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New At Google Art Project: More Art, More Tools

The initiative has added works from new partners as well as a Hangout feature that lets users share and discuss their favorite pieces.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What’s the Latest Development?

Today Google announced updates to its Art Project Initiative, including the addition of works from almost 30 arts institutions worldwide and a couple of features that make it easier for users of the Google+ network to learn about and share art with each other. One of these, Hangout, is exactly what it sounds like: Users can come together to discuss their favorite works of art, or even take an online expert-led tour similar to what they’d experience at an actual museum. In addition, a Compare feature allows examination of two works side by side, which is useful in a number of scenarios: “[Users can] look at how an artist’s style evolved over time, to connect trends across cultures, or just to delve deeply into two parts of the same work.”

What’s the Big Idea?

The Art Project was launched in 2011, and with today’s announcement, the first update since April, it has now amassed more than 35,000 images — paintings, sculpture, photography, religious artifacts, and rare manuscripts, among others — from around 180 partner institutions. Google reports that over 15 million users have used the site in the last six months.

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