Staying in doesn’t mean you can’t get your culture fix! Thanks to Google Street View and the Google Arts & Culture site, you can virtually visit some of the world’s greatest museums from your cozy couch or favorite chair. Google Arts & Culture is an online platform through which the public can access high-resolution images of artworks housed in the initiative’s partner museums. In all, Google Arts & Culture has compiled over 500 virtual tours of museums around the world. HERE are 10 top museums you can explore right now. More exciting news – the Hollyhock House in LA’s Barnsdall Art Park and the Louvre in Paris offer online tours on their websites. So curl up, treat yourself to a nice beverage, and visit the some of the world’s greatest museums in the comfort of your own home!
To access your virtual tours, tap or click on each museum’s name which appears in bold below.
The newly renovated Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece, Hollyhock House, was recently named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This virtual tour explores the building’s exterior and interior, with pop up notes and optional audio narration by a docent. The virtual tour was originally developed as a Virtual Accessibility Experience (VAE) to increase access to the monument, and to create immersive and inclusive experiences for visitors of all abilities.
Visit the museum’s exhibition rooms and galleries and contemplate the façades of the Louvre. Come along on a virtual tour and enjoy the view from the comfort of your own home.
Once a Beaux-Arts railway station on the bank of the Seine, the Musée d’Orsay is now one of the largest art museums in Europe. Take a virtual tour of the impressive Art Nouveau building and admire a vast array of French art from 1848 to 1914, including masterpieces by Monet, Cézanne and Gauguin.
The unique corkscrew design of New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum means that visitors can journey up its spiraling ramp and view its collection of art in one continuous, unbroken journey. The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building is home to a constantly expanding collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and Modern and Contemporary Art.
Berlin’s famous cultural hub, Museum Island, is where you’ll find the Pergamon Museum, one of Germany’s largest museums. Explore the ruins of ancient monumental buildings excavated from around the world, such as the Pergamon Altar (where the museum got its name), the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, and the Market Gate of Miletus.
The Uffizi Gallery is the legacy of the collection of Florence’s Medici ruling house. The U-shaped building contains works by Renaissance Old Masters such as Michelangelo, Leonardo, Botticelli, and Titian. The building was originally constructed to house the administrative and judiciary offices – uffizi means offices in Italian.
The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam houses the largest collection of artworks by Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) in the world. The permanent collection includes over 200 paintings by Vincent van Gogh, 500 drawings and more than 750 letters. The museum also presents exhibitions on various subjects from 19th-century art history.
The J. Paul Getty Museum provides a backdrop of dramatic architecture, tranquil gardens, and stunning views of Los Angeles for its art collection. It houses works dating from the 8th through the 21st century, including European paintings, drawings, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, decorative arts, and European, American and Asian photographs.
Since opening its door in 1969, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) has established itself as a representative institution of Korean modern art. The museum’s four branches carry out MMCA’s commitment to the art and culture of Korea by enriching the first-hand cultural experience of the viewing public. Through its various locations, MMCA intends to function as a cultural platform that encourages communication and cross-pollination of contemporary art with other various disciplines of art, science, and humanities.
Explore this museum and you’ll find at its center at huge pond underneath a vast square concrete structure supported by a single pillar known as el paraguas, or the umbrella. Around this are 23 exhibit rooms displaying treasures, including Mayan civilization artifacts such as the Stone of the Sun and giant stone heads that were found in the jungles of Tabasco and Veracruz.
This architectural landmark in São Paulo was designed by Lina Bo Bardi and is Brazil’s first modern museum. The floating design is mirrored in its internal art displays, with its collection of artworks suspended in perspex frames that create the illusion that the canvases are hovering above the ground.
Photo #1: Musée du Louvre
Photo #2: Hollyhock House
Photo #3: Musée du Louvre
Photo #4: Musée d’Orsay
Photo #5: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Photo #6: Pergamon Museum
Photo #7: Uffizi Gallery
Photo #8: Van Gogh Museum
Photo #9: The J. Paul Getty Museum
Photo #10: National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul
Photo #11: National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City
Photo #12: MASP, São Paulo