Google's Global Art Project Expands With 2,000 More Artworks

Now users can view more than 30,000 beautiful and creative works of art in 200 museums across 40 countries, all from a Web browser.

Google is now displaying another 2,000 works of art in its growing and evolving Google Art Project, a Website that displays amazing and hard-to-find sculptures, paintings, drawings and even folk and street art from around the world.

The additional artworks come to the collection courtesy of another 30 art museums that are joining the online project, Shahina Rahman, a Google Art Project staffer, wrote in a March 21 post on Google Official Blog.

"There are few places (if any) in the world where you could find urban art, zoomorphic whistles and Hungarian poetry in a single place—except, of course, on the Internet," wrote Rahman. "Today 30 new partners are joining the Google Art Project, contributing nearly 2,000 diverse works, including contemporary art from Latin America, ancient art from China, rare Japanese paintings and Palaeolithic flint heads from Spain."

The Google Art Project began in February 2011 by a group of Google employees who came up with the idea of creating an online collection of art from around the world. The project was designed during their "20 percent time," which is set aside for employees to work on personal projects that advance the company's work and missions using as much as 20 percent of their work week. The employers built the project using Google's Street View, Picasa and App Engine technology to take pictures of art works and assemble them on this special Website.

"One highlight of the new collection is a project to capture the growing trend of urban art and graffiti in Brazil," Rahman wrote. "More than 100 works from walls, doors and galleries in Sao Paulo have been photographed and will be included in the Art Project. The pieces were chosen by a group of journalists, artists and graffiti experts and include artists such as Speto, Kobra and Space Invader, as well as images of Sao Paulo's most famous building-size murals."

Other highlights of the new additions to the collection are spectacular new photographs from the Fundacion MAPFRE museum in Spain, which includes more than 300 photos from a group of renowned photographers. Included are images from Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide, whose black-and-white images of indigenous Mexican culture were inspired by themes of ritual, death and feminism, Rahman wrote.

The Google Art Project is also now including written works from places such as the Petofi Literary Museum in Hungary, which has contributed the Nemzeti Dal or "National Song," a Hungarian poem which is believed to have been the inspiration for the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, he wrote. "The original document has rarely been seen in public to prevent humidity and light fading the script further. Online now for the first time, it can be explored by anyone in the world."

With the new additions, the Google Art Project now includes more than 40,000 works of art in some 200 museums in 40 countries, according to Google. The project uses Google's Street View to collect and feature the images.

Online visitors to the museum can select a museum from the home page and then explore the museum or view the artworks inside. The collections are impressive and can be found across a long list of great museums. The project brings works of art to people who might not otherwise get to visit major art galleries all over the world.

Visitors to the site can register for free and then store their own personal "collections" of art, which they can then share with friends or other visitors. Visitors can search the vast art collection by artist names, type of art, museums, countries and more using the tools on the home page.

The Google Art Project, a collaboration between Google and the participating museums, began with 17 museum partners in nine countries when it launched.