Google Art Project
The Google Art Project has been refigured and includes images of more than 32,000 works in 31 mediums and materials, from the collections of 151 museums and arts organizations around the world. A recent article in The New York Times, “An Online Art Collection Grows Out of Infancy,” gives a comprehensive overview of the website and its capabilities, quirks, and limitations.
However, keeping in mind that some major museums are not yet participating and that some major artists’ work is not featured and that those who are included are alphabetized by first name, Google Art Project offers some solid entertainment and educational value for the classroom.
The education section introduces three tabs for teachers and students:
- Looks Like An Expert is a primer for looking at art as a historical document. Nine tutorials examine subject matter and technique and then challenge viewers to match works to those aspects.
- DIY (Do It Yourself) lets users try on the role of museum curator by creating an art exhibition. DIY suggests two approaches and provides examples, but there must be as many ways to collect and display art as there are to make it.
- What’s Next? provides links to 11 other art websites. One, the Smarthistory.khanacademy.org art history textbook, has short video discussions of art. An example is the discussion of Impressionism and Mary Cassatt.
The FAQs page should answer most questions raised by The New York Times article and your first visits to the site. And most importantly, it provides instructions for creating a user gallery. Here’s an opportunity for students to build a collection and justify their choices.