Tag Archives: Arts & Culture

Chopin Forever: a digital retrospective on Google Arts & Culture

Did you know that Chopin was a child star? He was writing and composing poetry at the age of 6, and performed his first public concerto at the age of 7. By the time he was 12, Chopin had already performed in the drawing rooms of countless Polish aristocrats and created multiple original compositions.

This is just a snippet of what you’ll discover through "Chopin Forever", an original online retrospective dedicated to the life, legacy and music of Chopin — brought to life through a collaboration between The Fryderyk Chopin Institute, twelve partners in 6 different countries and Google Arts & Culture.

And today, as the winners of the 18th InternationalFryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw are announced, we are publishing a digital hub to bring the Polish composer even closer to his fans.

Put all your soul into it, play the way you feel! Fryderyk Chopin

Were you ever curious what benefits Chopin’s music could bring to your body and mind? Would you be interested to take a quiz on which actors playedChopin in the movies? How about taking a virtual trip through the places where he was born, lived and worked, or discovering flowers that accompanied him in the key moments of his life?

Users all around the world will now be able to explore over 50 expertly curated stories, more than 20 videos, over 1200 high-resolution images of objects, personal belongings and photographs related to the composer. We have also created a special Chrome extension — “Chopin Everywhere” — to delight music lovers.

The first-of-their-kind stories and exhibits in “Chopin Forever” offer an opportunity to take a deeper look at the Polish composer’s life and music, and explore his work from new angles:

Piano genius

It is impossible to imagine Chopin without the piano and the piano without Chopin.Both are one. The composer developed his skills guided by intuition and it was the instruments of Pleyel, Erard and Broadwood — piano builders and fellow composers — that Chopin knew best. However, it wasPleyel who managed to earn Chopin’s friendship. The history of thethree Chopin pianos in the collection offers a glimpse into the world in which Chopin found himself when he visited London in 1848, giving the last performances of his life. And a treat for music lovers is the opportunity to take a closer look into the details of Chopin's manuscripts. Zoom into alullaby Berceuse in D flat major, Op. 57 ordeep dive into Etude Op. 10 No. 3.

A man of emotions

Chopin’s life can also be uncovered through the objects he was surrounded by — from the most personal to the most mysterious. What stories do his personal belongings tell? The candy box, a golden pocket watch with a dedication, pearls and other treasures are brought to life in this new exhibit. Even interior design tips can be found in his letters. Chopin was also well-known for his exquisite taste. Where would he eat, what would he drink? Many Parisian celebrities would invite Chopin to make the social rounds. George Sand even sketched a satirical drawing in which we see the composer rushing to a dinner party, a few steps at a time.

Everlasting influence

Chopin was a man of many talents and a romantic superstar who inspired many. Listeners gave him many names, such as the poet of the piano or Ariel. Chopin and his music have inspired paintings, portraits, monuments and sculptures of all genres. One of the unique art series is the magical world of the 24 Preludes seen through the eyes of the unjustly forgotten German artist Robert Spies.

Chopin and pop culture

Most people don’t realize it, but Chopin has left a mark on modern culture. There are lots of his traces in the movies. One of the most important films featuring Chopin’s original music is Roman Polański’s “The Pianist,” starring Adrien Brody. You can also hear the Polish composer's music in Nelson Riddle’s soundtrack to the Batman series! Chopin has not only become part of the world of cinema and television, but even entered the realm of video games. The official soundtrack of “Gran Turismo 5” features famous piano works by Chopin.

Restored and digitized

Hear some of the oldest existing recordings. Deutsche Grammophon and Google Arts & Culture teamed up to restore and digitize six previously unpublished cultural treasures. Now those historic shellac recordings are accessible to the public for the first time in high-quality. Some of them are dated back to 1905, like the one by Alfred Grünfeld — a gifted composer who became the first pianist of note to make gramophone recordings.

Music’s influence on emotions

New research in music psychology and therapy shows that Chopin's tunes can evoke positive emotions, improve psychological well-being, regulate emotion, and even reduce stress. Try this amazing “musical medicine” feature that contains Chopin’s Berceuse in D flat major Op. 57. Feel how the piece has a relaxing and calming effect on the body.

