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Google Cultural Institute

by Susan Bazargan 12/2/2013 12:59:00 PM

Scene from a museum: you notice a painting that speaks to you; you really want to examine it closely. Alas, you can’t. (The frowning guard, the milling crowd, the fear of some alarm going off.) And imagine seeing two of your favorite paintings placed side by side so that you can compare say, Gauguin’s brushstrokes with O’Keefe’s.

Enter Google Cultural Institute, a website which allows you not only to navigate among hundreds of exhibits and collections from museums around the world but also gives you the option to zoom in on individual artifacts, select and juxtapose works of art, and create your own virtual gallery. Armchair travelers can visit such geographical landmarks as the Great Barrier Reef or the Palace of Versailles.  Your digital gallery can include selections from archive exhibitions found in libraries: check out the stunning photographs collected in Dubliners: The Photographs of J.J. Clarke (1897-1904) from the National Library of Ireland. These vivid images capture the Dublin in which James Joyce lived and wrote about in Dubliners and Ulysses
View of the River Liffey, 14-18 Ormond Quay, 1897-1904

Another intriguing exhibit highlights Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. The five versions of the famous speech trace its gestation and evolution.

[Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, Gettysburg] 1863


Google Cultural Institute gives new meaning to the “ownership” of the world’s cultural treasures: they are only a click away.

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