Fun Links: Google Art Project

Can you get this close to Starry Night in person? Would you get arrested if you tried?

I hope you’re all having a fantastic winter break! While you relax at home or abroad, here’s a great link you might explore: it’s the Google Art Project.  The project’s purpose, as noted on its website, is to allow users to “explore museums from around the world, discover and view hundreds of artworks at incredible zoom levels, and even create and share your own collection of masterpieces.”

I think this is a great way of using technology in a rich and meaningful way: this site and others like it allow you to engage with and explore rare and valuable objects from thousands of miles away. While there’s no substitute for actually visiting the Tate in London or the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, digitizing these works of art allows you a space to “play” with the art in a way that you couldn’t in person. For example, you probably couldn’t–and shouldn’t–go to the MOMA in New York and get so close to a canvas that your nose nearly brushes the paint. Sites like this let you have that kind of up-close access to the work, potentially deepening and enhancing your understanding and experience of the work of art.

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