Author Archives: Michelle Luo

Paws meet machine learning with Pet Portraits

According to John Steinbeck, “I’ve seen a look in dogs’ eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts.”

Perhaps Steinbeck’s dogs would have really thought we were nuts back in 2018 when people around the world used Art Selfie to search for their doppelgängers from across art history — with over 120 million selfies taken so far.

But now, pets can get in on the fun too! Today we are introducing Pet Portraits, a way for your dog, cat, fish, bird, reptile, horse, or rabbit to discover their very own art doubles among tens of thousands of works from partner institutions around the world. Your animal companion could be matched with ancient Egyptian figurines, vibrant Mexican street art, serene Chinese watercolors, and more. Just open the rainbow camera tab in the free Google Arts & Culture app for Android and iOS to get started and find out if your pet’s look-alikes are as fun as some of our favorite animal companions and their matches:

When you take a photo in Pet Portraits, our trained computer vision algorithm recognizes where your pet is, crops the image and puts them where they belong: front and center. Once that is done, a machine learning algorithm matches your pet’s photo with over tens of thousands of artworks from our partners’ outstanding collections to find the ones that look most similar. Now it’s time for them to enter the spotlight: Share your pet’s #PetPortraits as a single still image or select multiple images to animate together as a GIF slideshow.

Additionally, Pet Portraits invites you to tap on your result to learn about the stories and artists behind each artwork. Keep on exploring Google Arts & Culture and discover more about our pawed, winged, and hooved friends throughout history. Get to know the 10 coolest cats or dogs of art history, dive into wonders of the natural world, or find out more about fantastic beasts in fiction and nature.

Ready to find your pet in art? Open up the free Google Arts & Culture app for Android or iOS and tap the rainbow camera button at the bottom of the page. Discover and share your most paw-fect #PetPortraits and don’t forget to tag us @googleartsculture on Instagram or @googlearts on Twitter! 🐾

A new audio guide for our Augmented Reality Galleries

Since we launched our first Pocket Gallery in 2018, people all over the world have used the augmented reality (AR) feature to explore virtual art galleries ranging from Vermeer to Indian miniatures. With many of us missing the opportunities to explore, we have now collaborated with cultural institutions including the Jean Pigozzi Collection and J. Paul Getty Museum to create three new Pocket Galleries - one of which includes a brand new audio guide feature. Just open the camera tab in the Google Arts & Culture  app to get started.


The virtual exhibition space of Jean Pigozzi’s Pocket Gallery invites you to discover highlights from its African and Japanese collections  featuring 40 of its most important artworks ranging from renowned painter Chéri Samba to emerging new talent. These treasures are frequently lent to museums across the globe, but until now have never had a dedicated building of their own, making this Pocket Gallery a truly unique space.
Image of the inside of the Getty AR Pocket Gallery

Continue your journey with a Pocket Gallery presented by the J. Paul Getty Museum, bringing together celebrated works across 200 years of art history. Here you’ll meet cheerful crowds welcoming you to join, whether you’re craving music and merriment, dinner gatherings, or a city stroll. Dive in and experience the joys of dancing with Henri Rousseau, stolen kisses with Jean-Antoine Watteau, and concerts with Gerrit van Honthorst, all from the iconic LA-based collection.

A new way to experience a virtual exhibition space is by using sound and narration -  a feature we are testing first with the guided “Brushes with the World” Pocket Gallery. Here, in each room a narrator will give a short introduction as you follow along on a tour of larger-than-life artworks. Gaze upon immersive landscapes - from Georgia O’Keeffe’s dreamy depiction of Machu Picchu to Hokusai’s majestic vision of Mount Fuji - and take in the city views of  Zaha Hadid’s London or Habeeb Andu’s Lagos. As you approach each masterpiece, you will hear a bespoke soundscape inspired by the locations and objects in the paintings. Some paintings are even accompanied by additional commentary to help you learn more along your voyage. Featuring artworks from 27 cultural partner institutions that depict scenes across 24 countries. This gallery is available now on Android and coming soon on iOS.

Together, with our partners, we are always experimenting to find new ways to bring people closer to art and culture and we hope these new Pocket Galleries will help you - not just to explore a diverse set of artworks, but also to feel connected to destinations around the world. 


Find the galleries in the Camera Tab of the free Google Arts & Culture app for Android and iOS and jump inside to explore each one from there.