Learn together

In order to make a living in Paris, Chopin had to take up a job that gave him a regular income. Fryderyk became a teacher. Over time, his lessons became one of the most expensive in Paris. Now, we give all teachers and parents an easy way to introduce Chopin to their young ones. Using the lesson plan and Google Arts & Culture resources you will find out what led Chopin to be hailed as a musical genius from the age of seven.

Chopin Competition and young masters

Why do musicians from all over the world love Chopin? Hear pianists sharing their feelings, including Jan Lisiecki and Yulianna Avdeeva among others. Get to know the 10 winners of the Chopin Piano Competition in the United States. Read Chopin competition winner Seong-Jin Cho's reflections on the composer and his influence and discover the history and world behind this exceptional music event.

Unique web experience

‘Chopin Everywhere’ is a Chrome extension that proposes a more intuitive way to learn about the incredible connections between Chopin and the world, as you’re browsing the web. Every time you open a new tab, you reveal an interesting fact about Chopin, and how that’s connected to other artists and concepts, across time and space. The extension enables you to transform any Wikipedia page related to Chopin into a wellbeing moment, making the letters and images on the page beautifully react to the rhythm of Chopin’s compositions.

Explore “Chopin Forever” on the Google Arts & Culture app on iOS or Android or online via g.co/Chopin. Subscribe to the Chopin Institute channel on YouTube to enjoy great performances of Chopin’s compositions and to watch concerts of the 18th edition of competition prize-winners.

Culture Meets Climate: artists and scientists tell stories of the planet

Since its creation in 2011 — and thanks to the collaboration of 2,500 cultural organizations in 80 countries — Google Arts & Culture has allowed people to explore the world through a cultural lens. Like culture, nature plays a foundational role in people’s lives and identities and over the years, its presence on our platform has developed organically, thanks to collaborations with natural history museums, scientists, artists, NGOS, preservation and scientific organizations. And as the climate crisis becomes more urgent, culture, storytelling and technology increasingly have a role to play.

Because of this, we are proud to announce today g.co/culturemeetsclimate, a new unified experience bringing together the diverse range of experiences, resources and features available to anyone interested in learning more about the environment, climate change and sustainability from museums, artists and scientists.

Artists meet climate data

The climate crisis and the challenges we face are a complex subject, but artists and culture can present it through a new lens. In June 2020, Google Arts & Culture teamed up with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to launch Heartbeat of the Earth, where artists interpret scientific climate data and which invites you to interact with a series of artworks that make the data more tangible and understandable. You can dive into an Acidifying Ocean with Cristina Tarquini and explore the impact of rising temperatures on marine life; or “see” and learn about the plastic particles that are ever-present in the atmosphere around you with Plastic Air by Giorgia Lupi; and to visualize the actual and predicted global sea level rise caused by the climate crisis, visit the Coastline Paradox by Timo Aho and Pekka Niittyvirta.

Stories from around the world

Thanks to the contributions of institutions and experts around the world, you can explore the planet’s treasures via multimedia storytelling and 360 imagery from Antarctica to the Great Barrier Reef and Borneo’s Rainforest, and how it supports an incredible ecosystem that is home to numerous endangered species. Learn about fascinating topics such as the magic of mangroves, how gardens can predict climate change or how edible plastic can help fight our plastics pollution problem. Get to know the first non-human ambassador to the United Nations General Assembly and follow a ranger through iconic National Parks in the US.

Discover how climate change and global socio-economic shifts are threatening our magnificent natural landscapes and disrupting small communities, from the resilient women of Namibia’s Himba Tribe to the Uro community of Lake Titicaca, to the Tribes of Papua New Guinea.

Find out about the devastating effect the climate crisis is having on our cultural heritage, and how people around the world are using technology to protect their cultural sites against climate change with Heritage on the Edge. Using 360 imagery, 3D modeling and storytelling, the collaboration with ICOMOS and CyArk highlights a small selection of cultural sites being affected by climate change: Rapa Nui’s (Easter Island) iconic statues, Scotland’s Edinburgh Castle, the great mosque city of Bagerhat in Bangladesh, the historic coastal city of Kilwa Kisiwani in Tanzania and the adobe metropolis of Chan Chan in Peru.

