I recently discovered something really awesome. While I’d heard about Google Arts and Culture before, I didn’t realize that it has become so much more expansive than I’d originally realized. My husband looked at me like I must have been living under a rock when I shared my find so this is obviously not some secret or anything but if you haven’t checked out Google Arts and Culture lately, you really need to. Haven’t heard of it at all? Google Arts and Culture is a collaboration between the Google Cultural Institute and over 1200 museums and archives designed to not only preserve but also share the arts globally, online.
As an artist, there are a lot of valuable resources available through the project and it is a lot more than another archive of famous works of art. For one, it compiles collections from numerous locations across the globe so that the user does not have to go to each specific online site to browse available items. You can even virtually tour these museums and many other sites through the platform which has a handy app available.
In addition to this, you can also search for artists, mediums, historic events and figures, and places. The results are mind-boggling. As an online art history instructor, resources like this are a diamond in the rough and I’ve found that the interface is very user friendly and intuitive with a minimal but visual engaging design.
Browsing through everything is a great way to lose a couple of hours though because running across artists like Graciela Iturbide is pretty addicting. You can even participate in ongoing experiments to create even more engaging online experiences of the arts.
What I didn’t know about the project is that it also provides fantastic collections of visual resources that extend beyond the documentation of works of “art and culture”. Within its depths, Google Arts and Culture has cultivated numerous sections with excellent references (including stuff like insects) and houses special exhibitions (such as the one for Butterflies and Moths and Migratory Birds) to help inspire you whenever you’re feeling like you’re in a creative rut.
There are lot of diverse projects to explore, too – including everything from the Virtual Herb Garden, the Day of the Dead, Natural History, The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks, and even Space Exploration.