Opportunity to virtually visit hundreds of museums around the world
It might be one of the great ironies of our times. Locked down because of the current coronavirus emergency, we can still experience all of those world-renowned museums and galleries that we never got around to visiting before. The secret lies in the wonder of the internet and the growth in virtual tours of these cultural icons.
Now you have both the time and the means. From the comfort of your own home, it is possible to visit hundreds of museums around the world - virtually. Fast Company has reported that Google’s Arts and Culture has arrangements with more than 2,500 museums and galleries around the world that offer virtual tours.
Let’s take a quick look at just some of them.
British Museum, London
Distance is no object, of course, when it comes to virtual travel but, let’s start close to home, with a mention of the world-famous British Museum.
Taking you down through the millennia and across all five continents, your personally tailored tour is aptly described as a Museum of the World.
The National Gallery, London
An equally important capital landmark, the National Gallery also offers virtual tours of 18 of its rooms and halls, sampling just some of the 2,300 works of art from the European masters of the 13th and 19th centuries.
Uffizi Gallery, Florence
Visit the cradle of the renaissance captured in one of the smaller and oldest galleries of Florence in a building built back in 1560.
Here you can take a virtual tour of the art collection of one of the city’s most famous ancient families, the Medici family.
(Main image above: Rembrandt at Uffizi Gallery).
La Galleria Nazionale d’arte Moderna, Rome
Italy’s national gallery of modern art boasts a collection of more than 20,000 artworks - spanning the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries from neoclassicism and impressionism to the most contemporary pieces.
You can begin your virtual tour through the Google Arts and Culture app.
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
If it is the romance of the French Impressionists such as Cézanne, Monet, and Gauguin that attracts you, then head towards the Musée d’Orsay, in Paris.
It’s a popular gallery of French artists from 1848 until 1914, but you can beat the crowds by organising your own virtual tour through this icon landmark, opposite Les Tuileries Gardens.
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
The tragic genius of Vincent Van Gogh continues to appeal to serious and casual lovers of art alike. His museum in Amsterdam houses more than 500 drawings, 200 paintings, and over 750 personal letters.
Best of all – under current circumstances – they can be viewed through a series of recordings on YouTube.
You’ve heard of it, millions of people visit the gallery, and it houses probably the world’s most famous painting, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. But have you been there? Well, now’s your chance.
The moat to the original fortress was built as long ago as 1190, but the Louvre’s iconic “pyramid” was constructed as recently as the 1980s – both feature on your virtual tour of the museum.
Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
The name might be unfamiliar, but this museum is one of Spain's most prominent cultural institutions and houses the world’s second-largest private collection of art.
All the giants of the art world are there – from Picasso and Dali (of course) to Caravaggio, Titian, Jan van Eyck, and Rembrandt.
You can take a virtual tour of the entire museum or tailor your visit around one of a selection of themes – some suggestions include, woman and books, love, fashion, invisible cities, and even a “walk among flowers”.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
In the New World, New York’s Metropolitan Museum is arguably the continent’s premier museum, with some of the most celebrated collections anywhere in the world.
Browse its online exhibits as you take a virtual tour through some of its halls.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Known to most people simply as “The Guggenheim”, the iconic spiral of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s building is another of New York’s landmarks. Inside you will find a collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, modern and contemporary art.
Take a virtual tour of the entire museum or delve down to examine specific works of art from its collection of 1,700 pieces from 625 different artists.
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City
How about spreading your wings still further – across both time and space – to visit the National Museum of Anthropology, in Mexico City?
Mexico’s pre-Hispanic archaeology and history are laid before you across 23 exhibition halls included in your virtual tour.
Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP), Sao Paulo, Brazil
With some 10,000 objects and artefacts from all over the world – from antiquity to the modern-day – MASP is one of the most important museums in the Southern Hemisphere.
This data is correct as at the time of writing.