Culture Meets Climate is a live hub that will highlight all our new initiatives related to the environment, as new collaborations and experiences come online, so keep an eye on g.co/culturemeetsclimate for more.

Celebrating frontline photojournalist Mohamed Amin

This week, Kenya is celebrating Mashujaa Day, or National Heroes Day, when we honor people who have made great contributions to our nation and the world. A true son of Africa and one of our heroes is frontline photojournalist Mohamed ‘Mo’ Amin, who moved the world with his extraordinary work and dedication spanning four decades.

Today, I am honored to unveil the project Mo Amin: The Eye of Africa on Google Arts & Culture, which features over 6000 photographs, some of which have not been seen by the world before. It also features more than 50 stories, showcasing the key moments, places and people he documented. It has been created in collaboration with Mo’s son, Salim Amin, and the team at the Mohamed Amin Foundation.

Even though Mo was proud to call Kenya his home, his work, his impact and his reputation transcended national and cultural boundaries. He mobilized the conscience of mankind through his coverage of the squalor and death at a camp in Northern Ethiopia during the famine of 1984. Galvanized by the brutal reality so powerfully witnessed through Mo’s camera lens, governments, celebrities, humanitarians and everyday people all came together to raise money for the famine in one of the most spontaneous and widespread acts of giving the world has ever seen.

What many people might be less familiar with is that, more than anything else, Mo spent a lot of time documenting the beauty, wildlife, culture, people and leaders of his motherland. For more than a generation, Mo used his cameras to bring Africa’s most powerful stories into view.

Much like Africa, Mo was caught up in a tide of change from an early age. From humble roots in Eastleigh in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, he was swept up both by the beauty of Africa’s people and natural heritage and by the turmoil of a continent locked in a wave of independence revolutions and power struggles. And like Africa, his professional journey is a catalogue of beauty and majesty, crisis and chaos, and a deep, resonant passion for documenting and protecting the best of the continent while moving fearlessly forward into an uncertain future.

In my early years, I grew up as part of Kenya’s first presidential family, under the towering shadows of my parents and the political landscape that was new post-independence Kenya. I remember the vintage figure of Mo in his multi-pocketed vest and with cameras slung on his neck as he just barely breached the frontline among a retinue of journalists while covering national events hosted by my late father, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, who was Kenya’s first president. Later, like most of the world, I followed and became enthralled with Mo’s work as he pushed the frontiers of frontline and documentary journalism to bring us stories that touched, moved and inspired many. After Mo lost one of his arms while in the line of duty in Ethiopia in 1991, I was inspired by his fortitude and surprised by how quickly he went back to his duties. When the news broke of his tragic death in the crash of a hijacked Ethiopian Airlines plane five years later, our collective sense of loss as the family of humanity was deep and painful.

Later, I came to know Salim Amin, Mo’s son; we both share the experience of taking on the challenge of continuing in the footsteps of a towering father figure. Because of what we have in common, and also because Mo’s work included his coverage of some of my father’s occasions, I did feel a sense of kinship with Salim when he shared with me his book about some of his father’s finest work, “Kenya: Through My Father’s Eyes.” This book is both a valued part of my personal collection and among my gift items of choice to state and diplomatic visitors.

I like to remember Mo not just as a photojournalist, but also by the strength of his character and his passion for his work. There is something to be admired and emulated in the integrity of someone who strives to do their best not for reward but for the love of expressing all that he has to contribute to the human experience. I think that is Mo’s true legacy.

I congratulate Salim and his team at the Mohamed Amin Foundation for both the excellence of their own journalism and their generosity; the latest installment of Mo’s legacy is now being shared with the world through the Google Arts & Culture platform. Mo Amin: The Eye of Africa features both artistic and journalistic coverage of culture, conflict, political upheaval, wildlife, entertainment, historical observation, and an unparalleled visual chronicle of the daily life of people and places from around the world. For the first time, it includes a machine learning- powered experiment from the Google Arts & Culture Lab which provides an interactive visual chronicle of Mo’s work. This work and Mo’s legacy is at the very heart of Kenya’s heritage and indeed the heritage of humanity.

