Google Adds Compare Button And Hangout App For Its Art Project, Which Has Had Over 15M People Exploring Paintings

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Today, Google’s Art Project added some new fun functionality that ties in Google+ features, and I think it’s something that will really kick-start the project into new territory. The two things are a Hangout app that’s getting more attention and a new feature that lets people compare paintings and artwork to one another, and it’s actually quite neat.

Google+ Hangouts are a great way to interact with like-minded folks, even when they’re not super geeky. The best people to add to circles are artists and photographers, as the content they share always astounds me.

Here’s what the team had to say about the new features:

The first is a great educational tool for art students, enthusiasts or those who are simply curious. A “Compare” button has been added to the toolbar on the left of each painting. This allows you to examine two pieces of artwork side-by-side to look at how an artist’s style evolved over time, connect trends across cultures or delve deeply into two parts of the same work. Here’s an example: place an early sketch of Winslow Homer’s ‘The Life Line’ from the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum next to the completed painting from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Comparing them in this way allows you to see how the artist’s vision altered (or not) over the life of the work.

Beyond following us and discussing great art on our Google+ page, we have also created a Hangout app within the Art Project so that you can share your favorite collections and perhaps give your friends a personal guided tour. If there is a budding museum guide or an art critic within any of you it can finally be unleashed! Watch this video to see how it works.

Google says that it now has 180 partners involved with the Art Project, including Princeton University and Istanbul Modern Art Museum, and more than 300,000 people have created online galleries. The interesting part is that more than 15M have explored the artwork, which is a great sign that the project is doing well. We all need a little bit more culture and it’s nice to see the web facilitating that.

[Photo credit: Flickr]