LOS ANGELES -- Museums and art galleries that have been forced to temporarily close their doors to the public amid the COVID-19 pandemic are offering virtual tours and online exhibits for people who may be feeling a little stir crazy during self quarantines.
Even before the explosion of the spread of the novel coronavirus, Google Arts and Culture had partnered with more than 2,500 museums and galleries throughout the world, offering virtual tours of some of the most sought-after collections.
Google sells cardboard VR sets online that allow virtual visitors the chance to tour these museums and galleries from the comfort of their own homes.
If you’re craving art and culture amid a lockdown, here is your chance to take in the world’s most acclaimed works of art and historical pieces without ever having to leave your couch.
The British Museum, London
The iconic museum (https://www.britishmuseum.org/) founded in 1753 says it will continue to add to its digital library while the institution remains closed until further notice. “We'll share our collections, research and programmes in new ways that will not require a trip to the Museum,” the museum wrote on their website.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
In honor of its 150th anniversary, the MET is currently offering a handful of online exhibits and is encouraging people to follow their social media channels. “We're surfacing our greatest hits and hidden treasures on social media with #MetAnywhere," the museum wrote on its website.
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
A staple of art and culture in Los Angeles, the Getty Museum, which has two locations, sayid they’ll continue to contribute content to their social media pages and recommends that people sign up for updates from their blog, “The Iris.”
“We’ve rounded up art books, online exhibitions, podcasts, and videos to help you keep your artistic spirits up,” the museum wrote.
Louvre Museum, Paris
This Parisian museum currently offers three virtual tours which include Egyptian Antiquities, the remains of the Louvre’s Moat, originally built as a fortress by king Philippe Auguste, and the Galerie d’Apollon, known for its collection of paintings, sculptures and its high-vaulted ceiling.
Vatican museums, Rome
The museum’s website offers 360-degree virtual tours of the massive collection that resides within the Vatican’s many galleries.
State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
Earlier this month, Apple released a promotional video of a five-hour, one-take walk-through of Russia’s iconic Hermitage Museum. The video boasts “45 galleries, 588 masterpieces, and live performances, shot in 4K.”
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
The iconic New York City building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright has offered much of its collection online as well as a VR tour that pairs with the museum’s audio guides.
“With digital tools, people around the world can experience the Guggenheim’s architecture and art, right down to the echoing sounds of visitors’ voices,” the museum wrote on its website.
The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Located in the National Mall, a variety of virtual exhibitions, lectures and audio tours are available on the gallery’s website.
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.
The museum offers a 360-degree walking tour of all of its exhibits, including the Hall of Mammals, Insect Zoo and Dinosaurs and Hall of Paleobiology.
National Women’s History Museum, Alexandria, Virginia
Dedicated to honoring the history of women who have shaped the world, the National Women’s History Museum offers a variety of online lectures, exhibits from “Women in the Olympics,” and a visual history of Harriet Tubman.
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
The Dutch museum that honors the life and work of Vincent van Gogh partnered with Google’s Arts and Culture project for a virtual tour of the museum. Much of the institution’s vast collection is offered online for viewing with in-depth descriptions of all of the iconic pieces.
Anne Frank House, Amsterdam
The museum dedicated to Anne Frank’s life launched a virtual reality tour through an app that depicts the cramped quarters where the Jewish diarist and her family hid from Nazis during World War II. The museum also offers a selection of online resources for those interested in visiting the museum.