It was bound to happen. The term “google” is already synonymous with searching things on the web. They have conquered the streets of the world with Google Maps and their kind of creepy street views.
Now we have the innovative Google Art Project. According to the NYT , the premise of this project is to offer virtual tours of 17 of the top museums using their street view technology.
Over the last eighteen months, Google worked with a range of museums, including four from the United States: MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Frick Collection, and the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian, Washington. – ArtForum
Although there has been a shift towards digitizing art within the art museum world, this is an entire new level of digital.
Here’s the main web site for the Google Art Project, check it out and tell me what you think.
What implications do the digitization of art have for the art world? Will this increase or decrease viewership of art online rather than physically in museums? Will the quality of these digital images be truly representative of the original? I don’t think there’s ever a way to compare the real deal to an online image.
Each of the 17 museums involved also chose one artwork to be photographed using “gigapixel” photo capturing technology, resulting in an image on the computer containing seven billion pixels and providing detail not visible to the naked eye. – ArtDaily
So not every image will be available to have a detailed, in-person-esque view.
On the flipside, this could provide individuals without financial resources, time, or geographical constraints to view amazing museums from the comfort of their own homes.