Explore impossible exhibitions in 3D

Since we launched our first Pocket Gallery in 2018, the culturally curious from all across the globe have used augmented reality to step inside our ever-growing collection of virtual galleries created with the help of our partners from around the world. From the original Pocket Gallery that united all of Vermeer’s artworks for the first time in history, to the virtual construction of lost Bauhaus buildings, Pocket Gallery has brought numerous previously-impossible exhibitions to your AR-enabled smartphone. Today, we are making the entire series of Pocket Galleries available to anyone on the web, meaning they can now be explored on desktop and on mobiles with or without AR capabilities.

Simply open your favorite browser to discover all our Pocket Galleries in 3D. Take an art tour of the world in sound, go spelunking among some of the oldest paintings known to man at Chauvet Cave, marvel at miniatures scenes from ancient India, or discover the man of contradictions in Klimt vs. Klimt.

Explore the artifacts to read about their history from our partners. Zoom-in even closer to uncover the hidden detail of the artworks, right down to the brushstrokes. In some galleries, an audio tour will also guide you through the highlights of the exhibitions.

In addition to enabling all of our Pocket Galleries on the web, we are introducing a new exhibition to the collection in collaboration with Réunion des musées nationaux - Grand Palais (Rmn-GP) in France. The curators invite everyone on a guided tour to discover maritime tales, stormy landscapes, and shores swathed in light. The exclusive exhibition features 40 marine masterpieces from the collections of the Palace of Versailles, the Louvre and other prominent European museums.

Embark on a guided maritime journey with Rmn - Grand Palais

“The Rmn - Grand Palais and Google Arts & Culture have collaborated for a long time together in order to innovate and imagine new digital offers to expand our audiences. Showcasing some of the most beautiful masterpieces of the genre, the exhibition “Maritime Inspirations”, entirely virtual, allows you to test new ways of approaching art in augmented reality or on the web, and I am delighted that it can now be offered to the public. " says Vincent Poussou, Public and Digital Director Meeting of National Museums - Grand Palais

We hope you’ll enjoy uncovering maritime mysteries through our latest gallery, and experiencing our full collection of cultural curiosities from the new perspective of Pocket Galleries on the web.

View our collection of Pocket Galleries and start exploring them on the web at the Google Arts & Culture site or discover Pocket Galleries through augmented reality in the camera tab of the free Google Arts & Culture app for Android and iOS.

Walk the Great Wall of China

As the largest man-made structure in the world, the Great Wall of China is one of the most iconic and popular heritage sites anywhere. Over 10 million people visit each year—but not everyone has the opportunity to see the Great Wall first-hand.

Today, in collaboration with renowned Great Wall expert Dong Yaohui and curators from Gubei Water Town, Google Arts & Culture presents a new theme page enabling people to visit the Great Wall virtually. "Walk the Great Wall of China" includes an exclusive 360-degree virtual tour of one of the best-preserved sections, 370 images of the Great Wall in total, and 35 stories that dive into fascinating architectural details. It’s a chance for people to experience parts of the Great Wall that might otherwise be hard to access, learn more about its rich history, and understand how it’s being preserved for future generations.

A section of the Great Wall known as the 'heavenly ladder' with an extremely narrow section of the wall leading up a mountain ridge, shrouded in misty cloud.

The "Heavenly Ladder" leads to the Fairy Tower. Stretching upward along the abrupt mountain ridges, the narrowest part is just half a meter wide. It is not open to the public.

Check out the full exhibit — but as a teaser, here are five things you should know about the Great Wall of China.

1. The complete length is about 20,000 kilometers

The official length of the Great Wall is 21,196.18km, about one and a half times the distance from Los Angeles to Singapore — currently one of the longest flights in the world! Walking the full distance would take you approximately 17 months.

The 'Watching the Capital Tower', a tower on top of a wooded peak high above a sweeping mountain landscape, with the sun setting in the background.

The "Watching-The-Capital Tower".

