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Download Google Art Project

If you have already visited Google Art Project, you should know that there is not way to download any painting or artwork. In fact, Google has protected all the material available on Google Street Imagery  which as stated in the Google Art Project faq, is copyrighted and owned by the museums themselves. As a consequence, if you try to right-click any artwork, you won’t be able to find the familiar menu containing the well-known “Save as…” option. This is also due to the fact that Google Street Imagery uses Flash technology so that what you see on the screen are not “regular” pictures and photos. In this guide I will show you how to download such material and save it locally on your computer. To solve the issue, we will take a  “screenshot” of the artwork by using a free Firefox addon. Please note that the goal of this guide is to show you how it is possible to capture a “flash image” when right click and regular other methods to save files locally do not work. You are not allowed to keep such material on your computer.

  1. Download ScreenGrab! addon for Firefox and install it on your computer. Such addon lets you “capture what you can see in the window, the entire page, just a selection, a particular frame”.
  2. Open Google Art Project.
  3. Now, go to an artwork you want to save on your computer.
  4. In Firefox, on the upper toolbar, click View and from the sub-menu click Full Screen. This will let you enlarge the painting within the browser window.
  5. Now, right-click any empty space on the left of the “Art Project” logo. From the menu, you should be able to see the ScreenGrab! menu. Click it.
  6. Click Save.
  7. Click Selection.
  8. Grab the Artwork by left-clicking your mouse button and dragging the mouse pointer over the painting. Your mouse movement will start creating a square. Enlarge such square to embrace the whole painting.
  9. Release the left-botton.
  10. A dialog-box will pop-up on the screen asking you where you want to save the screenshot.
  11. Choose the folder where you want to save the file.
  12. Click OK.

The same result can also be obtained by using the Snipping Tool available on Windows 7.

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4 Comments to “How to Download Google Art Project Paintings and Artworks”

  1. Henrik N Says:

    To be clear, the command-line downloader gets the full, high resolution image which you can’t get by just screenshooting as described in the blog post. Unless you’re willing to take hundreds or thousands of screenshots and combining them.

  2. Henrik N Says:

    If you’re familiar with the command line, I made this full resolution downloader: https://gist.github.com/812918

  3. Jimmy Says:

    And this method is different from a simple PrintScreen how exactly?

  4. Dennis F. Says:

    As a long time Chrome user I have to reveal similar tools for it. I use 2. The first is Lightshot. You can save, print, copy, upload and edit. Second is Aviary. This is a little more involved & requires going to their website. It has quite a few more capabilities though, such as marking with arrows. Give either a try if you’re a Chromer. (I made up that word, but I like it.)

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