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Indianapolis Museum of Art’s collection now available on expanded Google Art Project site

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Indianapolis, IN, April 3, 2012 – Google recently announced a partnership with the Indianapolis Museum of Art to bring its pioneering Art Project to Indianapolis. The Google Art Project (www.googleartproject.com) is an online collection of high-resolution artworks from institutions around the world.

The partnership with the IMA is part of a major global expansion of the project, which now counts 151 partners in 40 countries. In the U.S. alone, 29 partners in 16 cities are participating, ranging from regional museums to university galleries. With Google Art Project, art lovers can discover not just paintings, but also sculpture, street art, and photographs. Creations from a wide variety of cultures and civilizations are represented, including Brazilian street graffiti, Islamic decorative arts and ancient African rock art.

“As a Google Art Project partner, the Indianapolis Museum of Art will showcase more than 200 pieces from its permanent collection,” said Rachel Craft, IMA director of publishing and media. “We are honored to be a part of this program, which is a perfect fit for the IMA’s institutional focus on sharing in-depth art content through technology.”

Users can explore IMA collection highlights including “Flageolet Player on the Cliff” by Paul Gauguin, “Landscape at Saint-Remy (Enclosed Field with Peasant)” by Vincent van Gogh, “The Fifth Plague of Egypt” by J. M. W. Turner, “Hotel Lobby” by Edward Hopper, “The Boy” by Amedeo Modigliani, “Imperial Russian court dress” designed by Charles Frederick Worth, and “Magbo helmet mask for Oro association” by Onabanjo of Itu Meko.

High-resolution images of the more than 200 artworks from the IMA’s collection are paired with text and video content. Users can then click through to visit the IMA’s website to find more content about the works.

A wide range of institutions, large and small, traditional art museums as well as less traditional settings for great art, are represented in the expanded Art Project. Partners include the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar and the National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi. All told, more than 30,000 high resolution objects are available, up from the original launch with 1,000 in only nine museums.

“The new expanded Art Project demonstrates our commitment to all types of art – and cultures and civilizations all across the globe,” said Amit Sood, Head of Art Project, Google. “The Art Project is no longer just about the Indian student wanting to visit Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It is now also about the American student wanting to visit the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi.”

Key features

Significant technical improvements have been undertaken. Users may browse the content by the artist’s name, the artwork, the type of art, the museum, the country, collections and the time period. Google+ and video hangouts are integrated on the site, allowing viewers to create even more engaging personal galleries. Street View images, now available for 46 museums, are now displayed in finer quality than the original version. This feature is not yet available for the IMA.

Create your own collection: The “Create an Artwork Collection” feature allows users to save specific views of any of artworks and build their own personalized collection. Comments can be added to each painting and the whole collection can then be shared with friends and family. It’s an ideal tool for students or groups to work on collaborative projects or collections.

Discover, search, and explore: With such large collection of object images, it was important for Google to allow users to explore across partner museums using the discover tool, and then further explore artworks by that artist across all collections. Custom search integration makes it easier to browse through collections, and find what you are looking instantly.

Multi platform support: With this launch Google has finally brought the Art Project to the tablet. Currently it supports the Android platform with plans to add the iPad version.

Super high-resolution feature artworks: Museums provided images for a selection totaling more than 30,000 works of art. The resolution of these images, combined with a custom built zoom viewer, allows art-lovers to discover minute aspects of paintings they may never have seen up close before, such as Vincent van Gogh’s brushstrokes in “Landscape at Saint-Remy (Enclosed Field with Peasant).”

A select number of artworks were photographed in extraordinary detail using super high resolution or ‘gigapixel’ photo capturing technology. Each such image contains around 7 billion pixels, enabling the viewer to study details of the brushwork and patina beyond that possible with the naked eye. Hard to see details suddenly become clear, such as the mysterious and intricate carved symbols of the Piedra del Sol in Mexico or the painstakingly detailed wonder of Seurat’s masterpiece, “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte.”

Find out more online at www.googleartproject.com or www.youtube.com/googleartproject.

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