2. It took over 2,000 years to construct

The Great Wall as we know it today was built over the course of five dynasties. The first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, took the remnants of ancient fortifications, walls, and earthworks and linked them into a unified wall around 220 BC. Because of climate conditions and human activities, a third of this UNESCO World Heritage site — approximately 2,000km — has already disappeared. Still, many sections of the wall are being restored as we speak — see for yourself by taking a hike now.

3. It’s not just a wall — it’s a whole defense structure.

The Great Wall is not a single-structured wall. It includes beacon towers, barriers, barracks, garrison stations and fortresses along the walls. Together, they form an integrated defense system.

“Walk the Great Wall of China” includes a feature on the western starting point of the Great Wall during the Ming Dynasty. Tragically, all that remains today is a lonely earthen mound.

An earthen mound surrounded by shrubland and lit by intense sun from the back, marking the former western starting point of the Great Wall

The “First Pier of the Great Wall” — its western starting point during the Ming Dynasty.

4. Some of the bricks contain hidden signatures

Many bricks on the wall bear Chinese characters that are actually signatures. Most of these text bricks are from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), when they were used as a quality-tracking method. The texts contain key information such as the production location, the brick household name and the responsible officials.

5. A Chinese unicorn can be found on the Simatai section

On the ​​Simatai section of the Great Wall, there is a special tower with a hidden gem on its upper floor. A large screen wall made of 15 square bricks is carved with a mysterious, eye-catching animal from Chinese mythology, called Kirin (or Qilin). Over hundreds of years, the tower has been eroded, but you can still admire this auspicious symbol.

Want to learn more? Visit “Walk the Great Wall of China”, or download Google Arts & Culture’s Android or iOS app.

Celebrating Black History Month in the UK

Each year we celebrate Black History Month in the United Kingdom through the month of October. It’s a time for learning, reflecting on and celebrating the impact of Black heritage and culture. To support the importance of learning about our shared histories, today we are launching over 80 new stories in collaboration with a range of cultural partners across the UK; from Bristol to Liverpool, Manchester to London.

The Black and British hub on Google Arts & Culture has been created alongside contributing partners, many of whom are coming online for the first time. This includes Bristol Museums, National Museums Liverpool, andFar From the Norm joining our growing collection of cultural institutions to share their stories from across the UK.

From football, to photography, and statues to sound systems

You can discover a range of new, young talents making waves across disciplines from dance, photography and sport. Find out about the community response to the nowiconic mural of Marcus Rashford MBE in Withington, Manchester, or discover more about award-winning choreographer, director and dance artist Botis Seva’s company and seminal production BLKDG. Or get acquainted with a host of stunning creatives like the powerful, colourful photography of artist Tayo Adekunle and the five talents selected by photographer and creative champion Misan Harriman in the second installment of his series Black Lenses Matter.

You’ll find stories covering prominent events in British history like the Empire Windrush and more recent events such as the Colston statue in Bristol. This is in addition to profiles on influential figures such as Carnival pioneer Claudia Jones and broadcaster and poetUna Marson. Why not take a moment to learn about the story of Princess Campbell, a Bristol nurse? Or perhaps explore the garden of Sybil Phoenix OBE, the first Black British woman to receive an MBE?

And if you are suffering from Notting Hill Carnival withdrawals, take a deep dive from your living room into the Mas bands, sound systems and steel bands who make Carnival the vibrant, sonic experience it is today.

There’s so much more to explore on the Black & British hub on Google Arts & Culture from today.

Visit g.co/blackhistoryuk, or download Google Arts & Culture’s Android or iOS app

How machine learning revived long lost masterpieces by Klimt

Few artists enjoy such worldwide fame as Gustav Klimt. The new Google Arts & Culture online retrospective "Klimt vs. Klimt - The Man of Contradictions" puts the spotlight on the artist's eclectic work and life. A Machine Learning experiment recolored photographs of lost Klimt paintings, while a “Pocket Gallery” brings some of his most iconic works into your living room in augmented reality and 3D. Together with more than 120 stories about his art and personality, a virtual tour of his studio, and many more highlights from the collections of over 30 cultural institutions around the world, "Klimt vs. Klimt" forms one of the most comprehensive online experiences about the artist.

