Virtual Museums a la Google

Whats New — By Tawanna Browne Smith on February 6, 2011 at 4:13 am

I just finished reading an article printed by the Baltimore Sun about Google’s plans to feature virtual tours of 17 top museums  from around the world and their works of art, using technology designed for its Google maps. Apparently, the viewer will be able to see intricate details in the art as has only been seen by curators – details such as: brush strokes, imperfections, marks and other minute details.

There’s some debate that the Art Project will deter visitors from visiting the museums and seeing the works in real life. I think that it won’t. True art lovers and museum-goers will continue to go out, regardless. And I agree with Gary Viken, Director of the Walters Art Museum, that the Art Project will only increase people’s desires to see the works IRL (“in real life” – just learned that, proud of myself).

I, for one, will absolutely love Google’s Art Project. Although currently not one of the 17, can you imagine a place like the Louvre on virtual tour? I spent 3 hours there and didn’t even scratch the surface of that place. That was 16 years ago and I haven’t been back since. Same with the Uffizi in Florence – I think I’ll have a greater appreciation for it now than I had when I was 19. It’s good to know that I can tour it again from the comfort of my bed, with more mature eyes, and for less money.  Getting back to the Louvre, it would be a great opportunity to see what I didn’t get a chance to see and may even motivate me to return before the proverbial retirement years. Here are just five of the most notable museums that are a part of the Art Project:

  • New York’s Museum of Modern Art
  • Amsterdam Van Gough Museum
  • Palace of Versailles
  • London’s National Gallery
  • Florence’s Uffizi Gallery

I imagine as the Project grows in popularity, more museums will be added. However, at this time, visitors to Baltimore will have to experience local museums the old-fashioned way, by foot.

Tags: museums


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