More and more museums around the world have been forced to close over the last three weeks due to the spreading of coronavirus, but they have come up with several distinguished and creative ideas to stay connected to their audiences and make their exhibitions, collections and artwork accessible for everyone without having to leave their houses.
Apart from a higher social media activity with a lot of fun posts and shared content like one-minute long videos initiated by freelance museum worker Sacha Coward about a single work of art or artefact posted by museum and art professionals, there are some really great online tours and digital content available in the web.
The biggest platforms for online tours and digital cultural content is Google Arts & Culture. It offers tours, online exhibitions and resources from over 1.200 museums worldwide, which can be accessed via the web or smartphone app. You could spend hours strolling virtually through the halls of some of the most famous museums in the world or looking at high-definition images of artworks. Some institutions found on the platform are the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Albertina in Vienna, the German History Museum, but you can find many more by browsing through the world or your local area in the map view.
Apart from Google Arts & Culture we want to highlight some museums which offer a great digital content on their own websites or social media channels which you should not miss.
The museum does not only offer an online collection with over 700.000 artworks, but also 14 different multimedia tours and many great routes created by visitors in their free app. Additionally to that, the Rijksmuseum has decided to create virtual tours through the museum since the museum is closed, letting followers decide where to go next and curator tours which can be followed via the hashtag #Rijksmuseumfromhome.
This iconic museum based in London has developed an extraordinary online tour called “The Museum of the World”, which allows visitors to discover hundreds of artifacts from five continents and different time periods. Objects are not only described but also linked to each other to find out connections between them.
Belvedere & Jewish Museum Vienna
Since March 13, the Belvedere in Vienna offers live streamed tours through the museum every day at 3pm giving insights into their collections despite closed doors. The same idea was taken over by the Jewish Museum in Vienna where museum director Danielle Spera takes you with her to discover the exhibition about the Jewish family Ephrussi.
The Museum of Modern Art in New York has a lot of digital content in its repertoire, from an online magazine of passionate perspectives on art, artists, and ideas that shape culture today, to an online series about how to teach art from home, free online courses and audio descriptions and explanations of some of their artworks specially for children.
Dive into the formidable artwork of Claude Monet in the online exhibition of Musuem Barberini in Potsdam. Not only can you observe Monet in a video painting in his garden in Giverny but also take a closer look to one of his best paintings in high-definition quality. Further information on the exhibition can be found in the free Barberini app.
The Frick Collection
The Frick Collection in New York offers a way more detailed and immersive virtual tour than Google Arts & Culture. You can wander virtually through all the rooms of the museum and click on every single object on display to get further information and descriptions. It is one of the best virtual tours that we have found during our research.
The app KHM Stories offers ten different tours for children, adolescents and adults on topics like love, poverty and luxury, climate change, monsters in art or reflections of the human body throughout the centuries. We also want to highlight the museum fiction podcast series “six seasons” telling thrilling stories about the museum and its collections.
If the above recommended digital content is not enough to satisfy your desire to get engaged with culture and arts during the closure of the museums and you want to stay up-to-date on the museums’ online and social media activities, follow these hashtags and you will not miss a thing: