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There’s More to the Google Arts & Culture App Than Just Selfies

Two years ago, we wrote about the Google Cultural Institute as “The Massive, Online Museum You Didn’t Know About.”

Now it’s been renamed Google Arts & Culture and everyone’s heard about it. Which we love.


More than selfies

By now, you’ve definitely seen those art-historical selfies floating around your social feeds. (If you haven’t, here are some examples!)

But if you live in Texas, Illinois, or outside the U.S., you’ve been feeling a little left out. We’ll let you in on a little secret: you can still download the app and enjoy tons of cool stuff.

That’s right! As the Google Arts & Culture app was becoming the most-downloaded over the past weekend, its vast treasure trove of non-selfie content was remaining mostly unexplored. These include virtual museum tours, massive detailed photos of artworks, and curated features from around the world.

Can’t make it to Singapore or the Taj Mahal? Take a visit on your phone. Or, browse by popular topics.

What to explore

These were the top stories during a recent visit to the app:

  • the work of a Korean abstract pioneer
  • Mayan glyphs
  • African beadwork
  • Hong Kong’s neon lights
  • historical shoes
  • the colors used by the Surrealists

Check again a few days later, and they’re all new stories. In other words, whatever you’re interested in, you can spend some valuable time exploring.

A street-level tour of Kiyomizu-Dera Temple in Kyoto, Japan.

There are 360-degree videos to watch. Objects to add to your own virtual collection. Sites and museums to take a virtual stroll in. And hey, once you’re feeling inspired, you can tap “nearby” to see physical museums near you!

We could run through all the features in this app (which you can also access in your browser), but for us the fun is all in exploring. So get to it!

Still feeling bummed about the selfie thing, Texas and Illinois? You can always find yours the old-fashioned way.

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