Those crazy Googlites. Look what they’ve come up with: Google Art Project.
32,470 artworks from museums around the world. You can browse by collection, search for a specific artist, or just scroll through all of their artworks leisurely. And you can do this with your kid, instead of dragging them onto a 9 hour flight to Rome.
The cool thing I discovered, was that you can zoom waaaaay in on pieces to see the details up close. So all the times you were at a museum and wanted to look at a painting from 1/2 centimeter away are nearly fulfillable. The only difference now is that your kid can’t pull a thread out of a 15th century tapestry. But he can drool on your computer keyboard when he sees this:
Then he’ll scream right in your ear that he knows that painting! I love when kids are excited about recognizing artwork.
Look at this:
Yummy close up. Look at those little daubs of paint.
I will be the first to admit that I have the attention span of a child, so this appeals to me very much. I get tired and overwhelmed easily in museums and information overload is a killer. This is such a great way to learn about art at your child’s own pace, so they can really take in a piece of work without distractions. Of course, seeing a favorite piece of art in real life can be a mind blowing experience, but this is a pretty great second.)
Another great thing is that you can also see the piece exactly where it is displayed in the museum, and zoom around like you’re there.
You can create your own collections of favorite pieces and find or make up art projects to go along with them. Or you can simply talk about what you see with your child. Ask them questions about what they see. Anything- simple questions. The idea is to get a dialogue going.
Why do you think the person’s face is green?
Who is the person behind her?
Do you like the colors?
Where do you think they are?
No answers are wrong. Kids come with really great answers. They’re honest and they’re talking about art. This is wonderful.