You can get an even closer look at the Phillips Collection now. Nearly 450 of the museum’s works have been added to Google Art project, a digitized museum of masterworks from around the world.
Google Art Project indexes high-resolution images of paintings, drawings, and other works, allowing users to zoom up close to see brushstrokes and nuance. The highest-profile work in the museum, Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s “Luncheon of the Boating Party,” is a good place to start in a tour of the Phillips’ offerings — but it’s also a way to discover some underrated works. Scrolling through the collection, I found a 1929 painting by John Kane, “Across the Strip,” that lovingly documents a neighborhood in my hometown, Pittsburgh.
The Phillips is one of 29 art organizations in 14 countries to be recently added to Art Project. It joins other local collections that have already contributed to the project — The Freer Gallery was among the first to participate, and the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, White House, and Baltimore’s Walters Art Museum followed.
The newest additions to Art Project aren’t just artworks — the project also added some new features. A “Compare” feature will allow you to look at two artworks side-by-side, and a Google Hangout app enables users to lead friends on virtual guided tours.