National Gallery of Australia and Google Bring World of Arts Online!

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Do you love art? Want to visit galleries such as the Tate in London the Musee d’Orsay in Paris too gaze upon the brush work of artists such as Picasso, Matisse? Or do you want to visit one of the many stunning exhibitions offered by the National Gallery of Australia? The problem is, you don’t have the funds or the time? Well for some exciting news, you can visit all of the above and more. You don’t need a passport or cas. An internet connection is all it takes to access a world of art.

So how is this possible, it’s all down to a group of avid art loving Googlers who started a project exploring how today’s technology could be used to make art more accessible. Armed with Google technologies such as Picasa, App engine and street view, coupled with the invaluable aid of some of the world’s most acclaimed art museums, the dream became a reality and Art Project was born.

Google Art Project

February 2011 London Google launched the Art Project at the Tate Modern London. This week, The National Gallery of Australia and Google announced that art lovers around the world can access and explore selected works of art from the National Gallery, Art Gallery of NSW, Museum of contemporary Art Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Rock Art research centre Griffith University, Auckland Art Gallery and Te Papa.

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National Gallery of Australia

“We are proud to have led the project with Google and facilitated the involvement of other Australian institutions with the Art Project,” Ron Radford AM, Director of The National Gallery of Australia said.

He says this presents a wonderful opportunity for audiences around Australia and the world to experience our galleries, engage with the national art collection and learn about many works of art.

“We are also very pleased that the key featured “gigapixel” image from the National Gallery of Australia in the Google art project is Clifford Possum’s Warlugulong 1997,” Mr. Radford added.

He notes that the prominence of this work within the Google Art project and the virtual tours of the new Indigenous art galleries will ensure that the Indigenous art of Australia will receive maximum exposure internationally and nationally.

‘Gigapixel’ images show brushwork details

Not only can you view works of art but you can experience super high resolution or ‘gigapixel’ images that show brushwork details beyond the visibility of the naked eye. You can also explore gallery interiors from within Street view in Google Maps, save your favourite works of art and create your own personalised art collection. Comments can also be added to each view and the collection which can be shared. This is great for students, study groups and art lovers, through the “create an Artwork Collection” tool.

If all that doesn’t scintillate your senses, Google announced at the Musee d’ Orsay in Paris this week, a new global expansion of the Art Project will bring new art forms and venues’ online.

Art lovers can now discover sculpture, street art and photography as well as paintings at over 151 cultural institutions in 40 countries from the White house in Washington D.C to the National Palace museum in Taiwan. You can look at over 30,000 objects in super high resolution.

Few of us are lucky enough to visit every museum we want to or gaze upon every work of art we would like to. Thanks to Google for it is now possible through the Art Project. Google also encourages people to seek out and visit the real thing.

Nelson Mattos, VP engineering said, “Google is committed to bringing all types of culture online and making it accessible, the Art project demonstrates how the internet helps spread knowledge.”

Have a look at www.googleartproject.com revisit some favourites or take yourself on a trip of a life time all from your chair.

Fiona Hammond is a journalist who graduated from the John Morris journalism academy. Fiona lives on the south coast of NSW Australia and writes human interest stories and opinions, about gardening, sustainability, fishing, the environment and our planet.