• BOSTON, Massachusetts
  • /
  • April 04, 2012

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Head of Aphrodite (Bartlett Head), Greek, 330–300 BC.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), today announces that it has joined in partnership with the Google Art Project to share images of 233 great works from its encyclopedic collection with audiences from around the world. The MFA’s participation is included in a major expansion of the project, which now counts 151 partners in 40 countries, among them 29 museums in 16 US cities. Through this project, art lovers are able to discover a wide range of works to explore online, from paintings and sculpture to street art and photographs spanning many cultures and time periods. More than 30,000 high-resolution objects are available, up from the original 1,000 in only nine museums.

“We’re delighted to be included in the Google Art Project, through which visitors from across the globe can experience works from the MFA’s collection in Boston with just the click of a mouse or touch of a screen,” said Malcolm Rogers, Ann and Graham Gund Director of the MFA. “Making art accessible is key to our mission. It’s exciting to think that our works will take Google Art Project enthusiasts on a journey that includes treasures such as Head of Aphrodite from ancient Greece, Paul Revere’s Sons of Liberty Bowl from colonial America, and Claude Monet’s Rouen Cathedral Façade Tour d’Albane (Morning Effect) from 19th-century Europe.”

Select images from the MFA’s collection of more than 450,000 works are now available online through the Google Art Project at They span four millennia and reflect the Museum’s wideranging holdings in the Art of the Ancient World; Art of Asia, Africa, and Oceania; Art of the Americas; Art of Europe; Prints, Drawings, and Photographs; Textile and Fashion Arts; and Musical Instruments. Highlights from these holdings that can be
viewed through Google Art Project include:

- Relief of Nofer (2540–2465 BC) from a tomb in Giza, Egypt
- Under the Wave off Kanagawa (about 1830–31) by Katsushika Hokusai
- The Blue Boat (1892) by Winslow Homer
- Children on the Seashore, Guernsey (about 1883) Pierre-Auguste Renoir
- Head of Aphrodite (Bartlett Head), Greek, 330–300 BC
- The Fall of Man (Adam and Eve) (1504) by Albrecht Dürer
- Pictorial quilt (1874–75) by Harriet Powers
- Grand piano (1796) by John Broadwood & Son

Significant technical improvements have been made during this second phase of the project. 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. 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 entire collection can then be shared with friends and family—an ideal tool enabling students or groups to work on collaborative projects or collections.

Additionally, a custom search integration makes it easier to browse through collections to locate particular images. The Google Art Project provides users with the means to explore works across partner institutions using the discover tool, and then further explore artworks by that artist across all collections.

With this launch, Google has brought the Art Project to the tablet, through which rich content comes to life. Google Art currently supports the Android platform and is planning an iPad version in the near future. The Art Project reflects Google’s commitment to bringing culture online and making it accessible the widest possible audience. To learn more about it, visit YouTube.

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