If you haven't seen it yet, you must check out this site: Google's Art Project.
I am enthralled.
What’s so cool about this is that in addition to the EXTREME closeups of the artwork (that’s a portion of The Starry Night in the screenshot below) is that they rode this steady-cam style bike thing around and gave us Street View…in a museum! For me at least, part of the excitement of a museum visit was experiencing the atmosphere of all these great works in one place. And while this can’t compare to actually being there, I can see so many opportunities for this in education and even in my own family.
The Artful Parent had a great interview with Mike Norris, a museum educator over at The Met. He advised that parents with young children visit the Museum’s website and
“gather a list of works of art to see, making sure that at least part of the list is what the parents like. In this mini pre-tour, as well as expressing their own interests, the children can learn something about their parents and, if the family then comes to the Museum, the trip can turn into a treasure hunt to find what's on their list, heightened by an exciting sense of déjà vu. "Were you holding out on us Mike?! Because the Metropolitian Museum of Art is on this site and it is SPECTATCULAR!
When I was teaching technology I always worked hard to find ways to integrate art studies. Lots of museums offered “virtual field trips” on their websites. The effort of the museums was great, but sometimes the sites were clunky, didn't feature enough of the collection, or were just s-l-o-w.
Google hit this one out of the park, it's quick, intuitive to use, and get this -- you can create and save collections of art.
Think of it – studying impressionist art? Well browse the masters in that genre across all featured museums. Studying a particular artist? Round up their works in one place and compare away! Zoom in and check out the brush strokes, I know I've never been able to see the amazing swirls in vanGogh's art like that in person!
What do you think? As if you couldn't tell by the copious amounts of exclamation points, I’m ridiculously excited myself. Thank you Google. This is AWESOME. Check out Art Project powered by Google…NOW!