Invite ancient creatures to your living room with AR

What does it feel like to stare into some of the oldest eyes on earth? With augmented reality (AR) and Google Arts & Culture, now you can find out: Meet Cambropachycope, an ancient crustacean with a distinctive pointy head covered in tiny eyes. In collaboration with institutions such as Moscow’s State Darwin Museum and London’s Natural History Museum, we’ve brought a menagerie of prehistoric animals back to digital life. Thanks to AR, you can see them up close through your phone. 


In addition to Cambropachycope, you can also meet the oldest large filter feeder, the fish that swims poorly, or the largest animal ever to live on Earth. Make sure to snap a picture or a video so you can show how these creatures compare in size to the Felis catus or Canis familiaris that roams your living room.

If unusual critters aren’t your thing, we’ve also recreated a collection of unusual cultural artifacts for you to experience in AR. Meet the pre-Inca “smiling god” Lanzón from circa 500 BCE, or see how the Apollo 11 Command Module looks in your backyard—along with a spacesuit, of course. Or, choose from among thousands of paintings to decorate your space, from Frida Kahlo’s self portraits to The Kiss.


To start learning about culture, history and nature in new dimensions, explore our collection of objects in AR and download the Google Arts & Culture app, available for free on Android and iOS

Put a cultural spin on game night

We are all curious beings at heart, and play is one of the best ways to learn. That is why we are introducing a few new ways for you to learn more about culture in fun and engaging ways. We are now adding a way to record videos with Art Projector, a tool that uses augmented reality to bring famous artworks to wherever you are. Tap the Camera icon to start recording your thoughts about these paintings, available now in the Google Arts & Culture Android app and coming soon on iOS.

While an Art Projector video is a way for everyone to become an artistic video curator, creative coders in the Google Arts & Culture Lab have come up with some other ideas to learn about arts, culture and history: by playing. The result is our new collection, “Play with Arts & Culture,” which offers games, puzzles and trivia drawn from the cultural treasures of hundreds of partner institutions. Try them on your computer via g.co/artgames, in the Google Arts & Culture Android app, and coming soon for iOS. 

Image of an unsolved puzzle .jpeg

Puzzle Party

These collaborative jigsaw puzzles are made for family and friends to solve together (or for you to play solo). Dive into the rich detail of over 500 artworks, including Andy Warhol’s “Flowers,” Johannes Vermer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” and Amy Sherald’s “First Lady Michelle Obama” You can even choose between three different difficulty settings so everyone in the family can pitch in.

What came first.jpeg

What Came First?

What came first, the Statue of Liberty or the game of volleyball? The faster you select the correct answer, the higher your score. And if you want to dig a little deeper into the history, tap on an item to reveal more information.

Crossword puzzle

Cultural Crosswords 

Cultural Crosswords are a fun way to explore art, history, or themes such as African textiles or yoga postures. Tap on the boxes in the grid to reveal the clue and fill in your solution. Once you’ve got the right answer, you can click through and discover more about it on Google Arts & Culture.

Visual crosswords.jpeg

Visual Crosswords 

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. So we riffed on the idea of a crossword puzzle to create Visual Crosswords, which you solve with images instead of letters. Figure out where each artwork fits in the grid: Is it Renaissance or Modern? Is it Van Gogh or Gaugin—or both? Drag each one to the correct box and progress through levels of difficulty.

Art coloring book.jpeg

Art Coloring Book

Van Gogh’s sunflowers might be yellow, but yours don’t have to be. Coloring has always been a favorite activity for children, but it’s becoming increasingly popular among adults looking for some mindful downtime. Exercise your talents and get inspired as you color famous artworks and even landmarks from Street View.

Start creating videos with Art Projector and playing with the Google Arts & Culture Android app—or coming soon on iOS. No matter if you're playing for fun or to learn something new, we hope “Play with Arts & Culture” will help you to further discover the amazing treasures our partners are making available to anyone online.

Put a cultural spin on game night

We are all curious beings at heart, and play is one of the best ways to learn. That is why we are introducing a few new ways for you to learn more about culture in fun and engaging ways. We are now adding a way to record videos with Art Projector, a tool that uses augmented reality to bring famous artworks to wherever you are. Tap the Camera icon to start recording your thoughts about these paintings, available now in the Google Arts & Culture Android app and coming soon on iOS.

