Got the Lockdown Blues? Need a culture fix? Let me take you on a tour of London Museums with Virtual Tours. You don’t need to leave your home to see some the world’s greatest art objects.
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London Museum Virtual Tours
Just because the museums are shut there is no reason not to visit a museum. Social distancing is not a problem when you explore with a laptop. No need to let quarantine keep you mentally cooped up. Let’s go on a virtual visit.
Pop along to the British Museum website to explore their vast collection. You can either search for objects or be guided by their excellent guides. At some point you will find yourself on the Google Arts and Culture British Museum website that enable you to virtually walk through the galleries. I would recommend starting on the the British Museum website itself as it guides you a little whilst the Google one just dumps you at the front door and expects you to find your own way.
London’s Courtauld Gallery is closed for complete renovation. If, like me, you miss the calm beauty of the collection or want to discover what will be back on show when the gallery reopens, then you can go on a 3D gallery tour of what the Courtauld looked like before the builders moved in.
London’s National Gallery has two free virtual tours that lets you wander round the Renaissance and early Renaissance works. You can can gaze at the gallery or dive in deep to individual works. If you haven’t been able to see the incredible Artemisia exhibition there is a paid for curator tour of the show which is worth every penny.
Natural History Museum
One of the hottest tickets in London museums at the moment is Fantastic Beasts: the Wonder of Nature at the Natural History museum, if your slot has been postponed due to lockdown then don’t fret as you can explore the exhibition virtually. It is just one of fourteen ways that the Natural History Museum has to explore its collections online, if you’ve ever fancied having a David Attenborough take you round the Hintze Hall now is your chance.
I confess that I’ve never really understood why so much fuss is made about Picasso until I saw Picasso and Paper at the Royal Academy. He just created incredibly images all the time with whatever was to hand and was constantly thinking of new ways to do things. You can explore Picasso and Paper in a virtual tour on the Royal Academy website. If you fancy buying some art then take a look at the Summer Exhibition online where most exhibits were up for sale and there are still some left to buy.
The Wallace Collection is one of my favourite museums in the whole wide world. On the Wallace Collection website you can browse the collection clicking on individual works for a closer look. There are also micro sites that offer deep dives into paintings like Frans Hals Laughing Cavalier and Fragonard’s Swing.
Worldwide Museum Virtual Tours
I may not have ventured far from my home this year but I have visited some of the world’s greatest cultural sites virtually. If you ever have a spare half hour can I commend spending it on the Google Arts and Culture website creating your own opera with Blob Opera.
Google Arts and Culture
Google has teamed up with 2,500 museums, galleries and places all over the world to create Google Arts and Culture. You can go on Street View style tours of museums. Swoop over Machu Picchu or stroll through the Uffitzi Gallery without having to queue or explore Scott’s hut in Antartica. All those books that I intended to read whilst the museums are shut? I can see that I will be spending hours visiting all the galleries I really, really want to travel to but don’t have enough time or money to get to.
Hermitage, St Petersburg
I visited the Hermitage just after the fall of the Soviet Union and was blown away by its scale and magnificence. It is on my very long list of places I want to go back to, now I can without leaving my sofa. With a piece of fortuitous timing, Apple has just released a 5 hour continuous shot tour of the Hermitage in St Petersburg to promote the new iPhone 11 Pro.
Which Museums with Virtual Tours are your favourite? Do you have any favourite online cultural museums that I have missed?