There is certainly no substitute for seeing a famous work of art in person. In “Good Will Hunting,” Sean says to Will, “But I’ll bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You’ve never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that.”
Sadly, given the trajectory of the global pandemic, it might be a long time before any of us will get to see any masterpieces in real life.
Lucky for us, these six famous museums are offering awesome virtual tours.
You probably have cabin fever just like the millions – maybe billions – of people around the world. These are crazy times we’re currently in, but unfortunately, quarantining ourselves is necessary.
Likely, you’re filling the void with new projects or mindless entertainment like video games and movies. However, there are many other things you can do with your newfound free time like learning a new language – or taking a virtual tour of an art museum located on the other side of the world.
Located in Paris, France, the Louvre is probably the most famous and recognizable museum in the world. You’d be hard-pressed to find one person who isn’t familiar with Paris’ iconic art museum.
The Louvre houses arguably the most famous painting of all time, Leonardo Da Vinci’s the “Mona Lisa.”
But it also features popular exhibits like Egyptian Antiquities, the works of Michelangelo, and some of the rarest artifacts in the world.
The Louvre is offering three different virtual tours with a 360-degree view. Visit the website to take the tours here.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Located in New York City, the architecture of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum itself is breathtaking. Designed by the famous American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, the museum contains works of Franz Marc, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, and Jeff Koons.
You may be familiar with the architecture made famous in the movie “Men in Black” where Agent J (played by Will Smith) is chasing an alien up the circular stairs.
This particular virtual tour is something you can utilize through Google Maps street view.
The National Gallery of Art
Located in our nation’s capital of Washington D.C., the National Gallery of Art is absolutely free, so it makes sense they would offer a virtual tour on their website.
But you can also become a national member for as little as $50 and enjoy exclusive perks like priority viewing of special exhibits.
Founded in 1937, its two buildings were designed by John Russell Pope and is one of the largest museums in North America. It also features a sculpture garden.
You can find works from the Middle Ages to present, but the National Gallery of Art’s most famous work is Leonardo Da Vinci’s Ginevra de’ Benci – the only piece of Da Vinci’s work housed in all of North America.
They also offer a video lecture series you can watch for free.
To watch the lectures and the tours, go to: https://www.nga.gov/
Van Gogh Museum
Located in Amsterdam, Netherlands, the Van Gogh Museum is dedicated exclusively to the Dutch post-impressionist painter.
Van Gogh is widely regarded as the most influential artist in the history of Western art. In his lifetime, he created over 2,100 pieces including still lifes, portraits, landscapes, and self-portraits.
While the Van Gogh Museum holds the largest collection of his works in the world, it unfortunately doesn’t house his most famous painting, Starry Night.
Take the tour of the online exhibit here.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
More commonly referred to as “The Met,” this museum is located in New York City and contains over 2 million works of fine art. The Met houses Vincent Van Gogh’s Cypresses, John Singer Sargent’s Portrait of Madame X, several works from Jackson Pollock, and Claude Monet’s The Water Lily Pond.
This virtual tour, “The Met 360 Project,” is an award-winning series of six short videos that fully immerse you in the digital experience.
That’s right. You can tour the key federal agency solely responsible for beating the Russians to the moon in 1969. In fact, there are many different campuses you can tour, such as the Langley Research Center here.
… and the Glenn Research Center in Ohio here.
They also launched a new app a little over a year ago that offers an “enhanced visitor experience” that you can download here.
If you like these virtual tours, there are many, many others you can find as well