By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
The Birmingham Museum of Art announced that it has partnered with the Google Cultural Institute which uses technology to bring local artwork to life online.
On Thursday the Birmingham Museum of Art (BMA) announced it will join over 400 existing online art collections through its partnership with the Google Cultural Institute, which is a collaboration between Google and acclaimed art partners from across more than 50 countries that work to preserve and promote culture online.
U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R) from Alabama said in a written statement, “I am pleased to see this partnership between the Birmingham Museum of Art and the Google Cultural Institute. This development by Google and the Birmingham Museum of Art allows our residents and visitors alike to access and experience some of the world’s most renowned artwork and highlight some of our state’s most valued and treasured pieces.”
The R. Hugh Daniel Director of the Birmingham Museum of Art, Gail Andrews said, “In our era of technology and immediate access to resources, the BMA has made digitizing our collection a priority, not just on our website, but on social media, our mobile applications, and various web platforms. The Google Cultural Institute goes a step further by providing access to our renowned collection to those far beyond our walls. We are proud to display our art alongside the world’s best institutions, and we are excited to showcase our Museum and city to this global audience.”
By making a sampling of the Museum’s works available online, the Birmingham Museum of Art hopes to encourage art enthusiasts to come visit the BMA to experience the other great works of art that are offline. The BMA is hopeful that this partnership will increase local tourism while placing Birmingham on par with other global cultural centers. The BMA is the first institution in Alabama to partner with the Google Cultural Institute.
Over 200 works of art, including all of the museum’s Kress Collection, were selected from the Birmingham Museum of Art’s many different collections to be digitized as a part of the Cultural Institute’s Art Project. The 200 works of art however are only a fraction of the 25,000 pieces of art that the BMA hosts. The BMA collections date from ancient to modern times.
Google spokesman Davis White said, “So much of the world’s important works of art are only seen by those lucky enough to visit museums in person. Google is excited to partner with the Birmingham Museum of Art to make the Magic City’s art collection accessible to anyone and preserve it for future generations.”
The Google Cultural Institute has digitized 57,000 high-resolution objects. Visitors can browse the collection by the artist’s name, the type of art, the museum, the country, collections and the time period. Visitors can also invite their friends to view and discuss their favorite works of art in a video chat or follow a guided tour from an expert to gain more appreciation of a particular topic or collection.
Sen. Jeff Sessions was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996 and is seeking a fourth term in the United States Senate.