There’s no point in sugarcoating it — things are bad and they’re about to get worse before they get any better. COVID-19 virus has brought the world to a halt, shuttering all art and cultural institutions in affected countries, and putting millions worldwide in quarantine, self-imposed or not. Meanwhile, if you’re feeling hungry for art while you’re stranded at home, you might be pleased to know that 2,500 world-class museums and galleries are now offering virtual tours and online collections on Google’s Arts & Culture pages. (And for opera fans, the Metropolitan Opera in New York City is streaming concerts for free.)
Google Arts & Culture’s collection includes many of the world’s biggest museums: Tate Modern and the British Museum in London, the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum in NYC, among hundreds of others. In most, you can browse through entire exhibitions online, and in many, you can also walk through the museum using Google’s street view.
Here are 12 museums that you can visit virtually right now:
Guggenheim Museum, New York
See online exhibitions like But a Storm Is Blowing From Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa and The Little-Known Glass Works of Josef Albers here and virtually tour the building here (you’d save yourself $25).
British Museum, London
Tour the museum’s Great Court and discover the ancient Rosetta Stone here.
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
Get a close look at the works of Monet, Cézanne, Gauguin, and hundreds of other French painters here.
Walk among Vermeer, Rembrandt, and many more masters from the Dutch Golden Age here.
Pergamon Museum, Berlin
The Pergamon is one of Germany’s largest museums and it’s home for the Ishtar Gate of Babylon and the Greek Pergamon Altar. Visit it here.
National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul
Catch up on the best of contemporary art from Korea here.
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Explore an exhibition of American fashion from 1740 to 1895 and a collection of Vermeer paintings here.
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Here is where you can find the largest collection of artworks by van Gogh, including more than 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and over 750 personal letters.
The Louvre doesn’t need Google to create online tours for itself. It has its own virtual tours, thank you very much.
MASP, São Paulo
The Museu de Arte de São Paulo is Brazil’s first modern art museum. Do visit it here.
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Travel back in time to the 8th century with this collection of European paintings, drawings, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, decorative arts, and European, Asian, and American photographs.
Uffizi Gallery, Florence
Italy was hit hardest by the virus in Europe. Show some solidarity and pay this magnificent gallery a visit.
And, finally, enjoy this short walkthrough of the 2019 exhibition No Wrong Holes: Thirty Years of Nayland Blake at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA), courtesy the artist themself.
If you’re stuck at home and looking to visit a virtual museum, here’s a quick lo-fi walkthrough of my retrospective No Wrong Holes: https://t.co/4zmoS3M06E via @YouTube
— Nayland Blake (@naylandblake) March 15, 2020
is there a list of the 2500 musuems?
This would be handy. Did you receive an answer Gilad Melzer?
Nearly all art museums (and presumably many other types) will let you browse through their collections on their websites. The best, though, are “virtual tours” that scale the works on the walls and give you a sense of being able to walk through the galleries and the ability to zero in on particular works of art that interest you. Brief interpretive texts or audio descriptions are often available for individual works, as well. Art has always held the capacity to take people out of their own problems and day-to-day concerns to focus on something other–consoling beauty for a start and distancing from what makes us unhappy or afraid. It teaches, too, if we remember to keep our minds as open as our eyes.
The Museum at FIT has beautiful images and information about our current exhibitions “Ballerina: Fashion’s Modern Muse,” “Power Mode,” and “Eleanor Lambert,” on FITNYC.edu/Museum
We also have podcasts and videos.
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