Archive for July 12th, 2011

Google Goggles app

July 12, 2011

Google has created an app called Google Goggles that lets you use pictures taken with your mobile phone to search the web. It is designed to enable searching for things that aren’t easy to describe in words. Typing or speaking your query is not necessary – open the app, snap a picture, and wait for your search results. Google Goggles works well with certain types of images (books, landmarks, logos, artwork, text) and not so well with others (animals, plants, furniture for example). This free app is currently available for Android devices running Android 1.2 or higher and iPhone 3GS and iPhone4 devices.

The Getty Museum is encouraging its visitors to use Google Goggles and has created a special app for their collection. To read more about the Getty’s use of Google Goggles, go here.

Conservation images of Ghent Altarpiece available

July 12, 2011

The Getty Foundation and the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage have released high resolution images of Jan Van Eyck’s Ghent Altarpiece taken while the work was undergoing conservation in 2010. The project utilized high resolution macro photography under visible and infrared light, infrared reflectoography, X-radiography and dendrochronolgy to reveal valuable information on underdrawing, layer paint layer structure and other technical aspects of the altarpiece. Additional images of the conservation project will be made available over the next year.

Take a tour of the original Barnes Foundation

July 12, 2011

The amazing collection of Impressionist and early modernist painting and sculpture making up the Barnes Foundation will be leaving its original home in Merion, PA and moving to its new home in Philadelphia next May.  After a long fought battle, the foundation managed to over-ride its original charter and bylaws established by the pharmaceutical tycoon Albert C. Barnes in the early 1920s which stated that none of the collection’s paintings or sculptures could be sold, lent or moved from the original gallery walls. To many, the quirky and idiosyncratic way in which Barnes displayed his collection — “antiquated-looking salon style that filled entire walls of its neo-Classical home with odd arrangements of paintings, organized to echo and rhyme their formal qualities and interspersed with decorative metalwork like ax heads and hinges” [New York Times] — made the Barnes Foundation such a fabulous and unusual institution. Happily for those of us who have never had the opportunity to visit the original galleries, the New York Times has produced a virtual tour of its many highlights. To read more about the tour and the Barnes Foundation, click here for the full article.

You can read more about the new building designed by architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien here.