Back in April we announced a major expansion of the Google Art Project. Since then 15 million people have explored the paintings, sculptures, street art and photographs contributed by our partners. From today the number of treasures you can view is increasing by more than 10% as 29 new art organizations from 14 countries bring their collections online.
A wide range of global institutions, large and small, well-known and less traditional, are represented. Explore contemporary works at the Istanbul Modern Art Museum, admire works from the Art Gallery of South Australia (who have contributed almost 600 objects) and access the treasures of the famous Museum of Palazzo Vecchio in Italy and Princeton University. This round has also seen contributions from more unusual sources including a collection from the National Ballet of Canada, pre-Columbian art from Peru and decorative arts from China.
Now that the total number of objects online is more than 35,000, we've turned our attention towards thinking of different ways for you to experience the collections.
The first is a great educational tool for art students, enthusiasts or those who are simply curious. A “Compare” button has been added to the toolbar on the left of each painting. This allows you to examine two pieces of artwork side-by-side to look at how an artist’s style evolved over time, connect trends across cultures or delve deeply into two parts of the same work. Here's an example: place an early sketch of Winslow Homer's 'The Life Line' from the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum next to the completed painting from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Comparing them in this way allows you to see how the artist's vision altered (or not) over the life of the work.
Beyond following us and discussing great art on our Google+ page, we have also created a Hangout app within the Art Project so that you can share your favorite collections and perhaps give your friends a personal guided tour. If there is a budding museum guide or an art critic within any of you it can finally be unleashed! Watch this video to see how it works.
Around 180 partners have contributed their works to the Art Project so far, more than 300,000 of you have created your own online galleries and we've had more than 15 million visitors since our last launch in April. The cultural community has invested great time and effort to bring these masterpieces online. Watch this space for more to come.