If you’re an art lover, you’re probably finding it hard to cope with many museums and galleries closed. Although some art spaces are open, most of us are not feeling comfortable being in a closed environment right now. So how about touring some of the most important museums in the world, without leaving the safety of your home? “What kind of sorcery is this?” you might ask. Well, thanks to a little thing called the internet, we can experience the arts from around the world – all from the comfort of an armchair…
By Nikos Papanikolaou
Many museums and galleries during the pandemic are using the power of the web to provide art aficionados with cyber- exhibitions – and trust me, there are plenty out there. Some museums offer 360-degree walking tours while others showcase their paintings and installations as slideshow display stories, chronicling the artists and their work.
The British Museum has recently updated its online collection to keep on with the continuous demand for digital content. The website offers nearly 4.5 million objects from over two million records. Users can zoom in and see every little detail of each object, in high definition. The museum’s website displays 280,000 new object photographs and 85,000 new object records published for the very first time, including recent additions by artists such as Turner prize-winner Damien Hirst.
If you fancy a trip to Paris, check out the Musée d’Orsay. The museum has the most extensive collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist artworks in the world. Installed in the former Orsay railway station, it displays art collections from 1848 to 1914. Take a virtual tour and visit interactive galleries featuring van Gogh, Cézanne, Degas and many others.
Love Pablo Picasso? The Picasso Museum, located in Barcelona (and in your browser), is offering a 360-degree tour of some of the most important works of this Spanish painter. You can also stroll – virtually of course – through some of the most beautiful Medieval architecture of the city. Visit the museum’s many patios and discover and interact with the elements that have shaped art’s history.
New York, anyone? The Guggenheim Museum offers interactive tours where visitors can scroll through the famous hallways and staircases whilst listening to an audio guide. Visit the online collections as well as the ones featured inside the museum in a tour made more interactive thanks to the use of Google Street View. If you use Google’s filters, you can view the artwork you wish based on the colour or the time period you choose.
Ah, Florence. The Uffizi Gallery has made more than 300,000 works available online. Considered the heart of Renaissance art, the Uffizi allows art-lovers to gaze at artworks from Botticelli, Titian and Canaletto in front of their very eyes – while they’re on their beds! Click on the HyperVisions tab to find more curated tours around specific themes, such as angels and epiphany.
Shall we go back to New York? Sure, if it means visiting the Museum of Modern Art, or MoMA. Browse through the online collection of more than 86,000 artworks, where you’re sure to find something that takes your fancy. The museum has recently added even more works to their display, to keep everyone satisfied. What’s also new is that the museum has partnered with Google to create individual online exhibits, where visitors can view the life and work of specific artists.
How about a bit of Australia, mate? The National Gallery of Victoria closed its doors because of the pandemic but is still available to the public through virtual books, online galleries and children’s activities. If that’s not enough for you, have a look at the museum’s online collection, which boasts more than 75,000 artworks. Still not impressed? What if I told you that you could see the Keith Haring/Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines and Kaws: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness exhibition? All the virtual tours are led by curators, so you won’t miss anything out.
Last but not least, let’s travel to Athens. There (and by there I mean your laptop) you can explore the Acropolis. From Parthenon to Propylaia, and from Erechtheion to the Temple Of Athena Nike, take in the ancient walls of this revered citadel and learn about its history with the help of descriptive information.