When I blogged about the Google Art Project, I forgot to mention a prior venture of Google’s: Google Earth’s 3D tour of the Prado (which may explain why the Prado isn’t one of the museums in the Art Project). Like Google’s Art Project, there are stunning images of paintings captured using a super-high-resolution camera. The interface is kind of clumsy — if you’re not careful you can accidentally zoom to Poughkeepsie. Here's a video about it:
Google is far from the only online resource -- the University of Michigan's School of Art and Design has an extensive collection of them on their site. But perhaps the single most useful online cultural resource is the Europeana archive of paintings, music, films and books drawn from about 1500 of Europe's galleries, libraries, archives and museums. They already have a staggering 15 million items and it’s just the beginning -- the European Union wants all public domain masterpieces accessible by 2016.
Here’s a video about what you can find on Europeana:
Europeana Launch Video from europeana on Vimeo.
And speaking of online resources, the Brooklyn Museum, in another of their many efforts to reach out to a broader audience, is conducting an online experiment to determine if our initial reaction to a work of art is changed by what we are told about the work. I found it a fun exercise. Here's the link: Brooklyn Museum: Split Second: Indian Paintings.