The Google Art Project got a major redesign today that includes a much improved and faster navigation and new search features. The improved search tools now make it significantly easier to filter any list of artworks by artist, place, data and related events.
Given that the Google Art Project continues to bring on new partners — virtually every major museum in the world has now partnered with Google to make its artworks available there — these new search features are a welcome addition. Art Project currently features more than 40,000 pieces of art from about 250 museums in more than 40 countries. Most of these feature high-resolution images, as well as short descriptions and additional metadata, such as the date it was created and where it has been exhibited. Some of the most important artworks are also available as gigapixel images. Many museums also allow you to browse their galleries using Google Street View.
The new design with its white background gives the whole site a much lighter feel that puts more emphasis on the images, especially now that features like the comparison, sharing and bookmarking tools have been moved to the bottom of the page.
Google launched Art Project in collaboration with 17 museums in early 2011. Since then, it’s been continuously expanding the service. One thing it hasn’t done yet, however, is integrate it with its Knowledge Graph search results. Instead of pointing to Art Project, searches for artworks like Botticelli’s Birth of Venus still tend to link to Wikipedia or other third-party sites.