Compatible: Android phones & tablets
Recommended Time: 15-20 minutes
Note: While Google Arts & Culture is available as a webpage, this article focuses on the app version.
Imagine an app where curators can exhibit from collections around the world. Imagine being able to pull film from the National Archive, select artworks from the most famous artists, and take you to historic sites. All of this is delivered to your fingertips in a virtual form. That’s Google Arts & Culture.
The app (available from Android phones & tablets) has more than half a million downloads from the Google Play Store. It’s basically an app where you can dig around, explore the network of art movements, locations, artists, museums and artworks. If you’re planning a trip to a featured museum, it helps you sort the arrival details (directions, hours, etc), and introduces you to key works in the collection.
The home screen of the app plays a museum exhibition, however on a small screen. You’ll find links to essays, virtual tours of sites, and collections of images from institutions around the world. There’s featured related topics that update regularly. For example: in February, the home page highlighted Black History Month. Open the portal to explore the topic. Find biographies on Fredrick Douglass. Explore Civil Rights photos from the High Museum of Art. Take virtual tours of historic sites. View collections of art from African artists. Watch archived footage from the national Archive. Hear the sounds of music from the era. And see artifacts like the Rosa Parks Bus in high resolution. It’s absolutely fantastic to have such a rich resource of information to bring the story to life.
The app also helps you plan visits to participating institutions. Tap the Nearby icon at the bottom of the screen, to see what museums are in your area. Find the mission statement of the museum. Read about the gems on display. Check the hours. Find your way there with GPS.
There’s a few more features, like the ability to create your own virtual collections, and share what intrigues you. Download the app for free from the Google Play Store. Have fun exploring.
To checkout what app young Native Americans have developed, click here.