Google expands Google Art Project, making over 30,000 pieces of art available online

By Daniel S Levine,

Google announced Tuesday that it has expanded the Google Art Project, which allows users to look at pieces of art in museums from all around the world. It is an art lover’s dream, giving access to major museums without having to leave your home.

According to TalkArtWorld.com, the site offers over 30,000 pieces of art for anyone to look at for free. The first version of the Google Art Project had just over 1,000. All the images are also available in high resolution.

Google signed partnerships with 151 partners in over 40 countries, showing off work from the White House to Hong Kong. "The Art Project is going global, thanks to our new partners from around the world. It's no longer just about the Indian student wanting to visit Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It is also about the American student wanting to visit the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi,” said Amit Snood, who is leading the project for Google, according to The Guardian.

Google also has 360-degree views available for 46 museums, including the White House and Tate Britain. These allow users to take a virtual tour of the galleries without dealing with crowds.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the project began when Google employees used their “20 percent time” to create it. This time is set aside for employees to work on personal projects. When the Art Project launched in February 2011, there were just 1,000 images and partnerships with 17 museums.

There are some holes in the collection, most noticeably works by Picasso. The Tribune reports that the museums had to get the rights from copyright holders to upload their works and some would not give permission. Still, Google and the project’s backers are confident that it will continue to expand.



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