Last week I was in Washington, D.C. for work. During my time there, I got to walk around the National Mall (now closed), The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum (also closed), and The National Gallery of Art (you may notice a pattern developing here because this place is closed too).
When I got back home I was thinking about how, if the government shutdown were to occur, people wouldn’t be able to go to any of the places that I had visited for an indeterminate amount of time. These institutions are run by the government and have free admission. Lucky for me that I got to experience all of this before the shutdown began yesterday. Then I remembered something I had seen a while back: The Google Art Project.
The Google Art Project is a high resolution image catalog that combines over 300 art collections from all over the world, including featured exhibitions. Its searchable database makes it easy to find anything you might be looking for. Or, you can take a virtual walking tour through the collections, in the same manner as Google Street View, just like you were skipping through the museum or gallery in real life – except that you are in your house, in front of your computer, not wearing any pants.
While there’s nothing quite like walking through a museum, this is pretty much the next best thing. And you don’t have to wait for people to move out of the way before you get up real close to that da Vinci painting you’ve been to trying to look at.
Go to the Google Art Project homepage and have a look at all the wonderment contained therein. Trust me on this one.