Klimt’s legacy poses many unsolved questions, not least due to the fact that approximately 20% of his artworks were lost over the course of history. Among the most prominent and painful losses are the so-called Faculty Paintings, created on behalf of the University of Vienna and rejected by the latter for being overly critical towards science. In 1945, only days before the Second World War ended, the paintings were lost to a fire at Immendorf Castle in Austria. What these major works looked like could only be guessed at from black and white photographs taken in the early 1900s, unable were they to convey the magic that makes Klimt’s artworks so captivating — the bold colours, the revolutionary approach to textures, the shocking directness of his figures. Until today.

Using the opportunities offered by machine learning, enhanced by the knowledge of internationally renowned Klimt expert and curator at the Belvedere, Dr. Franz Smola, the team at the Google Arts & Culture Lab was able to reconstruct the colours that Klimt might have used for the Faculty Paintings, thus restoring them to their fully colored beauty. For the first time in 70 years, people can experience his artworks in the colors he might have used.

Experience the art of Klimt in new ways online

The paintings are the true centerpiece of “Klimt vs. Klimt”. The retrospective brings together more than 120 of the artist’s most famous masterpieces, as well as lesser known works, and assembles an expertly curated selection in an immersive Pocket Gallery that you can experience in augmented reality on mobile or in 3D on web. This was made possible thanks to a collaboration between Google Arts & Culture and over 30 partners and institutions - with the Belvedere, the Albertina, the Klimt Foundation, the Neue Galerie New York and the Metropolitan Museum of Arts among them. Over 60 masterworks by Klimt have also been captured in ultra high resolution with Google’s Art Camera. Come in closer to see “The Kiss” like never before!

Klimt expert Dr. Franz Smola

Meet the expert — Dr. Franz Smola

While creating “Klimt vs. Klimt” the Google Arts & Culture team was advised and guided by Dr. Franz Smola, curator at the Belvedere and acknowledged around the world as one of the foremost Klimt experts. He shared some of his thoughts on working on the project:

Why are Klimt’s Faculty Paintings so important?

Klimt´s three Faculty Paintings were among the largest artworks Klimt ever created and in the field of Symbolist painting they represent Klimt’s masterpieces.

What do you think about the recolored versions?

The colors were essential for the overwhelming effect of these paintings, and they caused quite a stir among Klimt´s contemporaries. Therefore the reconstruction of the colors is synonymous with recognizing the true value and significance of these outstanding artworks.

Is there something the digital presentation adds to how Klimt and his artworks can be perceived?

I am deeply impressed by the fantastic images taken with Google’s Art Camera. They allow you to really explore a work of art, to jump into its texture and color application and to discover every detail in the easiest way possible. I also like how technology allows ideas to come to life that have always been merely hypothetical — I am thinking of the Pocket Gallery we created, which contains a highlight selection of Klimt’s paintings including some of which were lost.

If Klimt was still alive - how do you think he would engage with digital technologies?

Klimt was a highly visual figure. He rarely commented on his work, rather inviting people to look at the work alone and draw their own conclusions. The “Klimt vs. Klimt” project primarily uses visual, non-verbal tools to convey Klimt’s work, which is very much in line with Klimt’s character. Klimt liked to lead a rather secluded life within the walls of his studio, to which only a few had access. I am certain he would have liked the idea of jumping from this remote and quiet place into the World Wide Web, having access to millions of artworks and seeing his art distributed and communicated around the world.

To explore “Klimt vs. Klimt - The Man of Contradictions” visit g.co/klimtvsklimt or download the free Google Arts & Culture app for iOS or Android.

A journey across Argentina’s culinary culture

Argentina’s table is a journey through Argentina, an atlas of diverse recipes and ingredients with ancient and modern origins, following the many journeys of the immigrants who have brought so many influences and flavors to this special cuisine.

In collaboration with five cultural institutions including Gustar — an initiative of the Ministry of Culture, ArgenINTA Foundation, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Argentina — Google Arts & Culture’s latest project brings together all that Argentina’s gastronomic scene has to offer, from traditional fare to contemporary culinary trends.

Few gastronomic cultures in the world have as many globally-recognizable landmarks as Argentine cuisine: from “asado,” with its amazing high-quality beef and flame grilling techniques, or “empanadas,” a true icon that come in so many different recipes across the country to “yerba mate,” a ritual originated from an indigenous plant.

