With several aspects of one's life going virtual, it is only fair to treat one's love of art the same way. Enter Google Art Project. This Google initiative now sees the search giant come together with two Indian institutions under the Ministry of Culture, namely the National Museum and National Gallery of Modern Art, in a collective bid to bring Google Art Project to India. For those not in the know, with their Art Project, Google aims to provide a unique online platform for museums around the world to present their artworks. As for art lovers, Google Art Project will help them nourish their love, by bringing within their reach (online), several artworks of Indian and global artists housed in the museums. The initiative was inaugurated yesterday by the Minister of Culture and Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Smt. Kumari Selja and Dr. Vijay Madan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture.
Admirers of the artwork depicting Hindu god, Lord Krishna with Radha, called “Radha and Krishna in the boat of love” from the National Museum and “Santiniketan Triptych” currently housed at the National Gallery of Modern Art can now view it in ‘gigapixel’ super high resolutions. The high-resolution art work will allow art lovers to view the finer details of the images that would not have been visible to the naked eye, otherwise. According to the official statement, each of these images contain roughly 7 billion pixels, thereby letting users to view fine details that lie beyond the brushwork and patina. Further enabling one of Google's other marvel technologies, Google Street View, users will be able to take a tour of galleries by themselves and even save some of their specific views of artwork, thereby building and enhancing their personalized online collection, using the My Gallery feature in the Google Art Project.
For those wondering what went into the making of this art central, Google employed a “specially designed Street View ‘trolley’” that took complete, 360 degree images, capturing the interiors of the selected galleries. The images, thus captured were then stitched together, allowing users to navigate through over 385 rooms within the museums. Users can also access these images directly from within Street View in Google Maps. Watch the teaser video to the Art Project below.
Quoting the Minister of Culture and Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Kumari Selja, in an official statement stated that, “In recent times, unfortunately, art has become somewhat inaccessible for a variety of reasons. A substantial body of artwork is locked up in private collections that are not easily accessible. Only a portion of art, that is available in public museums, can be put on display, and a vast majority is kept away from public view, in reserve collections. Even what is on display is subject to several limitations such as visiting hours of the Museums that are always limited, and lastly traveling to these Museums can be expensive and time-consuming.
Fortunately, technology has come to our aid and it has now become possible to access art, and information related to it, with relative ease and little expenditure And I am happy that Google Art Project has created this extensive platform that allows web-surfers to not only see high quality digitized images of art on their computer screens but also to access enormous amount of information about the art works. From a child accessing the Web from an Internet cafe in Mumbai, to a student in New York looking for inspiration for a thesis, this project will connect a cross section of art enthusiasts providing them with information and a unique viewing experience. I am happy that my ministry is partnering with Google to get Indian art and culture online.”
Google Art Project now has some 151 partners across 40 countries, globally. The entire project houses more than 30,000 high resolution objects and Street View images cover 46 Museums, and there are more to come.
There is even a YouTube page to give users a better idea of what their Art Project is all about.