Stuck at home? You can still visit some of the world’s best museums. Modern Artifact has rounded up 10 of our favorite museums you can currently tour from the comfort of your couch. Please note that many of the virtual tours are accessible from Goggle’s Art and Culture App which can be viewed via phone or tablet only.
Considered one of the finest museums in the world, Musée d’Orsay showcases French art from 1848 through 1914 including significant works by Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet, Édouard Manet, Vincent Van Gogh, Georges Seurat, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The museum is located in the beautiful and historic Gare d'Orsay, originally a train station and hotel completed in 1900. Musée d’Orsay was named the best museum in the world in TripAdvisor 2018 Travelers’ Choice Awards. The website offers a virtual walk-through as well as close ups of the work in each collection.
Seoul’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art is home to a wide range of twentieth and twenty-first century works. Featuring internationally renowned artists like Andy Warhol and Joseph Bueys alongside contemporary Korean and emerging artists. All six floors of the impressive collection are available online.
Best known for its standard-setting collection from the foundational years of modern art, New York’s Guggenheim Museum celebrates the evolution of modern and contemporary art. Featuring symbolic works by Vasily Kandinsky, Louise Bourgeois, Marc Chagall, and Mark Napier, the Musuem is home to some of the most famous and important works of art from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The virtual tour also allows viewers to experience the famous 1,416 feet long spiral ramp of the unique Frank Lloyd Wright designed structure.
The sister museum to New York’s famed Guggenheim, Bilbao’s iteration offers another unique sculptural exterior and an equally impressive collection of art. The collection at the Bilbao Guggenheim are rotated frequently and often celebrates the avant-garde. The permanent collection includes works by Willem de Kooning, Jeff Koons, Mark Rothko, and Richard Serra.
Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum is home to the most extensive collection of the artist’s work in the world. In 2017, the Van Gogh Museum was the 23rd most visited museum in the world and the most visited in Amsterdam. Beyond the well-constructed virtual tour, the Van Gogh museum offers a number of other online opportunities for kids, including stories, games, and coloring experiences available here: https://vangoghmuseum.nl/en/whats-on/we-bring-the-museum-to-you/van-gogh-at-home-for-children.
The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. contains once of the most comprehensive collections on Western art in the world. At this time, only two collections from the museum are available online, but fortunately they are two of the most interesting: The first is a retrospective of American fashion from 1740 through 1895 and the second is an exhibit featuring Dutch Baroque painter Johannes Vermeer.
Both in terms of size and diversity, London’s British Museum is considered the gold standard for a global, historical art museum. Intended to represent the cultures of the world, both ancient and modern, the British Museum is best known for its ancient artifacts. The virtual tour is very well organized, divided up geographically and by area of interest to help make the extensive selection more manageable. A few highlights include the Easter Island Statue Hoa Hakanannai’a, the Aztec Double Headed Serpent, and the famous Rosetta Stone.
One of the oldest museums in the world, Florence's Uffizi Gallery formally became a museum in 1865, though it has operated privately for showings since the sixteenth century. The Uffizi Gallery celebrates the important history of Italian art, and houses much of the extensive Medici Collection. The museum is home to many of the world's most famous works, including Sandro Botticelli's, "The Birth of Venus", the Baccio Bandinelli sculpture, "Laocoon and his Sons", and Raphael's, "Portrait of Pope Leo X with Two Cardinals".
At MASP, Brazil’s first Modern Art Museum, the museum display is almost as an impressive as the art. With ingeniously designed clear Perspex panels, the art seems to float in mid-air. MASP is home to an impressive collection of more than 8,000 works of global art ranging g from African works to the European masters including Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso.
With art that runs the gamut from ancient to contemporary, the virtual tour of the J. Paul Getty Museum of Los Angeles provides a crash course in art history and offers endless options for entertainment. Beyond the art, the J. Paul Getty also has world-renowned architecture and grounds. While not part of the virtual tour provided by the Google Arts and Culture App, they can be viewed via xplorit here: https://www.xplorit.com/the-getty.