Tour Museums from Home, Courtesy of Google

Who needs the crowds? The temptation of the gift shops with their Monet-themed umbrellas and datebooks for sale? If you want to go to a major museum, now all you have to do is visit a site created by Google, in yet another very cool move to subtly take over every aspect of our lives. This site, the Google Art Project, features images from the world’s most prestigious museums. The site is a lot of fun — kind of like Pinterest for art lovers, as you can even build collections by putting images together in whatever configuration you fancy. And while this is a compelling way to spend a rainy afternoon, the fact remains that nothing can replace the actual experience of visiting a museum and experiencing the collections in person, all those Monet umbrellas in the museum gift shop notwithstanding. The Google Art Project will serve to enhance your real-world museum experience by giving you a sense of place before you actually stand in the place, should you be so lucky. I virtually visited the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin and created a small collection (the images from each museum are by no means comprehensive; there are relatively just a few images from each museum). Just by viewing my choices you can tell what sort of mood I’m in these days. Oh, the power of art. Check it out through this link.

The Wave, Gustave Courbet, at the Alte Nationalgalerie

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