What Else Does The Google Arts & Culture App Do? Finding Your Museum Doppelganger Is Just The Beginning
If you've been online at all this weekend, you've probably seen posts from friends about museum doppelgängers. Thanks to Google's Arts & Culture app, anyone can upload a selfie and find out whether a museum somewhere contains a portrait of their long-lost twin. You upload a front-facing selfie and the app shows you art pieces that resemble you. Some people have gotten some frightening results, while others have been surprisingly accurate. You can only keep yourself entertained with the selfie feature for so long, though, and since you have to download the app to find your doppelgänger, you're probably wondering if it's worth keeping once you've screenshot your results. What else does the Google Arts & Culture app do? It was released in July 2016, and the museum lookalike feature is a new addition. The main purpose of the app is to help people learn more about artwork, and the other features are pretty interesting.
When Google released the app in 2016, the company said in a press release that it would help people learn more about art. "Our new tools will help you discover works and artifacts, allowing you to immerse yourself in cultural experiences across art, history and wonders of the world—from more than a thousand museums across 70 countries," the press release says. Finding your art doppelgänger is cool, but these are some of my favorite things you can do with the app aside from that feature.
1Explore The Eiffel Tower & Other Landmarks
Whether you're a native Parisian or haven't ever seen the Eiffel Tower, this feature is ridiculously cool. You can navigate your way around the landmark and take in the city's skyline at the same time. Obviously not as impressive as visiting Paris for yourself, but for those of us who can't afford a Europe trip right now, it's a pretty neat substitute.
2View Famous Artwork Up Close
When you're at a museum, you have a chance to peer at artwork as close as you please, and this feature recreates that experience. You'll find it under the Explore tab — just look for "Art Camera." You can look at high-definition pieces from Vincent Van Gogh, Jackson Pollock, Georgia O'Keeffe and more famous artists.
3Walk Around Museums Without Leaving Your House
I love visiting museums when I travel, but there are so many cities I haven't seen yet. Much like the Eiffel Tower feature, this tool uses Google Street View to take you through the museum of your choice. There are more than 1,000 museums listed, so you'll likely find one to wander around.
4Learn More About Art Movements
If you zoned out during art history classes like I did, you'll appreciate this feature. You can learn more about the significance of major art movements, like how long they lasted, which artists were most prolific and what defined the style of the movement.
5Explore Black History & Culture
Google Arts & Culture has an entire section dedicated to the Civil Rights era, and you could seriously spend hours there before you got bored. You can use Street View to visit significant places from the movement, like Little Rock Central High School and Ebenezer Baptist Church, a church that Martin Luther King Jr. helped lead.
6Catch Up On Art News
Most of my news sources focus on political and trending news, so I don't spend a lot of time reading about art. Thanks to Google Arts & Culture, I now have no excuse — the app shares the top art news stories of the week, so you can impress your friends with all of your contemporary art knowledge and learn something yourself.
7Figure Out Which Museums Are Closest To You
After all of that virtual exploring, you may feel inspired to get out of your house and go to an art museum in person. If you do, Google Arts & Culture has a handy list of the closest museums to you. I live in a suburb outside of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, so your results would likely be more impressive in a city like New York or Chicago, but the option is still there.
I'm not going to judge you if you spend an embarrassing amount of time trying to find the perfect doppelgänger, but don't delete the app once you've succeeded. I learned a ton thanks to it.