Google Arts & Tradition worked with the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture in San Juan to digitize works of art, such as El Gobernador Don Miguel Antonio de Ustáriz (1792) by José Campeche y Jordán. Courtesy of Google Arts & Tradition
If cultural venues were caught off guard by the recent shutdown of the world, a discreet arm of a tech giant has been quietly laying the groundwork to keep museums and visitors in touch. Here, Google Arts & Tradition, an online application established in 2011, has been found on it. to. giant position, taking advantage of l. to. technological fluency and international reach of it. to. company to make some of the world’s treasures accessible to all. These offerings are also not limited to museum collections; Users can explore textured reconstructions of Mayan architectural ornaments or even wander Versailles in digital reality. The breadth and depth of the content is significant (and addictive, as many will testify), especially for millions still enduring the slow and anxious days of quarantine.
“We are a part of the response the world has given to this horrible situation,” says Laurent Gaveau, who runs the Paris-based Arts & Tradition laboratory. Once comprised of a handful of the usual fine arts suspects in Western Europe and the US, Art & Culture now encompasses more than 2,000 institutions in 80 countries, including partners in herbal history, science, and street art. Engineers work with local curators, archivists, and museum employees to present artwork alongside interactive narratives. “Our project is meant to be at your service and help you fill a gap in terms of resources, access and skills,” he adds.
His powerful Artwork Digital camera allowed for high resolution capture of him. to. painting, which is presented as part of a digital exhibition that clarifies stories, techniques and details embedded in it. to. construction site. Courtesy of Google Arts & Tradition
Despite its gigantic collection and Herculean efforts, Arts & Tradition modestly moves a fine line between curator, presenter, and producer, careful not to overshadow the museums themselves. “We are a technology company, we have no artistic experience,” emphasizes Gaveau. “We are here to provide the tools so that they can make all the curatorial decisions.”
Larger institutions with collections already digitized sometimes provide images; if not, “we bring l. to. Artwork Digital camera”, cube Gaveau. Still, he continues, “we noticed that in some territories we needed to be more proactive,” prompting more self-initiative engagements with institutions in Africa and Southeast Asia. “It’s a gap,” he admits.
But on the whole, Gaveau and the team are proud of the project’s success and new relevance, noting a recent increase in users and accelerated work on new releases. “I think l. to. how we maintain this relationship online is key for when they reopen. That makes me optimistic. ”
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