It is possible to visit museums online and see works of art without leaving home. Several museums in United States of America and other countries have open virtual exhibitions. The public can take a tour of some of the most famous places in the world, such as the Louvre in France, the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art in New York) and the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, USA. Some museums also offer an immersion in the collection with Virtual Reality (VR), which allows images of the works in 360º and 3D.
Virtual tours can be made on the museums’ websites or through videos on YouTube and apps for Android and iPhone (iOS) phones. Check out the following 18 sites to visit online museums and see artworks without leaving home. The tip is useful especially during the quarantine period due to the coronavirus pandemic, since many institutions are closed.
In brief, here are 18 museums you can visit online:
- Prado Museum, Madrid
- Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum, Madrid
- The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York
- Louvre, Paris
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington
- Vatican Museum, Vatican City
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
- The British Museum, London
- Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
- National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, South Korea
- American Museum of Natural History, New York
- National Museum of Natural Sciences, Madrid
- Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
- Museum of Art of São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand, São Paulo
- National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City
- Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Berlin
- Musée d’Orsay, Paris
- Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy
With that being listed, let’s take them one by one.
Prado Museum, Madrid
Madrid’s most important museum offers a virtual tour of its more than 18,000 works. Through the museum’s website, you can learn in detail about the various works of art housed in the different galleries of the building located in the Spanish capital.
In addition to a guided tour segmented by author and work, it has audio guides to play during the virtual tour, as well as all kinds of information to learn about the context, meaning, and history of the works exhibited in the building.
Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum, Madrid
The Thyssen Family Museum has one of the most advanced virtual platforms in the world. The website supports content playback through augmented reality glasses. This way, you can visit the museum as if you were inside the building located in Paseo Del Prado in Madrid.
If you do not have compatible glasses, the website offers the possibility to visit through a traditional web browser.
The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York
One of the most important museums in the world has guided tours through its exhibition called Destination. Thanks to this virtual tour you can visit some of the most emblematic works of art history, such as The Persistence of Dali’s Memory, Van Gogh’s Starry Night or Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.
However, to access the museum’s virtual platform you will need to install Adobe Flash Player on your computer.
The French museum also has a virtual tour that takes us through all the corners of the original building. Like the other museums, the Louvre’s website has different guided tours classified by type and works that will take you to the different galleries of the museum, such as the Egyptian antiquities, the Gallery of Apollo, the remains of the Louvre’s moat or the exhibition The Advent of the Artist, currently established in the facilities.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington
Next to the MoMa in New York, one of the most emblematic museums in the United States. Aimed at disseminating the history of the Holocaust in the Second World War, the museum based in Washington has dozens of online exhibitions in which you can learn about the history of the genocide carried out by Hitler during the first half of the 20th century.
Videos, newspaper clippings, photographs, prisoners’ statements… A tribute to the more than 3 million dead left by the Third Reich in its 12 years of stay in Germany.
Vatican Museum, Vatican City
The Vatican has set up a whole platform to visit all its museums online, from the Sistine Chapel to the museum of Pio Clementino, including the Pinacoteca, Raphael’s rooms and the Jewish Lapidary. Through a 360º visit and a series of programmed videos, you can get to know some of the most important works of world history that are currently displayed in the galleries of Vatican City.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Through the project The Met 360º the museum has carried out a virtualization work thanks to which you can visit all its premises through a series of videos uploaded to its official YouTube account. Best of all, you can access the museum from any mobile device, unlike most museums. The Temple of Dendur, the weapons galleries.
The British Museum, London
The British Museum in London is one of the few institutions whose exhibitions are compatible with Google’s Arts and Culture platform. Through the application of the same name for Android and iOS, we can access different guided tours in 360º.
The museum has over 7,000 works and a total of 45 reports, including the Chichen Itza courts, the Buddhist art of Myanmar, the Parthenon sculptures, the mummies of Egypt and the Rosetta Stone. In short, a visual orgasm for art lovers.
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
The city of the Red Light District is home to the museum of the Finnish painter. Like the British Museum, the museum of the mythical painter has a total of 164 works and 4 guided tours on the Google Arts and Culture platform. The visits take you on a tour of Van Gogh’s history through his art and the different stages he went through during his short life. Post-impressionism, model art, neo-impressionism, oil paintings…
National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, South Korea
This amazing museum has no less than 4 locations in several of the most important cities of South Korea, such as Seoul, Gwacheon, Deoksugung, and Cheongju. Its website, with exhibitions on the Google platform dedicated to art and culture, makes a tour of the works of its sites with exhibitions dedicated to the authors’ Park Hyun-ki and Yoo Youngkuk and photography, oil painting and symmetry in general.
American Museum of Natural History, New York
Through the Google Expeditions application, you can virtually access the Natural History Museum of America. Located just across from Central Park in New York, its collection consists of over 32 million specimens.
The museum also consists of no less than 27 buildings, 46 exhibition halls, and several research laboratories, as well as a library designed to display information on both the museum and the history of nature.
National Museum of Natural Sciences, Madrid
If nature is your thing, the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid has a guided tour on Google Arts and Culture with over 160 exhibitions, including animal species, insects, minerals, plants and all kinds of sculptures carved in stone.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
The original Guggenheim, located in New York City, has many exhibitions in the Google Arts and Culture application. The museum has hundreds of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works, as well as modern and contemporary art. Works such as The Yellow Cow, The Soldiers’ Bath, Two Nudes in Red by Franz Marc, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Amedeo Modigliani, and Paul Klee.
Museum of Art of São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand, São Paulo
One of the most important cultural centers in Brazil, also known as MASP. For some years now, the museum has had dozens of virtual exhibitions in the Arts and Culture google application. Currently, it has a total of 8,000 works of African, American, Asian and European art. Its digitized version has 6 exhibitions that will take you through the history of art in Italy, Brazil, and France, as well as the importance of art in fashion and the museum’s famous art gallery.
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City
One of the most important museums in Mexico has a guided tour of Arts and Culture. With a total of 23 rooms, the exhibition will guide you through the different buildings of the museum to tell you about the legacy of the people from Mesoamerica, such as the Mayan civilization, to learn more about the history of the country and the rest of the territories now occupied by other Spanish-speaking countries.
Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Berlin
The Egyptian Museum in Berlin has an exhibition of papyrus, sculptures and all sorts of elements of the time aimed at revealing the way of life of the ancient Egyptians through a journey through their history, beliefs, customs, and traditions. Through a 360º video of channel 2mun2, you can visit any corner of the museum currently located in Berlin in 12 minutes.
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
The Musée d’Orsay in Paris is another example of a museum you can visit thanks to Google technology. Thanks to Street View on Google Maps you can take a 360º guided tour of every corner of the building. The museum has such symbolic works as Lunch on the Grass and Olympia by Édouard Manet, The Little Fourteen-year-old Ballerina by Degas, Dance at the Moulin de la Galette by Renoir and The Origin of the World, Burial at Ornans and The Painter’s Studio by Courbet.
Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy
If you want to see works such as The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli, The Annunciation by Leonardo da Vinci or the Venus of Urbino by Titian, you can plan a virtual tour in the Uffizi galleries. The museum website has a tour classified by rooms and floors to see the works of several of the most important Italian artists in history. The visit is equipped with Google Street View technology for a 360° view of everything surrounding the mythical Florentine museum.
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