Whether you’re home-schooling, a frustrated culture vulture or just want some time out – virtual gallery tour could provide the answer.
Thanks to Google Arts & Culture, Xplorit and a number of galleries adopting tech solutions to social-distanced audiences, it is now possible to wander through the world’s finest galleries without the crowds. Tours vary from walkaround to slideshows, but we think it’s definitely worth a wander.
From Bilbao to The Vatican and lots in between, here are a few we think you might enjoy.
Frank Gehry’s famous sculptured architecture of titanium and steel is one of the world’s most instantly recognisable buildings. The interactive tour takes in post-war European and American painting and sculpture.
This Victorian shrine to the natural world is home to life and earth science specimens made up of 8-million items with five main collections: botany, entomology, mineralogy, paleontology and zoology. From dinosaurs to the origins of the solar system, it’s all available on an interactive tour.
The Vatican’s museums are literally covered in images. You need a 360-degree view to take it all in, including the Sistine Chapel. And don’t miss the virtual tour guide narrating the Vatican City, including Saint Peter’s Basilica and Square.
Founded in 1929, MoMA is housed in midtown Manhattan but you can visit from home. The collection is vast with over 150,000 paintings. Highlights include Monet’s ‘Water Lilies’, Van Gogh’s ‘The Starry Night’ but it’s also worth taking a look at Cindy Sherman and Andy Warhol – this is New York after all.
South Korea’s influence on the arts has been gaining pace. From the cultural impact of Psy’s K-pop ‘Gangnam Style’ in 2012, to this year’s Oscar for Best International Film going to Bong Joon Ho’s ‘Parasite’, it seems a good time to visit South Korea’s Modern Art scene – sans air fare!
Home to Dutch art and history from the middle ages to the present day. From old masters Rembrandt, Vermeer, Frans Hals to relatively young punk Van Gogh – this museum is art history brought to life. The slight snag is this museum really makes you yearn for a cheap flight, strong coffee and a Stroopwafel.
Is there a more romantic gallery than this disused train station in Paris? Perhaps its appeal is reduced a little online but then hopefully so too is one’s waistline out of reach of those Parisian patisseries. How are they all so slim? Gauloises before Gateaux? As well as the artworks, you can still see the menu at the café online, darn it!
Tate Britain has had gallery walk arounds online for some time. The Walk-through British Art series, takes you through 12 rooms from 14th century portraits to a celebration of British female artists of the past 60 years including Tracey Emin, Bridget Riley and Gillian Wearing. The Tate also houses the world’s largest Turner collection in the Clore Gallery.
You can also listen to artists, curators, writers and historians talk about key artworks in Tate Britain in the Tate’s audio series.
This won’t be for everyone in lockdown, but the Museum of Broken Relationships is really rather fascinating. As well being a physical gallery, it has always been a virtual public space. Every item displayed is representative of a broken relationship, donated complete with backstory. From the weird ‘belly button fluff’, to the heart-breaking iron used to press a wedding suit that is ‘now the only thing left’.