Google launches Open Gallery to help museums create online galleries: what does it mean for museums?

Google has been showing an interest in culture for a while. With the Google Cultural Institute they have been working with museums, associations and artists to bring to a free online world a selection of great exhibitions, art projects and world wonders. The way I see it for now is more like an opportunity for museums and institutions to have a digital brochure in the Google environment, a bit like you and I would have our Google plus account.

But Google just announced that now any cultural institution can create a digital exhibition with Google Open Gallery. One of the first to use Open Gallery is the Belgian Comic Strip Center to create an exhibit around it’s Art Nouveau building. Here is how.

The interesting thing with Open Gallery is the ability to curate exhibits with many different points of view and storylines, without to worry about the physical artifacts, paintings, etc. Cultural institutions can possibly let their imagination loose and rearrange their collections in many different ways, addressing different audiences.

In a way Open Gallery is sort of taking over from the coffee table books, only a lot cheaper for both the museums and the readers! It opens great opportunities of collaborations between museums and artists, designers, etc to come up with a new genre of exhibition experience.

I think Open Gallery is a very interesting way for museums to approach the digital world and engage with a different kind of visitors through a series of contextual dialogues. It is definitely more than a digital brochure! Do you agree? How would you use Open Gallery?

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