European influences and majestic landscapes

This multicultural country is a melting pot of flavors with surprising culinary encounters, made of traditional native dishes and delectable European influences, like the family favorites pizza and pasta. Over the years, immigrants have shaped Argentine food culture into the diverse field it is today.

But food is also an integral part of the incredible Argentinian landscapes: For example, the astonishingly beautiful views of Patagonia are home to mountains and icebergs, where seafood, lamb, fruit and chocolate are produced. In Argentina’s capital people find the rhythm of tango and the chatter from the cafes of Buenos Aires embedded in the food.

Regional fare

Google Arts and Culture’s latest project not only dives into the lively food scene of Argentina, it also explores the richness of its people. The country is in fact a producer of high quality products that serve as the basis for its notable dishes. See, for example, oranges in the Littoral region, cassava flour in Misiones province in the northeast or honey in Santiago del Estero.

Today, the world has the opportunity to sit down at Argentina's table, a place for celebrations, gathering and integration of diversity.

I sincerely hope you enjoy it. Bon appetit!

Explore the Cradle of Creativity on Google Arts & Culture

Creativity in Africa is not something new — it dates back thousands of years and continues into the present day. In fact, some of the earliest paintings by humans were found engraved in a cave in South Africa 20,000 years ago. The Cradle of Creativity, a new project on Google Arts & Culture, explores how creativity evolved in Africa from rock art to contemporary brush strokes. In collaboration with the Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art (YSMA) in Nigeria and the Origins Centre in South Africa, you can now explore 50 expertly-curated stories, featuring over 60 high-resolution Gigapixel images of artworks digitized using the Google Art Camera, 17 Street View virtual tours and, for teachers and students, a dedicatedlesson plan.

Here are 4 fun ways to get you started on a journey of creativity in Africa:

Early human inventions

Image of ochre in various forms: as a rock, as powder and as liquid. Image is in hues of red, yellow and brown.

Ochre, paint and the past

There is evidence that humans became culturally modern, or cognitively complex, around 100,000 years ago and the beginnings of creativity this brought about originated in Africa. It is also possible that the world’s first artists and their workshops can be found in Africa, with evidence of art and ochre production found in the Blombos Cave in South Africa, Porc Epic in Ethiopia, Sibudu in South Africa and Twin Rivers in Zambia.

Image depicts a stylised sculpture of a female head. This figure has triangular eyes with holes in its eyes and mouth and hair parted into mounds. The sculpture is created in a light brown material with flecks of white .

NOK Head

How sculptures evolved

Did you know that in Yoruba Philosophy, the head is seen as the shell that houses the essence of an individual? Or that the occupational and political status of the deceased determined the material that was used in making bronze heads? You can now explore these and more interesting facts about Nok, Benin, and Ife art. You can also walk around the YSMA and explore the evolution of sculptures using Google Street View.

An ivory etching in hues of cream, gold and dark red. Cream figures including horned animals, skeletons and female forms take up most of the frame and are surrounded by dark red and black pigment.

Bruce Onobrakpeya, Panel of 5: Oshare Me jevwe, Omote kporovwe, Adje Ewenvwe kpo, Igurube, Eyame Jevwe.

Storytelling through art

People across the continent have explored different methods to pass on their stories and express themselves through art and creativity for thousands of years. Whether it is to tell stories of the spirit world through the communal trance dance of the San People, or to raise awareness about urgent issues and arguing for change today, Africans continue to find creative ways to tell their story.

This image shows a  work comprised of sections of different fabrics which have been joined together to form a patchwork wall hanging. Indigo is the predominant color of this work, but white black and light blue are also present Each piece of cloth has geometric shapes woven into it.

Nike Davies-Okundaye, Cycle of Life

Learning from the brushstrokes

Paintings can hold so much meaning and symbolism behind colors, figures, style and brushstrokes. Thanks to the experts at the YSMA and the giga-pixel resolution images captured by Art Camera, you can now learn more about the masterpieces of renowned artists like Ben Enwonwu, Bruce Onobrakpeya and Nike Davies-Okundaye. Zoom into the details to spot the onlookers in Uche Okeke’s ‘The Conflict’, and explore how Ben Osaghae depicts spiritual contradictions in his painting 'Miracle for Sale'.

