Starting today, you can find the Brooklyn Museum in Google Art Project. I’m here in Paris at the launch for the second phase where more than a hundred museums contributed images of works in their collections for the ever-growing database.
Google launched the second round of the Project this morning at the Musée d’Orsay giving the press and museum reps a tour of what’s new. Last year, Art Project was launched with 17 museums in 9 countries, 400 artists and 1000 works of art. In round two, the project has grown to include 151 museums in 40 countries with 6000 artists and 32,000 works. Interestingly, only 20 of the museums are in the United States, so what’s in the Art Project now is much more representative of the international museum scene. There are a couple of really interesting features—you can search across institutions, you can filter by medium and you can create your own collection.
Our contribution consists of images from almost 1000 collection objects; for launch we selected objects that were currently on view at the Museum, were clear of copyright issues and had publication quality images. To get them to Google, our API was used to fetch the data (thanks, Piotr) and was paired with images that Deb Wythe grabbed from our Digital Asset Management System. Having both systems in place allowed us to join the Art Project less than a month ago and get a sizable amount of data there very quickly.
It was sort of interesting to watch the slides during Google’s presentation this morning. As I sat there, up popped our Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington and I snagged a photo thinking, “that’s ours!”
I started wondering if it really was the Brooklyn Museum version of that painting…Gilbert Stuart was known for painting George Washington quite a bit and our own text on the web and in-gallery says as much. Sure enough, a quick search in Google Art Project revealed three similar versions—one from the National Portrait Gallery, one from The White House and our own. Now you can see them all together—at least together online—and that’s one of the great things about Art Project’s expansion.
Go explore and see what you find.
Shelley Bernstein is the Vice Director of Digital Engagement & Technology at the Brooklyn Museum where she works to further the Museum's community-oriented mission through digital projects. Through her work at the Museum, she explores the intersection of public participation and digital and has organized three projects— Click! A Crowd-Curated Exhibition, Split Second: Indian Paintings, GO: a community-curated open studio project—which enabled the public to participate in the exhibition process. She's currently working on a museum-wide digital initiative funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies as part of their Bloomberg Connects program. In 2010, Shelley was named one of the 40 Under 40 in Crain's New York Business and her work on the Museum's digital strategy and approaches to social media have been featured in the New York Times. She can be found biking to work or driving her '74 VW Super Beetle in Red Hook, Brooklyn with her dog Teddy. ::contact::