MET:Using Google Cultural Institute Resources in the Classroom

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Using Google Cultural Institute Resources in the Classroom Created by Jaya Van Praagh, March 9th, 2014

Pierre Auguste Renoir - Fog on Guernsey (Brouillard à Guernsey) - Google Art Project
Qian Xuan - Doves and Pear Blossoms after Rain - Google Art Project


The Google Cultural Instituteis an initiative which was launched by Google in 2011. “The aim of the Cultural Institute is the preserve and promote culture online and to make it accessible to the world.” [1]

The Cultural Institute consists of three strands which include the Google Art Project featuring high-resolution images of art works from museums in over 40 countries; the World Wonders,which presents three-dimensional recreations of world heritage sites, and the Historic Moments. On October 10th, 2012, it launched 42 new online exhibits.[2]As of June 2013, the Cultural Institute includes over 6 million items - photos, videos, and documents.[3]"We're working closely with museums, foundations and other archives around the world to make more cultural and historical material accessible online and by doing so preserve it for future generations," the company said.[4] Their list of Partners is extensive, including the British Museum,Yad Vashem,Museo Galileo and the Art Gallery of Ontario

Teams walked around a large number of galleries, museums, historic monuments and world wonders taking high resolution pictures of painting or artifacts which can now be accessed through the Google Cultural Institutesite.

Using Google Cultural Institute Resources

If you have a Googleaccount or your school uses Google Apps for Education, students can login,and save,compare and share their collections. The icons for these features are found on the bottom left hand side of the screen.


You can create your own galleries (My Galleries) of different collections for a project or an interest which can be saved into their own virtual collection. You can write in your own descriptions as well as upload a video talking about a piece of work.


If you want your students to share their collections, you can ask them to make their gallery public. You can share your choices through the following social media;Twitter,Facebook,Google Plus,Google Hangoutsand Email


You can compare art work by dragging and dropping two pieces of art of your choice.

Google Art Project

Art project- How to use the site

The Google Art Projectcollection features 40,0000 high-resolution images of art works from over 250 museums in over 40 countries.[5] The diversity and range is large in order to offer different views of culture. “What the exhibitions have in common is that they tell stories; objects are one thing but it’s the people and places they link to that make them fascinating.”[6]

Zooming in and Virtual Tours

Art Project Teaser

The beauty of viewing these online collections is a chance for students to appreciate diverse art work from a range of different areas and time periods. 17 top cultural institutions have chosen one artwork to be photographed in 7 billion pixels and presented online for free.[7] When you zoom into the Gigapixel of the artwork, you can focus on one section and see the brushstrokes and the detail. Some examples include Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night, Chris Ofili's No Woman No Cryand Peter Bruegel's the Elder's The Harvesters.

Processional Way, Babylon - Google Art Project
Pieter Bruegel the Elder- The Harvesters - Google Art Project
Van Gogh - Starry Night - Google Art Project

You can search by Collections,Artists,Artworkor User Galleries. If you search by Collections, you can choose Museum View Only], shown with an icon of a peg person. The 1,061 high-resolution images (by 486 different artists) are shown in 385 virtual gallery rooms, with 6,000 [[ Street View]]style panoramas.[8] Examples include the National Museum of Women in the Artsand the White House.

Historic Moments

Historic Momentsdetails the stories behind significant moments in human history. The Exhibition's include documents, photos, videos as well as personal accounts of events in some cases.[9]

Google Cultural Institute- Historic Moments

Examples in the Historic Moments Collectioninclude access to some of the unfinished manuscript of Nelson Mandela'ssequel to Long Walk to Freedom. There is also material about Ann Frank including seven seconds of moving video footage of Anne, pictures of her room and of her journals.

World Wonders Project

World Wonders

World Wondersmakes world heritage sites available with the aim of bringing to life the wonders of the modern and ancient world. Some of their partners include Unesco,The World Monuments Fundand CyArk.

You can explore this site through Locations,Collections or User Galleries.

Educational Resources and Ideas

Google Cultural Institute offers the following educational resources for classroom ideas.

*World Wonder Resources for History and Geography Lessons

Google Cultural Institute Education Art Project Resources

If you are using Google Cultural Institute resources as part of an Art lesson there are of course many possibilities. There are also many ways to use resources in other areas of the curriculum. Think about ways you could use a certain artwork for a provocation when introducing a new Science or Math concept or inspiration for a writing assignment.[10] Artwork can also be used in a Social Studies lesson as a way to start a discussion on an historical event or on a certain historical time period. You can also share resources when having discussions on different perspectives. You can also make use of this resource as part of a Visible Thinking Routine, a program designed to establish patterns of thinking in the classroom.

Alfred Stieglitz - The Steerage - Google Art Project

This picture could be used to talk about what it was like to migrate in the past.

More Classroom Resources

*Thinking Routines Presentation

*Technology for Visible Thinking

*Artful thinking


  1. Google Cultural Institute: Historic Exhibits. 10 October, 2012.
  2. Newton,Casey."Google Cultural Institute brings dozens of new exhibits online."CNET, October 10,2012.
  3. Davis, James.“From Sutton Hoo to the soccer pitch: culture with a click”, Google Official Blog. June 24, 2013.
  4. Newton,Casey."Google Cultural Institute brings dozens of new exhibits online."CNET, October 10, 2012.
  5. Marshall, Colin.“40,0000 Artworks from 250 Museums, Now Viewable for Free at the Redesigned Google Art Project.” Open Culture, June 12th, 2013.
  6. Davis, James.“From Sutton Hoo to the soccer pitch: culture with a click”, Google Official Blog. June 24, 2013.
  7. Google Art Project: the 7 billion pixel masterpieces. The Telegraph, February 1st, 2011.
  8. WikiMedia Commons, Google Art Project. Retrieved March 9th, 2014.
  9. Google Cultural Institute: Historic Moments. Retrieved March 1st from
  10. Selak, Bill. Google Art Project + Common Core Math- #EduAwesome Project- Based, May 13th, 2013.


External Links

Artful Thinking Program

Cultural Institute on YouTube

Follow Cultural Institute on G+

Frequently Asked Questions- Google Cultural Institute