Do you know where the term “Impressionism” is derived from?

If you answered from Claude Monet’s painting Impression, soleil levant, which was exhibited in 1874 in the first of the independent exhibitions mounted by Monet and his friends as an alternative to the Salon de Parism, then you were right. I learned that from Google Arts & Cultures.

Arts 

Art was a requirement in my schooling growing up, but I never truly appreciated it. I always saw or read about it in books that never did it justice. It was only until I was in my late twenties when I started to travel the world and see art in person when I developed a deep appreciation for it. Also, now in my thirties and living a life immersed in science and technology, I have an even deeper appreciation for art. Technology is a world of creating products that improve our lives, but also might distract us a little too much.

While science pays the bills for my lifestyle, it is a process that requires little emotion. That’s why I like to expand my horizon and appreciate art.

A Sunday on La Grande Jatte Georges Seurat1884-1886
A Sunday on La Grande Jatte
Georges Seurat1884-1886

Art stands the test of time because it is universally accepted for its beauty and emotional response.

Google collaborated with over 1200 museums, galleries and institutions to bring art to you the history of art and culture on your smartphone, tablet and computer. It’s available for free at the official website, or as an App for Android and iOS.

There you can learn about some of the most influential artists in documented history.

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You can learn about specific artists or movements and how they impacted society. You can even educate yourself about specific paintings like the featured image, Water Lilies.

screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-9-10-32-pmThis app is great for all ages. If you’re a middle aged adult like me, you can revisit art if you missed it growing up. It’s almost impossible to see all of this artwork in person since the cost of travel is so high.

There’s no cost to view or educate yourself on any of the works. That’s something most museums can’t even offer.

If you’re looking for wallpapers of art you can download the entire gallery of art I’ve collected here.

Culture

The second half of the app/website is Culture. It’s a great way to learn about historical figures and events that helped shape the world we live in today.

Imagine what kind of world this would be if the US had lost the Revolutionary War to England. We might be eating tea and biscuits with our pinkies pointed up in the air. Could the war have been won without George Washington? Probably not.

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There are hundreds of historical events documented in Google Arts & Culture and thousands of places to visit around the world too.

In a world obsessed with social media, streaming videos, and games, sometimes it’s nice to learn about where we have come from and what shaped the world we live in now.

I love technology as much as any of you. However as much as I love it, I also like to take a break from it. That means turning off Clash Royale, Netflix, and Twitter. It’s nice to put on some music and read about historical events while browsing through art that gives me a different appreciation on life.

I highly recommend checking out the official Google Arts & Culture website here, or downloading the free iOS or Android apps.

App Features

  • Zoom Views – Experience every detail of the world’s greatest treasures
  • Virtual Reality – Grab your Google Cardboard viewer and immerse yourself in arts and culture
  • Browse by time and color – Explore artworks by filtering them by color or time period
  • Virtual tours – Step inside the most famous museums in the world and visit iconic landmarks
  • Personal collection – Save your favorite artworks and share your collections with friends
  • Nearby – Find museums and cultural events around you
  • Exhibits – Take guided tours curated by experts
  • Daily digest – Learn something new every time you open the app