As the world grinds to an abrupt and staggering halt, more and more people are taking the concept of social-distancing and self-isolating more seriously, it can all start to feel a bit overwhelming. Don’t worry this is perfectly justified as we all face an unknown we were completely unprepared for. Like what the actual f**k! However, hope is not lost, in fact, as the world adjusts to the “new normal” more and more businesses are pivoting, offering services never before seen or rarely utilized. One of those is museums and art galleries creating virtual tours. Although, it may lack the excitement of travelling to and the grandeur of being physically in the space, this does allow for the continuation of cultural betterment. You might not be unable to take a selfie in front Van Gogh’s ‘Bedroom in Arles’, but you will actually be able to see and appreciate it.
Because we love art and want to continue the mental stimulation, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite museums and art galleries of the world so you can spend some time off of social media and explore some of humanity’s greatest masterpieces.
The British Museum in London was opened in 1759 and was the first of its kind to open to the public in the whole world. The upside to colonialism we guess. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, the collection is immense and comprehensive. The interface is topnotch with a musical guide through the art and history of the world.
Tour the British Museum
Oh Paris, the city of lights! Who wouldn’t love a little (mind) trip to the French capital? Well, the stunning Musee d’Orsay located inside an old train station has offered up their grand collection for view. With one of the largest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist works in the world, click your way through the interactive galleries featuring van Gogh, Cézanne, Degas and more.
Tour the Musée d’Orsay
Tucked away in the shadowy streets of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter sits one of the best-preserved medieval buildings in the city. Tucked away inside this fortress of art and culture is a vast collection of all things Picasso, arguable one of the most important artists of the 20th century. Spend endless hours working through the online catalogue of Pablo’s best pieces.
Tour the Picasso Museum
Taiwan’s National Palace Museum is home to an impressively extensive collection of Chinese arts and crafts that span from the neolithic to the modern era. In this virtual museum visit, you can choose from a selection of guided tours where you can click on anything you fancy.
Tour the National Palace Museum
Aside from the beautiful and Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building, New York’s Gugg offers up one of the most and significant postmodern, conceptual and installation art collections in the world. Thanks to Google Street View’s tour you can wander the twisting halls from the comfort of your couch. We highly recommend it!
Tour the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
One of New York’s most popular tourist destinations, the MoMA can often be overwhelming when it comes to the crowds, luckily the only crowd you will see as you view the 129 pieces of art is your reflection in the screen. The collection features pieces like van Gogh’s ‘The Starry Night’, Paul Cézanne’s ‘Still Life with Apples’, and so much more! All the pieces are helpfully categorized such as Modernist art, contemporary art, and Cubism.
Tour the Museum of Modern Art
Uffizi Gallery, Florence
Understand the Renaissance and the birth of the “modern” world by exploring the collection inside Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Founded by one of Italy’s most famous families, the de’Medicis, and designed by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 specifically for Cosimo I de’Medici, this hidden gem is well worth the (virtual) visit. While visiting be sure to “stop” at Sandro Botticelli’s ‘The Birth of Venus’ because sublime.
Tour the Uffizi Gallery
MASP, São Paulo
The Museu de Arte de São Paulo is a private, nonprofit museum founded by Brazilian businessman Assis Chateaubriand, in 1947, as Brazil’s first modern museum. The vast open space features artwork suspended in clear perspex frames that give the collection a floating feel. Very existential. You will enjoy this for sure.
Tour the Museu de Arte de São Paulo
Tucked away in Northern Spain, aka Basque Country, along the banks of the Nervión River in Bilbao, sits an extraordinary Frank Gehry designed titanium and steel building. This incredibly distinctive piece of architecture art space is home to a vast collection of postwar American and European art from Rothko, Holzer, Koons, etc – and one of the most extensive collections of Richard Serra sculptures we’ve ever seen. This is well worth the virtual tour.
Tour the Guggenheim Bilbao
The JAG, Johannesburg
First opened in 1915, the Johannesburg Art Gallery boasts the largest public collection of modern and contemporary art in sub-Saharan Africa. While the gallery’s current primary curatorial focus is on contemporary African and South African art, the collection also features 17th-century Dutch paintings, 18th- and 19th-century British and European art. There is a large contemporary collection of 20th-century South African and international art, and a print portfolio containing works from the 15th century to the present.
Tour the Johannesburg Art Gallery
National Gallery, London
Located just off of London’s Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery is home to over 2,300 publicly-owned paintings, watercolours, drawings and other European art from the 13th to the mid-20th century. It’s often so busy you end up dodging around people to see the pieces, so thankfully we can explore it from the comfort of our home.
Tour the National Gallery
Vatican Museums, Rome
This one is a given, to be honest. When you are the central depository of all things Christianity you better believe they have all the things. The buildings alone are masterpieces, now fill that will intricate murals, tapestries, sculptures, and you have a breath-taking experience. The virtual tour includes the Sistine Chapel, Saint Peter’s Basilica and Square, and also comes with a tour guide narrating each interactive space. Enjoy!
Tour the Vatican Museums