While an Art Projector video is a way for everyone to become an artistic video curator, creative coders in the Google Arts & Culture Lab have come up with some other ideas to learn about arts, culture and history: by playing. The result is our new collection, “Play with Arts & Culture,” which offers games, puzzles and trivia drawn from the cultural treasures of hundreds of partner institutions. Try them on your computer via g.co/artgames, in the Google Arts & Culture Android app, and coming soon for iOS. 

Image of an unsolved puzzle .jpeg

Puzzle Party

These collaborative jigsaw puzzles are made for family and friends to solve together (or for you to play solo). Dive into the rich detail of over 500 artworks, including Andy Warhol’s “Flowers,” Johannes Vermer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” and Amy Sherald’s “First Lady Michelle Obama” You can even choose between three different difficulty settings so everyone in the family can pitch in.

What came first.jpeg

What Came First?

What came first, the Statue of Liberty or the game of volleyball? The faster you select the correct answer, the higher your score. And if you want to dig a little deeper into the history, tap on an item to reveal more information.

Crossword puzzle

Cultural Crosswords 

Cultural Crosswords are a fun way to explore art, history, or themes such as African textiles or yoga postures. Tap on the boxes in the grid to reveal the clue and fill in your solution. Once you’ve got the right answer, you can click through and discover more about it on Google Arts & Culture.

Visual crosswords.jpeg

Visual Crosswords 

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. So we riffed on the idea of a crossword puzzle to create Visual Crosswords, which you solve with images instead of letters. Figure out where each artwork fits in the grid: Is it Renaissance or Modern? Is it Van Gogh or Gaugin—or both? Drag each one to the correct box and progress through levels of difficulty.

Art coloring book.jpeg

Art Coloring Book

Van Gogh’s sunflowers might be yellow, but yours don’t have to be. Coloring has always been a favorite activity for children, but it’s becoming increasingly popular among adults looking for some mindful downtime. Exercise your talents and get inspired as you color famous artworks and even landmarks from Street View.

Start creating videos with Art Projector and playing with the Google Arts & Culture Android app—or coming soon on iOS. No matter if you're playing for fun or to learn something new, we hope “Play with Arts & Culture” will help you to further discover the amazing treasures our partners are making available to anyone online.

Put a cultural spin on game night

We are all curious beings at heart, and play is one of the best ways to learn. That is why we are introducing a few new ways for you to learn more about culture in fun and engaging ways. We are now adding a way to record videos with Art Projector, a tool that uses augmented reality to bring famous artworks to wherever you are. Tap the Camera icon to start recording your thoughts about these paintings, available now in the Google Arts & Culture Android app and coming soon on iOS.

While an Art Projector video is a way for everyone to become an artistic video curator, creative coders in the Google Arts & Culture Lab have come up with some other ideas to learn about arts, culture and history: by playing. The result is our new collection, “Play with Arts & Culture,” which offers games, puzzles and trivia drawn from the cultural treasures of hundreds of partner institutions. Try them on your computer via g.co/artgames, in the Google Arts & Culture Android app, and coming soon for iOS. 

Image of an unsolved puzzle .jpeg

Puzzle Party

These collaborative jigsaw puzzles are made for family and friends to solve together (or for you to play solo). Dive into the rich detail of over 500 artworks, including Andy Warhol’s “Flowers,” Johannes Vermer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” and Amy Sherald’s “First Lady Michelle Obama” You can even choose between three different difficulty settings so everyone in the family can pitch in.

What came first.jpeg

What Came First?

What came first, the Statue of Liberty or the game of volleyball? The faster you select the correct answer, the higher your score. And if you want to dig a little deeper into the history, tap on an item to reveal more information.

Crossword puzzle

Cultural Crosswords 

Cultural Crosswords are a fun way to explore art, history, or themes such as African textiles or yoga postures. Tap on the boxes in the grid to reveal the clue and fill in your solution. Once you’ve got the right answer, you can click through and discover more about it on Google Arts & Culture.

Visual crosswords.jpeg

Visual Crosswords 

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. So we riffed on the idea of a crossword puzzle to create Visual Crosswords, which you solve with images instead of letters. Figure out where each artwork fits in the grid: Is it Renaissance or Modern? Is it Van Gogh or Gaugin—or both? Drag each one to the correct box and progress through levels of difficulty.

