Home Online museum The best online museum and art tours to enjoy from home

The best online museum and art tours to enjoy from home


As Covid-19 continues to disrupt the daily lives of people around the world, forcing many people to self-quarantine, we are 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 urges.

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 of more than 1,200 international institutions. From virtual tours to high-definition images of works in the collections, you could waste hours on this site. You can search by artist Where periods of art history, or you can look at museums in 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 highly regarded 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 offers a range of cultural sites that you can explore online through its street view. You can choose from bucket list locations like Pierre Henge, Machu pichu, the 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 text with information on threatened sites. There are also two “pocket galleries” on the app that allow users to explore a nine-domed mosque in Bangladesh and an ancient Portuguese fort on the island of Kilwa Kisiwani, off the southern coast of Tanzania, thanks to augmented reality.

A screenshot of the visit to the Hermitage

A flash video of the Hermitage museum

Not related to the coronavirus epidemic but nevertheless fortuitously, this video is a five-hour cinematic journey through one of the world’s largest and most visited museums. While it comprehensively browses 45 galleries and 588 Russian Museum art pieces – with close-ups and panoramic views – as well as live performances, there is no audio or captions to explain . The film is actually a promo for the iPhone 11 Pro, but it offers an impressive walk through the awe-inspiring space nonetheless.

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

The treasures of ancient Egypt from the Louvre Museum

The world’s most popular museum has a great online offering of ways to enjoy space without actually attending it. You can dive into three of the museum’s spaces thanks to virtual tours: you can “browse” its Wing of ancient Egypt and his pit (hidden in the basement), but the online visit of the Apollo Gallery is a bit lo-fi (it was made in 2004, do you believe). You can click on the exhibits for a close-up and basic information about the artwork.

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

Painted Hall of the Former Royal Naval College

One of London’s best-kept secrets because it’s a bit outside the traditional tourist routes, the Painted Hall at Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich is spectacular. It reopened in March 2019 after a two-year renovation and this hi-tech 360-degree tour is a seamless online experience of what is described as “England’s Sistine Chapel”.

The website of the National Gallery of Victoria

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 its website. From there, you can choose from nearly 20 well-done 360-degree tours of the collection and building or listen to discussions on art; watch videos about specific works and artists; or read 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 through the spaces, either through guided “Slow Art” exercises focusing on specific works. or with artistic meditation sessions.

Kari Kola, Wild Beauty (2020)
© Christophe Lund

Major events and exhibitions of 2020

Many large exhibitions were forced to close earlier, were delayed, or were canceled altogether, and some museums were able to capture the shows digitally so they could still be experienced online. The Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid showed Rembrandt and the portrait in Amsterdam, 1590-1670, when it was forced to close in March. Then launched an online tour of the show. Turin’s Castello di Rivoli had to close just after the launch of three new exhibitions, and it then published digital tours and related 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 the Berlinde De Bruyckere exhibition in person, our series of daily stories posted on Instagram, Facebook and our website will make you feel like you are here,” the website states. from 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 were canceled. They did, however, publish a video of Wild beauty by Finnish artist Kari Kolaone of the most spectacular outdoor lighting works ever to have flooded a five kilometer stretch of Connemara Mountain with shimmering emerald green and sapphire blue light.

An excerpt from Raphael’s 1520-1483 guided video visit to the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome

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

A screenshot of The Art Newspaper video on 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. Showcasing important works by the former female 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 the limited time tickets and the fact that only locals will now be able to see the show, The arts journal gathered a mini video tour and an in-depth podcast, with footage of all the works discussed, so those who can’t visit in person don’t miss the blockbuster.

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