BOSTON (CBS) – The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is now only a few clicks away.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Diane Stern reports

The Gardner recently joined the Google Cultural Institute. The museum, along with more than 400 other art partners, has uploaded high-resolution works of art to

Becca Rutkoff, a Google spokesperson, described the realistic museum experience that this site offers to WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

“The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum also joined a handful of museums where we used the Google street view mapping technology, so people can not only explore their wonderful collections, they can also feel like they’re walking around the museum and really exploring it,” Rutkoff told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

The participating museums are located all over the world, giving the public the opportunity to virtually visit galleries thousands of miles away. “With the click of a mouse, if they decide to explore another great collection in China, or Australia, or somewhere in South America, that’s all available right through the same platform,” said Rutkoff.

Though initially it seems that this convenient site would decrease actual museum traffic, Rutkoff says it has just the opposite effect. “What we’ve seen since we launched the project three years ago, is that it actually helps museums. People are able to discover different institutions, particularly some of the smaller ones. We’ve also heard anecdotally that is helps people plan their visits ahead of time,” she said. also allows people to further explore works of art after they leave the museum; they can get closer to the pieces, especially if the actual museum was crowded during the visit.

Other participating Massachusetts museums include the Museum of Fine Arts and the Norman Rockwell Museum.



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