Whether you’ve got some health issues or are living through a global pandemic, sometimes leaving the house isn’t an option. So finding things to do is really key. From video conferencing, to social media and virtual reality, there are endless amounts of people, places, and things we can discover online to keep us busy.
Today we are diving into the possibilities of travelling the world from our living room. From Washington DC, London, Seoul and more, a lot of us use Google Streetview to check if a place is accessible or figure out a route in advance. But did you know that thanks to Google Arts & Culture, we now have access to over 500 museums and galleries around the world through virtual tours and online exhibits?!
Here’s a look at some of the top museums that offer virtual tours and exhibits:
Guggenheim Museum, New York
Guggenheim Museum’s interior is just as exciting as its exterior. Google Street View allows you to spiral along the famous staircase and get lost in incredible artworks from Impressionist, post-Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary eras.
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
Originally a train station then transformed into a museum, Musée d’Orsay is one of the world’s best art museums. Through Google Street View, discover at your own pace France’s collection of 19th-century paintings from Monet, Manet, Renoir, and van Gogh, among others.
British Museum, London
The British Museum’s collection spans over two million years of human history. Virtual visitors can tour the magnificent Great Court and explore treasures from around the world including Rosetta Stone, Parthenon sculptures and Egyptian mummies.
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
One of Los Angeles’ most significant cultural institution, about 1.6 million tourists visit the Getty Center every year. Pay a virtual visit–crowd-free!–and discover collections of European artworks dating as far as the 8th Century.
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Spanning two buildings and an outdoor park, the National Gallery of Art is one of the world’s best collections of art. It preserves works of art from numerous countries and historical eras, a catalog of roughly 141,000 pieces. Lucky for us Google provides access to two exhibits online: American fashion from 1740 to 1895 and a collection of works from Dutch Baroque painter Johannes Vermeer.
National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul
One of Korea’s top cultural establishments, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art exhibits pieces of the world’s contemporary art. You can virtually discover six floors inside the mesmerizing building with galleries filled with modern art.
Pergamon Museum, Berlin
Let your breath be taken away by visiting one of Germany’s largest museums online. It houses plenty of ancient artifacts and archeological structures including the altar of Zeus from Pergamom–a masterpiece of the Hellenistic Age.
Wander through this iconic museum’s halls through Google Street View and you’ll discover the arts and history in Amsterdam, from Middle Ages to the present. Famous works include Milkmaid by Vermeer and Night Watch by Rembrandt.
Tate Britain, London
Tate Britain is the oldest gallery in the Tate network, having opened in 1897. It houses a substantial collection of the art of the United Kingdom since Tudor times, and in particular has large holdings of the works of J. M. W. Turner, who bequeathed all his own collection to the nation. It is one of the largest museums in the country.
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Anyone who is a fan of this tragic, ingenious painter can see his works up close (or, almost up close) by virtually visiting this museum – the largest collection of artworks by Vincent van Gogh, including over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and over 750 personal letters.
Uffizi Gallery, Florence
Located in the Birthplace of the Renaissance, the Uffizi Gallery is one of the world’s finest and oldest art galleries. From anywhere in the world, you can explore the vast collection of the de’Medicis, one of Italy’s most famous families, who were great patrons of art.
MASP, São Paulo
Take a virtual tour around Brazil’s first modern museum. The Museu de Arte de São Paolo is internationally recognized for its collection of European art as well as exhibits of the best Brazilian artists of all time; Portinari, Di Cavalcanti and Anita Malfatti.
The Munch Museum, Oslo
Edvard Munch’s art is the most significant Norwegian contribution to the history of art, and he is the only Norwegian artist who has exercised a decisive influence on European art trends. The Munch Museum has a unique collection of approximately 1100 paintings, 4500 drawings and 18 000 prints.
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City
The National Museum of Anthropology is a dedication to the archeology and history of Mexico’s pre-Hispanic civilizations. As Mexico City’s largest museum, there are 23 exhibit rooms filled with ancient artifacts, including some from the Mayan civilization.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The Met presents over 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. The Museum lives in three iconic sites in New York City—The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters. Millions of people also take part in The Met experience online.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles
Among LACMA’s special strengths are its holdings of Asian art, housed in part in the Bruce Goff-designed Pavilion for Japanese Art; Latin American art, ranging from pre-Columbian masterpieces to works by leading modern and contemporary artists including Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and Jose Clemente Orozco; and Islamic art.
The Olympic Museum, Switzerland
The Olympic Museum lets people discover the Olympic Movement, witnessing its essential contribution to society, and to transmit the Olympic values beyond the celebration of the Games and competitions. Sport is, of course, the main element of a visit however, history, culture, design, technology and sociology are also some of the themes addressed within this new museography.
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Founded in 1965, the Israel Museum houses encyclopedic collections, including works dating from prehistory to the present day, in its Archaeology, Fine Arts, and Jewish Art and Life Wings, and features the most extensive holdings of biblical and Holy Land archaeology in the world. Among the highlights is the Shrine of the Book, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest biblical manuscripts in the world, as well as rare early medieval biblical manuscripts.
To see more of Google Arts & Culture’s collection of museums, visit the collection’s website. There are thousands of museum Street Views on Google as well. Google Arts & Culture also has an online experience for exploring famous historic and cultural heritage sites.
Do you have a favourite virtual tour? Share in the comments–we’d would love to hear which places you discover.