‘Ever wanted to wander around del Prado in your PJs, or visit the Uffizi in your undies? Well, you can now do it without the fear of being arrested or inflicting endless shame on your family. Here are 10 virtual art galleries to visit during lockdown…
If you miss travelling to visit art galleries, don’t despair. Although it’s not *quite* be the same as doing it in person, it’s as good as we’re getting at the moment. So, grab a coffee (or wine, I’m not here to judge…) and enjoy some of the world’s most incredible virtual art galleries from the comfort of your chair.
Musee D’Orsay, Paris
D’Orsay is one of the best galleries in Paris and it has an extensive online catalogue. The exclusive museum offers up the chance to browse more than 800 items from their permanent collection via their website. These are split into various categories, including paintings, sculptures, graphic arts, and photographs.
Some of the highlights of Musee D’Orsay’s virtual tour are the extensive range of works by Paul Cezanne and Edgar Degas.
Check out the entire collection HERE.
The Royal Academy of Arts, London
Being the massive smarty-pants they are, the Royal Academy of Arts has a host of free online exhibitions on their site at the moment. You can have breakfast with Tracey Emin, lunch during the Picasso and Paper exhibit, and a nice chilled glass of wine while checking out the incredible work of David Hockney.
Although the gallery has had to take the difficult decision to cancel many of its upcoming exhibitions, it’s brilliant to see that we still have the chance to enjoy current displays. If you don’t want to watch videos or look at specific exhibitions (what kind of monster are you?), you can simply browse pieces from their permanent collection.
For current exhibitions, click HERE.
For the permanent collection, click HERE.
Guggenheim Museum, Manhattan
The iconic circular Frank Lloyd Wright-designed UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the world’s most recognisable buildings. Located in the Upper East Side neighbourhood, the Guggenheim is used to welcoming visitors from across the world, who want to view some of its 8,000 works of art. Despite lockdown, you can view selected pieces from the Guggenheim in two ways.
Items from the permanent collection are available on the main site and are searchable under many themes. As well as the New York location, you can also view art from the foundation’s other sites in Bilbao and Venice.
Guggenheim ‘At Large’ is an entirely online resource aimed at students, teachers, and anyone with an interest in art. It features online classes and tutorials, curator talks, and a fantastic in-depth exploration of the museum’s architecture. There are also apps for Apple and Andriod phones, in addition to a virtual tour through their partnership with Google Arts and Culture.
View the permanent collection HERE
Explore Guggenheim At Large HERE
Uffizi Gallery, Florence
Sitting near the banks of the River Arno in the historic heart of Florence, Uffizi Gallery is one of the most famous museums on earth. There are two websites for the gallery; one for the virtual stuff and the primary site for, well, everything else. Virtual Uffizi allows you to book a virtual tour by time and date, for which you can pay online. Gotta warn you, though, it’s around £31 for a single adult.
However, as many people don’t really have the spare cash to do that just now, you can simply log on the main Uffizi site and take a look at the art for free. Score.
Check out the free collection HERE.
To reserve an official virtual tour, click HERE.
The Rijksmuseum has more than 80 galleries and showcases an enormous collection of art. The gallery is dedicated to Dutch art and, when you consider the talents of Rembrandt, Hals and Vermeer, you can see why. In addition to a virtual tour, Rijksmuseum also has an app to allow you to check out the collection on the go. Social distancing on the train has never looked so good.
Check out the collection HERE.
Museo del Prado, Madrid
Madrid’s Del Prado is one of my favourite places on earth and I’m always happy to have the chance to look around – even if it’s not in person. One of the greatest things about the virtual tour of Del Prado is being able to look at every aspect of Bosch’s ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ triptych. When you’re there in person, there’s always some really tall person obscuring your view (everyone’s tall when you’re 5ft 3′). The other wonderful thing about Del Prado’s virtual art galleries is being able to search by artist, technique, era, or concept. Also, there’s way less walking involved.
Check out the collection HERE.
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
Hungary’s premier fine arts gallery has a whole host of permanent collections available for online viewing. These include Old Masters, Sculptures, Egyptian Antiquities, and an extensive collection of Hungarian art spanning 1600-1800. The gallery also has quite the collection of prominent European art, with pieces by Velasquez, Constable, Raphael, and Goya.
Check out the permanent collections HERE.
National Gallery, Prague
Prague’s National Gallery is home to the largest art collection in the Czech Republic. it’s split into 14 themed areas and it’s like having your own private viewing. Prague National Gallery is world-renowned for its graphics collection. The online collection shows around 100 selected prints from the 450,000 stored in the vaults. The Fair Trade Palace collection is a definite highlight. It’s genuinely liberating to be able to press your nose up against paintings and not be escorted by security.
Check out the full collections HERE.
The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
The National Gallery holds around 5,500 items and is the largest collection of Western art in Japan. As you would expect from a technologically advanced culture, the search mechanism is incredibly detailed. However, the site itself is definitely the least flashy and aesthetically appealing. If you’re lazy (like me) just click on ‘permanent collection’ or ‘highlights’ and start there.
The National Gallery has also teamed up with Google Arts and Culture to provide a series of curator talks. These are available in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and English. If that’s not enough, there are also two audio guides. The first details the art and the other concentrates on the building’s architecture.
Check out the collections HERE.
National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi
The MGMA doesn’t have the most attractive site, but it does have a huge range of virtual galleries to click your way through. In addition, its virtual exhibitions date all the way back to 1985. 1985, people! Basically, you could spend actual days browsing through them. Displays range from Graphics from the 70s Federal Republic of Germany to Indigenous Australia to everything in between. In short, it’s superb. Also, the virtual exhibitions are in slide show format so they move along by themselves. It’s a lazy girl’s dream.
Items from the permanent collection are HERE
Virtual exhibitions are HERE
What virtual art galleries have you visited during lockdown?