This post first appeared on Daily Genius.
Google Art Project is one of my favorite tools available online. It is a repository of high resolution images and 3D “museum view” virtual art gallery tours. Since its inception in 2011, Google Art Project has grown from its initial collaboration of 17 international museums to more than 151 and is now available in 18 languages.
This is a great tool for introducing students to Art from around the world. Here are a few ideas for lesson plans that you can use in conjunction with Google Art Project.
Create & Curate a Gallery
Google Art Project will allow you to create and curate your own gallery. You can have students build a project thematically (styles, emotional experiences, etc), chronologically, culturally, and more. Students select the pieces that they want to add to their gallery, move them around (just as a museum curators places art pieces in an exhibit), and then share them privately or publicly. This could be a great way for a student to showcase their understanding of a particular artist or style as a project for an Art History, History, Social Studies, or Humanities course.
Compare Works of Art Side by Side
Using the “Compare” model, you can put two works of art side by side and perform an in depth analysis of the works. Here is one of my favorite exercises:
You will see that I have selected A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Seurat (Chicago Institute of Art) and Breakfast by Signac (Kröller-Müller Museum); both of these artists were masters of pointillism. I have students examine the pieces in high definition, side-by-side, and explore the different techniques between these two artists. Students write up their comparative analysis in their Art History notebook and present on the stylistic differences in class. This can also help students understand how styles and techniques evolve over time (Seurat and Signac developed pointillism out of the styles of impressionism). You can assign specific works of art to students (like I do above) or you can have students choose and compare pieces on their own. This is a great way to teach students to engage the content in depth and perform comparative analysis.
Students Study & “Forge” the Masters
A common practice in Art courses is to study the work of master artists by reproducing their work. A fun way to do this is to ask students to “create a forgery.” Students could select an artist and study their life, style, work, and technique; the high definition, zoomable figures on Google Art Project allows them to study numerous works of art that are held in collections around the world. After they have done this, ask them to create a fake! They can host a gallery opening where visitors compare their reproduction to the original works of the artist.
Participate in an Art Talk
Google hosts regular Hangouts on Air with prominent curators. They announce the schedule on their Google+ page and post the recordings on their YouTube page. Students can prepare for the announced topic and submit questions to professionals. It’s a great way to engage students with modern Art curation.
Google has also posted some different lesson ideas here. With more and more expansions to the Google Art Project (the most recent being its Street Art Collection), there will be more opportunities for students to explore the world of Art. This resource continues to grow and provides students with the ability to explore art in new and interesting ways, outside of a textbook, or more in-depth than they could at a museum.
Learn more about bringing Google into your classroom!
- Google & Web Tools in the Student-Centered Classroom
- Google & Chromebooks
- The Chromebook Classroom
- And More!