and out into the gardens. But alas, you cannot navigate your way to the Petit Trianon or the Queen's farm folly, the Petit Hameau. Perhaps there will be an update.

Greek red-figure vases from the first floor of Russia's Hermitage State Museum.

The Robert Adam designed dining room from Lansdowne House now in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In addition to European Paintings, the Met saw fit to include Medieval Art, part of European Sculpture and Decorative Art, the American Wing, and African Art.

The navigation is a bit tricky and sometimes you pass through walls accidentally into other rooms. Also I got a bit lost in the garden at Versailles and found it hard to navigate back to the chateau....but is that really such a bad thing? Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, AR, for bringing this to the attention of your devoted readers. I plan on spending many hours googling my way through these museums! Reggie