Google knows something about the power in numbers, even in an art website.
Google Art Project, which launched last year with virtual tours and digitized artworks from 17 museums, has added 134 new museums to its site, including four from California.
Initially, no museums from the state were included in the project; now the Getty Museum, the L.A. County Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the De Young Museum in San Francisco are participating.
Other newcomers in the U.S. include the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass., the Rubin Museum in New York, and the White House.
New partners from outside the U.S. include the Sao Paulo Museum of Modern Art in Brazil, the Musée d’Orsay in France, the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico, Islamic Museum of Qatar, and the National Museum of Indonesia, just to name a few. Altogether, 40 countries are now represented.
This expansion addresses early complaints from cultural critics that the site was too Eurocentric and Old Masters-heavy, because of offerings from such venerable institutions as the Frick Collection and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Uffizi in Florence, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the National Gallery in London.