The Getty Museum makes it easy to import more than 70,000 pieces of artwork from its collection into Animal Crossing: New Horizons for Switch, thanks to a new online tool, the Animal Crossing Art Generator

The Getty Museum makes it easy to import more than 70,000 pieces of artwork from its collection into Animal Crossing: New Horizons for Switch, thanks to a new online tool, the Animal Crossing Art Generator

The Getty Center and Getty Villa in Los Angeles are closed to visitors as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but art lovers can visit the museums collection virtually, in a way, through Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The J. Paul Getty Museums collection, more than 70,000 artworks, can easily be imported into Animal Crossing, thanks to an open-source online tool and the Getty Museums open-access collection.
The Gettys Animal Crossing Art Generator is easy to use. Just search for a piece of artwork (paintings, sculptures, drawings, etc.) in the museums collection, and it will generate a QR code that you can scan using the NookLink tool in the Nintendo Switch Online mobile app. The Getty based its online tool on the Animal Crossing Pattern Tool, which lets players create original patterns or convert existing images into patterns in a web browser.
The museum even has a selection of collection favorites, from artists such as Manet, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Cézanne, if youre looking for something familiar (and quick).
Édouard Manets Jeanne imported as an Animal Crossing pattern
Image: J. Paul Getty Museum
But if youd like to do a deeper dive, expanding your search beyond the Gettys own collection, the museums Animal Crossing Art Generator will also let you import artwork from other participating museums. All you need is to hunt down an IIIF (International Image Interoperability Framework)-compatible artwork from one of the institutions that participate in the program. For example, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery makes an IIIF manifest (a URL) easy to find, and I imported Kehinde Wileys 2018 portrait of President Barack Obama into the Animal Crossing Art Generator with a few clicks. You can find a list of participating museums at the IIIF website.
Of course, the low-res patterns of Animal Crossing: New Horizons dont often do paintings justice, so sticking with something clear, recognizable, and high contrast over, say, a Jackson Pollack piece, will generate better results.
Check it out at the Gettys website, until such time as Blathers decides to open a new wing at the Animal Crossing museum with painted and sculpted artworks.
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