FEBRUARY 19 2014: Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA) announced today that it is adding 51 high resolution art works to the Google Cultural Institute allowing people all over the world to explore their collection of historic images online.
To date, CHSA has contributed 51 photographs and archival material unique to Chinese American communities. These objects were selected to become part of the Google Cultural Institute for their significance in documenting how San Francisco Chinatown rose from the ashes of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire to become the most iconic Chinatown in the world. Today, SF Chinatown is major tourist attraction, visitor destination, residential neighborhood and a touchstone of Chinese America. The resolution of these images, combined with a custom built zoom viewer, allows history buffs to discover minute aspects of CHSA’s collection they may never have seen up close before.
“We’re thrilled to be a part of the launch,” said Sue Lee, CHSA’s Executive Director. “Working with the Google Art Project allows a wider audience to learn about and appreciate the history and contributions of Chinese in America. We hope to include more of our collection in the Google Art Project in the near future.”
Visitors to the Google Art Project can browse works by the artist’s name, the artwork, the type of art, the museum, the country, collections and the time period. Google+ and video hangouts are integrated on the site, allowing viewers to invite their friends to view and discuss their favorite works in a video chat or follow a guided tour from an expert to gain an appreciation of a particular topic or art collection.
The ‘My Gallery’ feature allows users to save specific views of any of artworks and build their own personalized gallery. Comments can be added to each painting and the whole gallery can then be shared with friends and family. It’s an ideal tool for students or groups to work on collaborative projects or collections. In addition, a feature called ‘Compare’ allows you to examine two pieces of artwork side-by-side to look at how an artist’s style evolved over time, connect trends across cultures or delve deeply into two parts of the same work.
To date, more than six million high resolution objects are available in the Cultural Institute. Street View images now cover more than 90 museums in 30 countries, with more being added all the time.
The Google Cultural Institute is dedicated to creating technology that helps the cultural community to 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 and in doing so, democratize access to it and preserve it for future generations.
Founded in 1963, the Chinese Historical Society of America is the oldest and largest organization in the country dedicated to the documentation, study, and presentation of Chinese American history and culture. CHSA operates a Museum and Learning Center, located in the landmark Julia Morgan-designed Chinatown YWCA building.
Through exhibitions, publications, and educational and public programming, CHSA promotes the contributions of Chinese Americans and preserves the legacy of Chinese America.