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Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Announces Partnership with Google Cultural Institute

BOSTON, MA, March 18, 2014 -- The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum announced today it will join over 400 existing online art collections through its partnership with the Google Cultural Institute, collaboration between Google and art partners from across more than 50 countries that work to preserve and promote culture online.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum will be one of a handful of museums participating in the Google Cultural Institute that will have a complete first-person walk-through (“Street View”) experience as part of its collection. By making immersive views of the Museum’s galleries and more than 2,500 objects available online, including detailed, high-resolution images of select objects, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum aims to assert itself into the digital landscape and improve accessibility of its historic collection for audiences around the world.

“As a cultural institution, we are constantly looking for innovative ways to engage, educate and build relationships with existing and new audiences,” said Anne Hawley, Norma Jean Calderwood Director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. “Our participation in the Google Art Project enables us to capture the attention and interest of audiences around the world, providing a unique opportunity to explore and learn about the museum and our collection.”

"Starting today, people around the world – from students and teachers to art enthusiasts – will have the opportunity to personally explore one of Boston’s great cultural treasures," Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said. "This partnership between Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Google is an example of two organizations sharing ideas and resources to reach a shared vision for what’s possible."

Last May, the Google Cultural Institute photographed and virtually mapped the Gardner Museum galleries. A specially designed Street View ‘trolley’ captured 360-degree images of the interior of each gallery. The images were digitally stitched together, enabling smooth navigation throughout the museum. This technology will allow people around the world to explore the museum’s objects in never-before-seen angles and detail with the click of a mouse.

"Isabella Stewart Gardner created her Museum with a mind towards preserving art for future generations to educate and enrich the public," said Steve Vinter, Site Lead for Google's Cambridge Office. "The Google Cultural Institute shares this vision and aims to further her mission by making this wonderful collection accessible to art lovers worldwide through a few clicks of a mouse."

Modeled after a 15th-century Venetian palazzo surrounding a courtyard garden, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum houses a one-of-a-kind collection of art, featuring works by Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Raphael, Degas, and Sargent, as well as changing contemporary and historic exhibitions, classical concerts, lectures and special events.

Visitors to the Google Cultural Institute can browse 57,000 high-resolution objects by the artist’s name, the type of art, the museum, the country, collections, and the time period. Google+ and video hangouts are integrated on the site, allowing viewers to invite their friends to view and discuss their favorite works in a video chat or follow a guided tour from an expert to gain an appreciation of a particular topic or collection.

The Google Cultural Institute is dedicated to creating technology that helps the cultural community to bring their art, archives, heritage sites and other material online. The aim is to increase the range and volume of material from the cultural world that is available for people to explore online.

For more information about the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, please visit www.gardnermuseum.org.