Google Arts & Culture Booms as Art World Moves Online
Interest in the website rose sharply as museums and galleries around the world closed their doors.
Google Arts & Culture's Art Selfie feature. Courtesy Google.
Online searches for 'Google Arts & Culture' quadrupled in March, according to an analysis of Google Trends.
Google wouldn't confirm the exact number of visitors, but a spokesperson for the company said, 'Since its beginnings in 2011, Google Arts & Culture has grown to over 2,000 cultural institutions from over 80 countries today. We are happy to see that more and more people find the diverse content that we make available on our website and free app worthwhile in this challenging time.'
The Metropolitan Museum, New York, which predicts it will stay closed until July and lose as much as US $100 million, has over 200,000 items featured on the site. Other institutions who have uploaded large collections of contemporary artinclude The Art Institute of Chicago and New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Whitney Museum of America, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
Google Arts & Culture has also partnered with institutions around the world, from Korea's National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Gwacheon to the Pinacoteca de São Paulo in Brazil.
The Biennale of Sydney, which closed its physical exhibition spaces on 24 March, created a virtual Biennale on Google Arts & Culture for the first time this year, suggesting an alternative model for art events. In addition to sharing images and videos of the works, they added live content, virtual walk-throughs, podcasts, interactive Q&As, curated tours, and artist takeovers.
'Our goal has always been to use technology to help people find new ways to engage with art and culture,' said Google's spokesperson. —[O]