Art coloring book.jpeg

Art Coloring Book

Van Gogh’s sunflowers might be yellow, but yours don’t have to be. Coloring has always been a favorite activity for children, but it’s becoming increasingly popular among adults looking for some mindful downtime. Exercise your talents and get inspired as you color famous artworks and even landmarks from Street View.

Start creating videos with Art Projector and playing with the Google Arts & Culture Android app—or coming soon on iOS. No matter if you're playing for fun or to learn something new, we hope “Play with Arts & Culture” will help you to further discover the amazing treasures our partners are making available to anyone online.

Transform your photo in the style of an iconic artist

From the bold, swirling movement in Vincent van Gogh's paintings, to the surreal, confident brushstrokes of Frida Kahlo, many famous artists have instantly recognizable styles. Now you can use these styles to transform your own photos. With Art Transfer, a new feature in the Google Arts & Culture app, you can apply the characteristics of well-known paintings to your own images.

To try it, open the Camera menu in the bottom bar of the Google Arts & Culture app and select “Art Transfer.” After taking or uploading a photo, choose from dozens of masterpieces to transfer that style onto your image. (And while you wait, we’ll share a fun fact about the artwork, in case you’re curious to know a bit more about its history.) For more customization, you can use the scissors icon to select which part of the image you want the style applied to. 

Thanks to cultural institutions from around the world, such as the UK’s National Gallery and Japan’s MOA Museum of Art, we’re able to feature artists like van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, Edvard Munch or Leonardo da Vinci.

Art Transfer animation of coffee cup - Cutting Tool.gif

Many Google Arts & Culture experiments show what’s possible when you combine art and technology. Artificial intelligence in particular can be a powerful tool not just in the hands of artists, but also as a way for people to experience and learn about art in new ways.  


In this case, Art Transfer is powered by an algorithmic model created by Google AI. Once you snap your photo and select a style, Art Transfer doesn’t just blend the two things or simply overlay your image. Instead, it kicks off a unique algorithmic recreation of your photo inspired by the specific art style you have chosen. 

And all of it happens right on your device without the help of the cloud or your image being processed online.

We are curious to see what you will create with a little help of AI. Once you are happy with your Art Transfer, tap share to share the results as a still image or as a GIF - #ArtTransfer. 

Discover more on Google Arts & Culture—or download our free app for iOS or Android.

Exploring art (through selfies) with Google Arts & Culture

The Google Arts & Culture platform hosts millions of artifacts and pieces of art, ranging from prehistory to the contemporary, shared by museums across the world. But the prospect of exploring all that art can be daunting. To make it easier, we dreamt up a fun solution: connect people to art by way of a fundamental artistic pursuit, the search for the self … or, in this case, the selfie.

We created an experiment that matches your selfie with art from the collections of museums on Google Arts & Culture—and over the past few days, people have taken more than 30 million selfies. Even if your art look-alike is a surprise, we hope you discover something new in the process. (By the way, Google doesn't use your selfie for anything else and only keeps it for the time it takes to search for matches.)

gif

That’s me, Michelle, the product manager for this feature!

We're so happy people are enjoying their selfie matches, but we're even happier that people haven't stopped with the selfie. They’ve jumped—face first—into the 6,000 exhibitions hosted on Google Arts & Culture, from more than 1,500 museum partners from 70 countries, to explore their artwork and learn about their stories.


Here are some of the most-visited works of art people explored while searching with their selfies:

And we hope you’ll keep exploring. There’s so much to see on Google Arts & Culture, from the annals of American Democracy and the rich history of Latino cultures in the U.S., to the wide world of Street Art and the intricacies of Japanese crafts and traditions. You can visit the rooftop of the Taj Mahal or the famous castles of France's Loire Valley or even tour the United States’ National Parks, all from a mobile device. We also recommend checking out the stories behind what you wear—this collection lets you browse more than 30,000 pieces from 3,000 years fashion history: try searching for hats and sort them by color or sort shoes by time. So cool.

At Google Arts & Culture, our software engineers are always experimenting with new and creative ways to connect you with art and culture. That’s how this selfie feature came about, too. We know there’s great demand to improve and expand the selfie-matching feature to more locations, including outside the U.S., and we’ll share more news as soon as we have it. We’ll continue to partner with more museums to bring diverse cultures from every part of the world online (any museum can join!), so you can explore their stories and find even more portraits.

In the meantime, you can download the Google Arts & Culture app for iOS or Android and get face to face  with art!