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IDB Art Collection joins the Google Art Project

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) today announced it is joining the Google Art Project with the inclusion of high resolution images of 100 artworks in its Art Collection, allowing people everywhere to explore the best of its paintings, sculptures, and other objects online.

The IDB Art Collection has been acquired over the last five decades, creating a space in which representative artists from Latin America and the Caribbean can be appreciated alongside works by international renowned artists. The Collection is managed by the IDB Cultural Center and embodies the Bank's mission to invest in the region's cultural and artistic development.

Ivan Duque, Chief of the Culture, Solidarity and Creativity Division of the IDB, points out that “digital technologies are becoming a key enabler in our strategy to advance development through culture to the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Google Art Project is one of our most valued allies in this venture.”

The sample presented today symbolizes the diversity of a vast continent—from Ushuaia in Argentina to the Northwest Territories in Canada—and the rich dialogue between its many nations and cultures. The effort to share this sample is part of a broader initiative to democratize the access to culture by the Bank across the Americas, with a particular emphasis on its most marginalized communities. Getting the IDB Art Collection to join the Google Art Project is an important step toward broader access to culture by the people in general.

One hundred out of more than 1,700 artworks in the IDB Art Collection were selected to become part of the Google Art Project. The resolution of these images, combined with a custom built zoom viewer, allows art-lovers to discover minute aspects of paintings they may never have seen up close before.

Visitors to the IDB Art Collection in the Google Art Project can browse works by the artist’s name, the artwork, 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 art collection.

The My Gallery feature allows users to save specific views of any of the artworks and build their own personalized gallery. Comments can be added to each painting and the whole gallery can then be shared with friends and family. It’s an ideal tool for students or groups to work on collaborative projects or collections. In addition, a feature called Compare 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.

The artworks in the IDB Art Collection join more than 40,000 high resolution objects available in the Google Art Project. Street View images now cover 200+ institutions in 40 countries, with more being added all the time.

Established in 1992, the IDB Cultural Center has two primary objectives: to showcase the artistic expressions of Latin America and the Caribbean, and to contribute to thesocial development of the region by providing grants to small-scale cultural projects that have positive social impact.

The Google Art Project is part of the Google Cultural Institute, which is dedicated to creating technology that helps the cultural community 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, make it available for people to explore online, and in so doing, democratize access to culture and preserve it for future generations

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