For art lovers nothing quite tops the experience of standing before a favorite painting, sculpture or tapestry, far from the madding crowds, soaking in the aura of history. But few of us have the luxury of being able to visit the “Hermitage” in the morning and the Musée d’Orsay in the afternoon, not to mention the connections that would enable a personalize tour with the curator.
Over the past year Google has put its technological powerhouse behind a project that brings over 30,000 pieces of art from 151 museums in 40 countries into the home of anyone with a computer and an internet connection.
Pieces can be filtered by collection, artist or artworks themselves, and each item allows a detailed view and often further multimedia exploration into the context of the work. The company also has incorporated its technological tour de force to give viewers the ability to glide through a museum’s galleries via an application called “museum view”.
I used the new Acropolis Museum in Athens as a preliminary exploration. My last visit to Greece was in July 2008 and I missed the scheduled opening by several weeks due to construction delays. (The building was complete and I stood looking at the still crated collection through the towering windows like a kid outside a candy shop.)
Click on the images above to go directly to the site and begin exploring. Be prepared to stay awhile so get your coffee now. Not enough time you say? Then check out the teaser below to whet your appetite.