Arts Post
Posted at 12:49 PM ET, 04/03/2012

Google Art Project expands right into the White House

The Google Art Project announced an expansion Tuesday that provides a virtual tour of the public rooms of the White House.

The project, an adaptation of Google’s Street View technology, gives users a chance to examine museum objects in the tiniest detail. And the White House, shall we remind taxpayers, is museum, office building and residence.
Now, virtual tours of the White House are handy with the Google Art Project. Here the White House is awash with color for British Prime Minister David Cameron. (Susan Walsh - AP)

Starting Tuesday, a visitor can travel through the foyer of the White House, learn every detail about portraits, floor plans and chandeliers, and then zoom through a formal room to get a view of the Rose Garden.

Above is a video showing how the Google team created the White House tour.

The administration has endorsed this virtual tour, which represents the White House with 139 paintings, sculpture and pieces of furniture. The administration said that since the inauguration of President Obama some 2.5 million people have visited the Executive Mansion for a number of meetings and events.

In a statement, first lady Michelle Obama emphasized that the White House belongs to the people. “Thousands of people have walked these halls and gazed at the artwork. They’ve examined the portraits of Washington, Lincoln, and Kennedy. They’ve imagined the history that’s unfolded here. And now you can do all of that without leaving your home,” Obama said. “Because after all, this is your house, too.”

Also included in the project are the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Gallery of Art, the National Portrait Gallery, the Freer Gallery of Art and the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.

Museums from around the world, including Versailles, are also part of the art tour.

By  |  12:49 PM ET, 04/03/2012

Tags:  Google Art Project, White House, Michelle Obama, Smithsonian American Art Museum

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