October 1, 2013
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Joins the Google Art ProjectThe Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has joined the Google Art Project to share high-resolution images of its world-class collection of fine, decorative and folk art to audiences around the world.
Among the 160 objects featured from the Colonial Williamsburg collections are paintings by Charles Willson Peale and Gilbert Stuart, furniture by Anthony Hay and Thomas Tompion, silver by Paul de Lamerie and John Coney, Chinese export porcelain, and important ceramics, prints, maps, textiles and numismatics. High-resolution images of these works, combined with a custom-built zoom viewer, allow users to virtually explore and examine these artistically and historically important objects in great detail.
“We are excited about being able to share our unique collections with a wider audience through this partnership,” said Ronald L. Hurst, Colonial Williamsburg’s vice president for collections, conservation and museums and Carlisle H. Humelsine Chief Curator. “The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is committed to bringing the works in our collections directly to desktops, tablets or mobile devices anywhere in the world in this very dynamic and personal manner.”
With the click of a computer mouse, visitors to the Google Art Project website can browse works in museum collections across the world or across collections by artist’s name, title, object type, museum, collections, country and time period. The My Gallery feature allows users to save specific views of artworks and build their own personalized gallery to share with friends or for teachers and students to work on collaborative projects or collections. In addition, a feature called Compare allows users to examine two pieces of artwork side by ¬side to see how an artist’s style evolved over time, connect trends across cultures or delve deeply into two parts of the same work.
The Google Art Project was launched in 2011 and included works from a limited number of museums. The project now includes more than 200 partners in more than 40 countries throughout Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa, featuring more than 48,000 works from museums and collections worldwide.
The Art Project is part of the Google Cultural Institute, which is dedicated to bringing cultural material online and making it accessible to the broadest audience possible. The goal is to increase the range and volume of material from the cultural world available for people to explore online and in doing so democratize access to it and preserve it for future generations.
The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg include the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, with more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum exhibits the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670–1830.