I haven’t seen the movie The Bucket List, but I get the concept. We all have a limited time here on earth and, if we had to pick, what do we want to see or do before we die? For me, one answer is art. I keep a running list in my head of all the museums I haven’t made it to yet and, at almost 50, I do worry I’ve not enough time to see all the world’s great artistic creations.
Google, it turns out, feels my pain and wants to help. To that end, they have created an extraordinary site that offers anyone with a computer the ability to explore many of the world’s most famous museums. The site is called, simply enough, Art Project, and can be found at http://www.googleartproject.com/. Log on and you can–virtually–walk through Versailles, the Hermitage and London’s National Gallery (among others) without ever setting foot on a plane.
I love this site. If I had to choose one favorite artist–and I don’t plan to–if forced, I’d choose Vermeer. On Art Project, I can look at his “The Love Letter” which is hung in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, use my mouse and come in close enough to see the calculation in the eyes of the mistress of the house.
I may not be able, this year, to travel the world to look at this painting or many other works of great art but, thanks to Google’s Art Project, I can come far closer than I could a year ago. So, if you’ve wondered what the Hall of Mirror at Versaille looks like or whether Botticelli’s Venus in “The Birth of Venus” is truly a hottie, check out Google’s Art Project site. It’s pretty damn cool.