Are you a student or a teacher? We have also created a dedicatedlesson plan for you. Visit g.co/google4africa21 if you want to continue your exploration, or download Google Arts & Culture’s Android or iOS app to further immerse yourself in the cradle of creativity!

Teaching with Google Arts & Culture

Since its creation in 2011, Google Arts & Culture has made a wide range of cultural stories and experiences available to everyone, thanks to our collaboration with cultural organisations around the world. From experiencing dinosaurs and iconic fashion garments in 360 to getting immersed into masterpieces guided by your favourite actor or musician, and even  projecting Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit into your home in AR, the platform offers curious minds many opportunities to learn.

Whether it's taking art selfies, playing puzzle parties with friends, or diving into richly documented resources about US Black History or Inventions and Discoveries in history, Google Arts & Culture has been a valuable learning companion to people of all ages and backgrounds.

And today, we are releasing a new Teacher Guide – a dedicated resource for educators to make learning with Arts & Culture and using the platform in class easier than ever. The guide, developed in partnership with education and instructional design experts at Google, was created to help teachers better understand how to use the platform to engage their students. It includes ready-to-use handouts and customizable activity templates, and compliments other popular experiences on Google Arts & Culture that were designed with educators in mind.

Virtual Field trips for the classroom

Illustration created by Julia Allum, 2021

Take a Virtual Field Trip, Julia Allum, 2021, Google Arts & Culture

Teachers can take their students on a virtual field trip, with hundreds of expeditions now available on Google Arts & Culture. Fly to the Moon, dive to the Great Barrier Reef, zoom Inside a Cell, visit museums, uncover scientific theories and explore distant lands. You can still explore the world from the comfort of your desk or classroom, no headset needed.

Lesson Plans for your classroom

Cover of Uncovering Egypt’s Layered History lesson plan

Created by education experts, the lesson plans can also be used as worksheets.

Ten new downloadable lesson plans have been published, such as Uncovering Egypt’s Layered History, Milestones in the Pride Movement, and The History of Computing. All Google Arts & Culture lesson plans have been written by education experts. In addition, Get Smart with Art is a new resource created by the de Young Museum and designed to enable educators, with no prior knowledge of art, to get younger students to look at art works.

Learning resources by subject area

Learn with Google Arts & Culture, London Stories by Julia Allum, 2018, London Transport Museum

Learn with Google Arts & Culture, London Stories by Julia Allum, 2018, London Transport Museum

For those looking for information on a particular topic, the Learn about Arts & Culture page gathers materials and experiences from across the platform, based on subjects including natural history, physics, geography, art and music.

Experimenting with students

Google Experiments, Art Coloring Book, Dish of Apples by Paul Cezanne, c. 1876-77, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Google Experiments, Art Coloring Book, Dish of Apples by Paul Cezanne, c. 1876-77, Metropolitan Museum of Art

If a teacher wants to excite students about a subject, one of the Google Arts & Culture Experiments might get them hooked. Get them composing like Beethoven, Bach and Mozart by creating melodieswith AI. You want them to think about their global footprint? Then the CO2 footprint of food we eat might do the trick. There are also simple, fun ways to engage with art such as the art coloring book or the collaborative puzzle party.

The Google Arts & Culture home page

The Google Arts & Culture home page changes daily

The Google Arts & Culture home page changes daily

The homepage is usually where you start your journey on Google Arts & Culture. It is refreshed daily, so if you find something useful, make it a favorite by clicking on the heart shaped icon. That way you can locate it quickly next time you visit the site and you can share it on Google Classroom, using the share link. You can also do a quick search (magnifying glass, top right hand corner); from apples to zebras, you’re bound to find something of interest.

Whatever the future of teaching holds, educators can be sure that they will find something on Google Arts & Culture to keep their (online) class occupied, no matter what, or where, they are studying.

We hope that these resources will help everyone learn for life, and encourage you to also check out some other resources Google provides – now brought together on our new Learning site– to help everyone in the world learn anything in the world.