Finally! I finally have a reason to use Google Cultural Institute! This was something I learned about at CUE last year, and I've just been waiting for a teacher to approach me with a project it fit into. When I came back from CUE I whipped up this quick overview of what Google Cultural Institute is:
Now FINALLY a teacher has come to me with a project where we can use it. Our Art teacher has an Art 2 class where she wants them to create a composition of a larger painting. Basically, she would like her students to find a piece of classical work where they can take a small portion of it and blow it up to make it a larger piece. But how to they find that piece of classical art that intrigues them? She could just have them look at certain paintings she selects and pick one, but she wants them to explore. She wants them to find something on their own. She wants to encourage them to be independent and self-directed learners.
So I directed her to the Art Project on Google Cultural Institute. In a nutshell, the Art Project has gone to multiple museums and collected images of a variety of paintings, sculptures, installations, etc. and grouped them together by museum. They also used their streetview technology to give anyone a virtual tour of a museum.
You can check out the many museums they have on the Art ProjectHERE. What her students will do is go to the Art Project link I have above and then click the button that says "Museum View Only." This will then bring back only the museums that have virtual streetview tours. What is nice about using this as well is that there is a small preview next to each museum giving you an idea of what is located in that museum.
For this project, they need a painting, so they can look through the list and find a museum where they can see good classical paintings they need for this project. Because the list is so long, the art teacher is going to look through the site and recommend 10 or so museums she feels they could best use. When the student is searching, they will see these kinds of results:
The museum name is on the left, the items they have detailed pictures of are in the center, and the number on the right is the number of items they have a detailed picture of. For this project, students are going to want to get up close, so they will need to pay attention to the number of items on the right hand site. They don't want to go to a museum with just 13 datiled pictures. They want to aim for ones that have more, like the 1,249 listed above at the Amon Cater Museum of American Art.
Lets go there!
When we select that museum, it has a description of the museum on the left. If you scroll down it also has a Google map of where it's located. Then it has any special exhibits they museum has had. The "Mueum View" is next where we can take a virtual tour, and then all the items they have detailed pictures of are listed next.
Lets take the virtual tour!
Anyone who has ever used streetview will be able to work the Museum View. On the left, we have a map of the museum including a drop down box of all the different levels of the museum. Typically, they have covered most if not all of the museum. In the middle is, of course, the museum. Where the black dot are located are pieces where they have a detailed picture. You can click on those black dots and it leads you to the picture. Down on the bottom are all the detailed pictures they have in that museum. Therefore, you can either stroll virtually through the museum or jump from room to room by click on the images at the bottom.
What happens if we click on one of those black boxes and look at the piece in detail?
When you look at a piece in detail, you can click the "details" button on the left hand side to get a description of the piece. Also, on the painting itself, it has the ability to zoom into the piece, which is PERFECT for the project this art teacher is doing!
I'm THRILLED and excited to do this project with her class when we return from break. I hope through the use of this technology, students will begin to wonder and explore all the great art there is out there in the world.
Jennifer Zimny has been a teacher librarian at Ponderosa High School for the past three years and previous to that, she was the drama teacher for 9 years. She holds a BA in Theatre from CSUS, a teaching credential in English, and a teaching credential in Library Media Services from Azusa Pacific University
Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest