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Google Launches New Arts & Culture App With Virtual Reality And More For Endless Artistic Exploration

It’s as if the Library of Alexandria never burned down in 48 BCE but instead it was just shrunk to fit into your phone, Google Launches New Arts & Culture App

Google announced on July 19, the launch of its new Arts & Culture app which allows users to explore art, history and wonders of the world from more than a thousand museums across 70 countries. Users can even view specific topics, like 50 shades of gray in Impressionist painter Claude Monet’s work or pictures of cats in artwork since 200 BCE. And much in the way that Wikipedia has a different featured article for every day, so too does the Arts & Culture app; on Thursday, July 21 it included Van Gogh’s “Landscape at Saint-Remy,” Albert Lutuli and the Austrian National Library.

Most interestingly the app works with virtual reality devices like Google Cardboard, and according to the press release, users can, ”take a virtual tour of the street art scene in Rome; step inside a creation by famous street artist, Insa; or even travel 2,500 years back in time and look around the ancient Greek temple of Zeus.”

There is also a potentially helpful feature called “The Art Recognizer” in which users can point his or her phone at a painting within London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery, Sydney’s Art Gallery of New South Wales and the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. and pull up information about the artwork on the app. The press release noted that the app will soon include other museums around the world (one could find this very helpful for identifying street art).

However, there are still limitations to the app. I personally found limitation when it came to searching for common topics like Picasso’s Blue Period or Adele Bloch-Bauer in the search bar since neither of those things has a dedicated page or even gallery. And even prolific artists like French artist Vigée Le Brun (who created more than 800 artworks) only has 9 items to view on the app. Exploring individual museums like the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C. for instance, with the app can be fun, although one can not get close to enough to either read the information about the painting or even tap on a painting to pull up information. But there is still the helpful aspect of checking out a museum’s page to find out opening times, what exhibits are there and more.

The app is available on Android and iOS.

 

Source: Forbes

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