The virtual tour can begin on any of the museum’s six floors. (Courtesy Google)
If you can’t make it to Frank Lloyd Wright‘s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, fear not: Google Street View has a solution. Though not quite as fulfilling as visiting in person, their self-guided virtual tour offers insight into the museum’s iconic architecture while letting you view some of its exhibitions and artworks.
This isn’t the first time Google Street View’s engineers have added masterpieces 0f art and architecture. In fact, as a member of the Google Cultural Institute, the Guggenheim is one of almost 750 museums and collections available to explore online. Google also offers walkthroughs of famous world wonders such as the Taj Mahal.
With the Guggenheim museum, online tourists can view 120 pieces of artwork on display and travel up and down the building’s famed spiral ramps. Attempting to keep the virtual tour as realistic as possible, Google only allows you to click one step forward at a time, though it’s also possible to jump from floor to floor.
Artist Mario Santamaría found a place where the Google’s cameras were caught taking selfies in mirrors. The camera is usually covered in a silver sheet to stop reflections of itself. Here it was not so successful. (Courtesy Google via Mario Santamaría)
Because of Wright’s layout of the museum, it wasn’t easy for Google to create its virtual walkthrough. Drones, tripods, and Street View “trolleys” captured a patchwork of images to create 360-degree views.
An artwork from Matthew Barney’s The Cremaster Cycle. (Courtesy Google)
The experience is best accessed via the Google Cultural Center (available here) rather than entering from Google Street View (as shown in the image). Selecting the latter leaves you stuck halfway up the Museum.
Exhibitions from the Guggenheim Foundation currently available online are No Country: Contemporary Art For South and Southeast Asia and Storylines: Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim. For architecture enthusiasts, Google is exhibiting Photography and Modern Architecture in Brazil at its online cultural center, available here.