8427 - Peabody Essex Museum announces partnership with Google Cultural Institute


Tyeb Mehta, Untitled, 1973, acrylic on canvas. Gift of the Chester and Davida Herwitz Collection, 2001, E301099. Ⓒ Peabody Essex Museum.
The Peabody Essex Museum announced that it will join 1,000+ existing art collections online through Google Arts & Culture, a collaboration between Google and cultural partners who work to preserve and promote culture online. PEM’s first online exhibition will feature a curated selection of works from the museum’s Chester & Davida Herwitz Collection, the largest and most important assemblage of modern Indian art outside of India.
Produced by Google’s not for profit Cultural Institute, Google Arts & Culture enables cultural institutions to easily share their collections of artworks, artifacts and archives with the world, including first-person walk-through experiences, as part of its collection of museums. By making immersive views of the museum’s galleries available online, including detailed, high-resolution images of select objects, PEM aims to share its world-renowned art collection with a global audience.

“As one of the oldest and fastest growing museums in the nation, PEM enriches and transforms people’s lives by broadening their perspectives, attitudes and knowledge of themselves and the wider world. Partnering with Google Arts & Culture offers an exciting opportunity to share PEM’s remarkable collection and unique curatorial perspective with creative and curious minds the world over,” said Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, PEM’s James B. and Mary Lou Hawkes Deputy Director.

In order to create the online collection, the Google Cultural Institute makes it possible for institutions to share high resolution images of their collections and virtually map the museum galleries. PEM’s online exhibition, Catastrophe and Creation: Modern Indian Painting after 1947, explores the traumatic and creative period following Indian Independence in 1947. When the outgoing British government partitioned Imperial India into two independent nations -- India and Pakistan -- it sparked the largest migration in modern history. Some of the region’s most celebrated artists -- including M.F. Husain, Tyeb Mehta, and Nalini Malani -- mined this pivotal event in their artwork, sparking an artistic revolution in India that continues to reverberate today. In addition to the online exhibition, 203 works from PEM’s Chester & Davida Herwitz Collection are now available online in high-resolution.

"PEM has thrilled art lovers for about as long as any currently active American cultural institution," said Liz Schwab, Public Affairs Manager for Google Cambridge. "The Google Cultural Institute exists to make sure that same awe, wonder and culture can be shared worldwide through the click of a mouse."

Visitors to the Google Arts & Culture can browse more than 200,000 high-resolution digital images of original artworks, 7 million archival artifacts, over 1,800 Street View museum captures, and more than 2,000 online exhibitions curated by experts. Works are searchable by color, art movement, time period, historic events and more. The Google Cultural Institute is dedicated to creating technology that helps the cultural community bring their art, archives, heritage sites and other material online. The aim is to increase the range and volume of material from the cultural world that is available for people to explore online.