One of my favorite past times is to visit museums, especially art museums. I am grateful to live in the Washington D.C. area where there are so many museums and galleries and most of them are free and open year-round.
If I had to choose, I would pick the National Gallery of Art (especially the West Building) as my favorite. It’s huge and houses so many incredible and famous works of art by artists from all over the world. And there are new exhibits regularly so you can revisit and see new things each time.
One of my best visits to the National Gallery was to see Michelangelo’s David-Apollo when it was in D.C. for the Gallery’s Year of Italian Culture in 2012.
Anyway, the reason for this post is that I’ve recently discovered my new favorite thing: the Google Art Project. It’s a website that features high-resolution images of over 40,000 works of art. Google launched this project in 2011 and partners with 250 museums, galleries, and cultural institutions from over 40 countries.
You can take a virtual gallery tour, watch educational videos to learn more about a specific period or type of artwork, or create a personalized exhibition with your favorite works. There are even interactive features, like quizzes that involve matching paintings to a particular style. The best part is that anyone with an Internet connection can access all of this.
As you can see, I really like this site. And if you have some time this weekend, I recommend checking it out. Below are some of the highlights of one of my personalized exhibits.
Flowering Plum Trees | Claude Monet | 1879 | Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
The Schwarzenberg Carpet | Unknown | Iran, 16th Century | The Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar
Garden at Arles | Vincent van Gogh | 1888 | Gemeentemuseum
Inside the Armenian Church of St. George in Mardin | Wolter Braamhorst
Mardin, Turkey | Europa Nostra
Poppy Field | Claude Monet | 1873 | Musée d’Orsay, Paris
Running Boy in Front of Mosque | Anna Katharina Scheidegger
Casablanca, Marocco | Institut du Monde Arabe
Stucco Tile | Unknown | 550 AH | Al Sabah Collection, Kuwait