The best online museum and art tours to do from home

As Covid-19 continues to disrupt the daily lives of people around the world, forcing many into self-quarantine, we’re compiling the best deals online from artists, museums and galleries. Whether you’re staying at home or your local museums and galleries have closed, here are some of the best digital initiatives to satisfy your creative cravings.

Google Arts & Culture Tours: International Museums

Your first stop for online art tours and resources is definitely Google’s Arts & Culture platform: they have digital documentation from over 1,200 international institutions.. From virtual tours to high-definition images of the works in the collections, you could lose yourself for hours on this site. You can search by artist or periods of art historyor you can look at the museums of a particular country or browse your region in the map view. Institutions included on the platform include big names like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, as well as smaller but much-loved spaces like the Van Gogh Museum. of Amsterdam and the Calouste Gulbenkian. Museum in Lisbon.

A Google Street View of the Colosseum in Rome

Google Arts & Culture Tours: International Heritage

If heritage is more your thing, Google also has a range of cultural sites you can explore online through its street view.. You can choose from bucket list locations like Stone Hengemachupichuthe Coliseum and the pyramids, to name a few. If you’re looking for more than 360-degree views, the Arts & Culture platform recently launched the Heritage on the Edge project, which draws attention to five UNESCO World Heritage sites threatened by climate change. The website and accompanying app include high-resolution 2D maps and 3D models as well as accompanying texts with information about endangered sites. There are also two “pocket galleries” on the app that allow users to explore a nine-domed mosque in Bangladesh and an old Portuguese fort on the island of Kilwa Kisiwani, off the southern coast of Tanzania, thanks to augmented reality.

A screenshot of the Hermitage tour

A flash video of the Hermitage Museum

Unrelated to the coronavirus epidemic but nevertheless fortuitously timed, this video is a five-hour cinematic journey through one of the largest and most visited museums in the world. Although it comprehensively covers 45 galleries and 588 works of art from the Russian Museum – with close-ups and panoramic views – as well as live performances, there is no audio or captions for the show. ‘explanation. The film is actually a promo for the iPhone 11 Pro, but it still offers an impressive ride through palatial space.

The Louvre offers a virtual tour of its Crypt of the Sphinx

The treasures of ancient Egypt in the Louvre Museum

The world’s most popular museum has a great online offering of ways to enjoy the space without physically attending. You can immerse yourself in three of the museum’s spaces through virtual tours: you can “walk through” its Ancient Egypt wing and its moat (hidden in the basement), but the online visit to the Galerie d’Apollon is a bit lo-fi (it was made in 2004, would you believe it). You can click on the exhibits for a closer look and basic information about the work.

A screenshot of the virtual hall tour of the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, London

Painted Hall of the former Royal Naval College

One of London’s best-kept secrets as it’s a bit off the mainstream tourist circuit, the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich is spectacular. It reopened in March 2019 after two years of renovations and this high-tech 360-degree tour is a seamless online experience of what is described as “England’s Sistine Chapel”.

The National Gallery of Victoria website

Self-guided tours of the National Gallery of Victoria

The National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia has developed a very impressive Channel section on their website. From there, you can choose from nearly 20 well-done 360-degree tours of the collection and building or listen to talks about the art; watch videos about specific works and artists; or read from a selection of digitized publications. One of the coolest features is the self-guided tours section where you can download a map of the gallery and then choose how to work in the spaces, whether through guided “Slow Art” exercises looking at specific works or art-led meditation sessions.

Kari Kola, Wild Beauty (2020) © Christopher Lund

The major events and exhibitions of 2020

Many major exhibitions were forced to close early, were delayed or canceled altogether and some museums were able to capture exhibits digitally so they could still be viewed online. The Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid presented Rembrandt and the portrait in Amsterdam, 1590-1670, when it was forced to close in March. He then launched an online tour of the show. The Castello di Rivoli in Turin had to close just after the launch of three new exhibitions, then it released digital tours and associated videos for the shows. Also in Turin, the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo announced new digital initiatives on its website and social media platforms. “While it is not possible to visit Berlinde De Bruyckere’s exhibition in person, our daily series of stories posted on Instagram, Facebook and our website will make you feel right here,” the website says. the gallery. The city of Galway in Ireland had planned a huge cultural program for its year as European Capital of Culture, but almost all events have been cancelled. They did, however, post a video of Wild beauty by Finnish artist Kari Kolaone of the most spectacular outdoor light works ever created which is said to have flooded a three mile stretch of Connemara mountain with shimmering emerald green and sapphire blue light.

Excerpt from the guided video tour of Raphael 1520-1483 at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome

With the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death, this year was to be a big celebration of the Old Master. One of the big celebratory shows was Raphael 1520-1483 at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome – it managed to reopen briefly after the lockdown, but it’s been digitized forever in this guided video tour.

A screenshot from The Art Newspaper’s video of Artemisia Gentileschi at the National Gallery in London

One of the most anticipated exhibitions of the year is Artemisia Gentileschi at the National Gallery in London. Featuring significant works by the female Old Master, this is the gallery’s first major exhibition dedicated to a female artist in its 196-year history. The exhibition was delayed but finally opened on October 3. Due to time-limited tickets and the fact that only locals will now be able to see the show, The arts journal set up a mini video tour and an in-depth podcast ride, with footage of all the works discussed, so those who can’t visit in person don’t have to miss the blockbuster.

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