(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – Berkshire Museum has made images of some of its finest paintings available online as part of the Google Art Project, a vast, online database or visual library of the world’s creative treasures. The 51-image portfolio from the Berkshire Museum’s collection includes paintings, sculptures, and historic objects. The selection includes paintings from the museum’s Hudson River School collection and works by sculptor Alexander Calder.
Visitors to the Google Art Project can browse works by artist’s name, artwork title, type of art, museum, country, collections, and time period. Google+ and video hangouts are integrated on the site, allowing visitors to invite friends to view and discuss their favorite works in a video chat or follow a guided tour from an expert to gain an appreciation of a particular topic or art collection.
The ‘My Gallery’ feature allows users to save specific views of artworks and build their own personalized gallery. Comments can be added to each painting and the whole gallery can then be shared with friends and family, making it an ideal tool for students or groups wishing to work on collaborative projects or collections. A feature called ‘Compare’ allows viewers 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.
To date, more than 40,000 high resolution objects are available in the Google Art Project. Street View images now cover 200+ institutions in 40 countries, with more being added all the time.
The Art Project is part of the Google Cultural Institute, which is dedicated to creating technology that helps the cultural community bring their art, archives, heritage sites and other materials online. The aim is to increase the range and volume of material from the cultural world that is available for people to explore online and in doing so, democratize access to it and preserve it for future generations.
This year marks 110 years since Berkshires Museum was founded in April 1903 by Zenas Crane, third-generation owner of Crane & Company, and a portrait of the Museum’s founder by Ivan G. Olinsky is included with the Google Art Project. In celebration of the Museum’s 110th anniversary, a new, ongoing exhibition displaying objects from the Museum’s permanent collection is running in conjunction with the launch of the Google Art Project. Objectify: A Look into the Permanent Collection includes rarely-seen objects such as Matthew Henson’s fur suit which was worn to the North Pole, the oil painting The Trio by Robert Reid, and the Pittsfield town clock face.
Located in downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts, at 39 South St., Berkshire Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit Berkshire Museum or call 413.443.7171.