Google’s new tool will make you an art history expert

Google has just revamped its Arts & Culture app to be a lot more useful.

As a recap, you can search through a huge database (which Google has been building for a while), including anything from ancient tools to contemporary abstract art. Clearly, the company has been putting that Gigapixel camera to work.

But today’s update makes discovery an important element. You can search for specific types of art (shoes, gold, etc), scroll through art by time period, and browse by color.

The revamped app also has some editorial content to help you discover something new every day. There’s a new YouTube channel you can follow, too.

(Be sure to watch Google’s official video above, by the way – it’s pretty cool).

Meanwhile, you can use a virtual reality headset to explore various important locations in the cultural pantheon – whether modern street art or an ancient Greek temple.

Finally, the app includes information about local museums, such a their open hours, directions, and ongoing exhibits.  You can even use an ‘Art Recognizer’ tool to help you identify different works.

That’s currently only active at four museums (London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery, Sydney’s Art Gallery of New South Wales and the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC), but we imagine it will come to others soon.

As someone who think art is cool but way over my head, this sounds like a pretty nifty tool to make art a bit more accessible to us laypeople. The updates Arts & Culture is available now on Android and iOS, or you can visit the website here.

The new Google Arts & Culture, on exhibit now on Google Blog

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