It is over a year now that art galleries and cultural institutions have closed for enthusiasts around the world. With many of them going online, not only has the reach increased but people can now view them from the comfort of their homes
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Ever since international travel came to a sudden halt in March 2020, art enthusiasts have been deprived of their cultural dose. In order to cater to their patrons and a larger audience, several renowned cultural institutions have taken the virtual route to enable people to view works of art, artefacts, and much more from the safety and comfort of their homes. By giving unprecedented access to their notable collections, these institutions have truly democratised art. While there are many, here are six virtual art experiences from the best art museums around the world we recommend.
An impression that’ll stay
The late Vincent Van Gogh is among the most famous artists on the planet. The Dutch post-Impressionist painter is known to have created thousands of artworks that influenced 20-century Western art. It comes as no surprise then that The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam houses the largest collection of his artworks, from self-portraits to landscapes. The museum is offering 4K virtual tours, informative videos and online exhibits about the various aspects of the painter’s life and work.
Log onto vangoghmuseum.nl
The Centre Pompidou in Paris might be closed to visitors but its extensive collection (over 3,000 objects) comprising modern and contemporary multidisciplinary art is accessible via the Google Arts and Culture online platform. Viewers can also sort through the collection using an interactive timeline which makes the experience deeply engaging. Additionally, the multiple online exhibits of Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky by the museum’s lead curator, Angela Lampe, help us deep dive into the life and works of the pioneering modern artist.
Log onto artsandculture.google.com/partner/the-centre-pompidou
Walk through a palace
The State Hermitage Museum, set in a grandiose palace in Saint Petersburg, is the second largest art museum in the world. Its permanent collection comprises over three million items, from Egyptian antiques to modern art by the likes of Picasso. The museum is inviting viewers to take an immersive virtual tour of the palace and all its artworks. With a click of your mouse, you can walk around the historic rooms, gaze at the intricate ceilings, or zoom in at the varied artworks that adorn its walls.
Log onto hermitagemuseum.org
Another world class museum set in a palatial building, The Belvedere in Vienna, houses the best of Austrian art including prominent works from the Austrian Baroque, Viennese Biedermeier, and Viennese modern art periods. The museum also houses the largest collection of celebrated symbolist Austrian painter Gustav Klimt. The digital guided tours in English covering major artworks from their permanent collection including Klimt’s The Kiss.
Log onto belvedere.at
Frida and her house
La Casa Azul (The Blue House) is the former residence of acclaimed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. The Mexican artist, known for self-portraits and works inspired by nature and her country’s popular culture, wanted her house to be a museum posthumously to be enjoyed by everyone. The virtual tour offered by the museum today has allowed visitors from across the globe to walk through these very rooms and view her art up close. In addition to her artworks, prominent works by her husband, Diego Rivera are also on display.
Log onto museofridakahlo.org.mx
Vermeer to Coco Chanel
Museum enthusiasts will have a field day exploring the 31 online exhibits on offer by The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) on the Google Arts and Culture platform. The exhibitions, sourced from its three locations in New York City, cater to varied interests - art lovers can explore the works of Vermeer and Rodin, music enthusiasts can indulge in performances played on the museum’s collection of 17th-century instruments, and fashion connoisseurs can enjoy the multiple exhibits on Coco Chanel and Christian Dior. With a staggering total of 200,086 items on display, viewers will be spoilt for choice. You can even choose between street view and augmented reality as per your convenience.
Log onto artsandculture.google.com/partner/the-metropolitan-museum-of-art.