In 2011, a small team of Google engineers launched the Art Project - a pilot project that had one goal: exploring how to provide anyone, anywhere, with new ways to experience culture. This project was built in collaboration with 17 museums around the world, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art was one of the first on board.
Fast forward seven years: the Art Project has grown into Google Arts & Culture, an app and website that partners with 1,500+ museums and cultural institutions from over 70 countries to give people access to diverse cultural heritage from around the world. .
And we have been privileged to regularly collaborate on exciting initiatives with The Met, such as ‘we wear culture’ a project that invites audiences around the globe to step inside the world's largest costume collection - The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute - and discover its Conservation Laboratory in 360 degrees to see what it takes to preserve these objects for future generations.
Meanwhile, The Met has remained at the forefront of innovation, continuously exploring the possibilities offered by the newest technologies and at times helping our team to understand how to develop new solutions for museums.
Today, we are excited to announce our latest collaboration with The Met, as we incorporate The Met’s Open Access program onto the Google Arts & Culture platform, allowing people to discover over 200,000 Creative Commons Zero artworks, including “William” the hippo and “Olive Trees” by Van Gogh. Now, people will be able to use Google Arts & Culture features, like browsing for art by time or color, to explore The Met’s collection.
On its own, the addition of The Met’s renowned collection is worth celebrating, but we’re especially excited that this collection will seamlessly grow, thanks to the launch of The Met Collection API, which enables Google Arts & Culture to sustainably integrate The Met collection into the platform, also ensuring up-to-date versions of images and data are available to users.
To further enhance users’ experience, The Met also offered to collaborate on the creation of a new download option. So whether you teach art or study it, are an enthusiast or professional, or are simply a bit curious -- now you have hundreds of thousands of artworks to download, remix, and share.