LAUNCHING VIRTUAL GALLERIES WITH MORE THAN 500 COLLECTION HIGHLIGHTS
INNOVATIVE PROJECT ENABLES ONLINE AUDIENCES TO EXPLORE GREAT MUSEUMS AROUND THE WORLD
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, has joined the Google Art Project (www.googleartproject.com), making its galleries and hundreds of highlights from its permanent collection accessible online to audiences around the world. The partnership is part of a major global expansion of the project which now counts 151 partners in 40 countries, an increase from 17 museums in nine countries when the project first launched in February 2011. More than 30,000 high resolution objects held in museums around the world are now available for viewing, up from the original 1,000 when the project was first launched.
The Google Art Project features 520 of the most important objects in the Israel Museum’s expansive collections, with high resolution images that allow viewers to examine works in exceptional detail, together with background information on objects and artists. Visitors may also explore the Museum’s campus and permanent galleries virtually, using Google’s Street View technology.
Among the collection highlights on view through the Google Art Project are:
Neolithic Mask: Among the oldest known masks in existence, this carved human face belongs to a very rare group of stone masks dating back 9,000 years, found in the Judean Desert and its environs.
Bronze Medallion of Titus: This rare, ancient coin, from 80 CE, depicts the Colosseum in Rome, which was funded with booty seized from Judea after the suppression of the First Jewish Revolt.
Interior of 18th-century Vittorio Veneto Synagogue, Italy: This fully restored interior of an 18th-century synagogue from the small town of Vittorio Veneto near Venice, Italy, is elegantly designed in typical Italian Baroque style.
Jewelry of Jewish Brides in Djerba: These exquisitely decorated jewels, adorned with motifs of barley seeds, fish, birds, and hamsas believed to ensure fertility and ward off the evil eye, were worn by Jewish brides on the North African island of Djerba.
Claude Monet’s Water Lilies, 1907: One of Monet’s tranquil and contemplative waterscapes, this work omits the surrounding landscape completely, with water extending to all four edges of the canvas.
Key features of the expanded Google Art Project include:
Street View images are now displayed in finer quality than the original version of the Google Art Project, enabling smooth navigation of over 385 rooms within selected museums. Gallery interiors can also be explored directly from withinStreet View in Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/museums).
Users may browse content by artists’ names, artworks, types of art, museums, countries, collections, and time periods.
44 museums selected one artwork to be photographed in exceptional detail using super high resolution, or ‘gigapixel,’ photo capturing technology. Each such image contains approximately 7 billion pixels, enabling viewers to study details of brushwork and patina beyond that possible with the naked eye.
The ‘Create an Artwork Collection’ feature allows users to save specific views of any artworks and build their own personalized collections. Comments can be added to each painting, and whole collections can then be shared.
The partnership between the Israel Museum and Google follows their recent collaboration to make the Dead Sea Scrolls accessible online. Launched in the fall of 2011, the Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Project (dss.collections.imj.org.il) allows scholars and public alike to explore these ancient biblical texts at a level of detail never before possible.
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem (www.imj.org.il)
The Israel Museum is the largest cultural institution in the State of Israel and is ranked among the leading art and archaeology museums in the world. Founded in 1965, the Museum houses encyclopedic collections ranging from prehistory through contemporary art and includes the most extensive holdings of Biblical and Holy Land archaeology in the world, among them the Dead Sea Scrolls. In just 45 years, the Museum has built a far-ranging collection of nearly 500,000 objects through an unparalleled legacy of gifts and support from its circle of patrons worldwide. In 2010, the Museum completed a comprehensive renewal of its campus led by James Carpenter Design Associates, New York, and Efrat-Kowalsky Architects, Tel Aviv, including the creation of new galleries, orientation facilities, and public spaces, and the complete reinstallation of its encyclopedic collections. The Museum also organizes and presents programming at its off-site locations in Jerusalem at the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum, where it presents archaeological artifacts from the Land of Israel, and at its historic Ticho House in downtown Jerusalem, a venue for exhibitions of contemporary Israeli art.