20 virtual museum tours to keep you educated and entertained during social distancing.
Feature photo by Leslie Holder via Unsplash
So, it’s week one of self-quarantine and you’ve sent out two hundred emails, hopped on six conference calls, had some meaningful conversations with your dogs/cats/fish and exhausted your Netflix queue. What now?
We applaud you for doing the right thing and staying home. So, in return for being a commendable member of your community, an illustration of empathy, and a champion of social distancing, we have decided that you should reward yourselves.
Here are 20 virtual museum tours (and galleries and national parks alike) you can take of museums and historic sites right here in Utah and around the world. Because we’re all in this together – metaphorically.
Utah State Capitol, Salt Lake City: Check out the rotunda’s artwork featuring the work and accomplishments of the early Utah settlers to the illustration of Salt Lake City resident Seraph Young becoming the first woman to vote in the United States.
This is the Place Heritage Park, Salt Lake City: Step back in time and see what life was like for Utah’s early settlers. The Park also features a Native American Village which honors the contributions of the five native tribes inhabited the area before the pioneers arrived: Shoshone, Piute, Ute, Goshute, and Navajo.
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah: Google’s online Arts & Culture activation includes a program called “The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks” in partnership with the National Parks Services, can bring one of Utah’s outdoor treasures into your living room.
Land Cruiser Museum, Salt Lake City: For all you car aficionados, Salt Lake City’s own Land Cruiser museum offers virtual museum tours which feature historic Toyotas that never made it to distribution in the US.
Ghost Tour, Salt Lake City: This one goes out to the fans of the spooky and the scary. Join members of AdventureMyths and PRISMd as they look into some of the local legends of paranormal activity right here in Salt Lake City, UT.
Phillips Gallery, Salt Lake City: Established in 1965, Phillips Gallery is the oldest commercial gallery in the intermountain west. They represent artists primarily from Utah and the surrounding region as well as a few national and international artists with Utah ties. Their website features a look into the exhibits they currently have on display.
British Museum, London: This online exhibit entitled Museum of the World takes you on a tour of artifacts from 2,000,000 BC to AD 2000.
Guggenheim Museum, New York: Google’s street view feature allows you to take virtual museum tours of the icon and “walk” up the Guggenheim’s iconic spiral staircase all while checking out some of the world’s finest modern and contemporary art. One of our favorites on display right now is the Thannhauser Collection, which features Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and modern French masterpieces including works by Degas, Gauguin and Picasso.
National Gallery of Art: Fashioning a Nation, Washington, D.C.: This exhibition provides a brief survey of American fashions from 1740 to 1895. “As fashion is influenced by social and political circumstances and by changes in technology, these costumes provide some insight into the character and quality of American life from colonial times into the period of the industrial revolution.” And, if you can’t get enough of fashion and its influence on history, check out How 1780s Dress Has Influenced Fashion Today, 10 Scandalous Fashions that Rocked History, The Mystery of the Stiletto Heel Designer and The Costume of Edo-Period Japanese Women.
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam: This virtual tour includes over 200 paintings by Vincent van Gogh, 500 drawings and more than 750 letters. There are also currently two immersive online exhibits: Which Books did Vincent van Gogh Read? and Vincent van Gogh’s love life. If a tour of the museum wasn’t enough, take a deep dive into some of van Gogh’s works including The Bedroom (1888), Sunflowers (1888/1889) and Irises (1889). Or, listen to a walk through of The Starry Night narrated by Maggie Rogers.
Casa Azul: Frida Kahlo Museum, Mexico City: Kahlo’s family home – the place she was born and the place where she died – was turned into a museum in 1958. With its virtual museum tours, The Blue House preserves the personal objects that reveal the private universe of Latin America’s most celebrated woman artist and contains some of the painter’s most important works including Long Live Life (1954), Frida and the Caesarian Operation (1931), and Portrait of My Father Wilhelm Kahlo (1952). And, if Frida’s home wasn’t enough, take a peek at Frida Kahlo’s Diary.
The Louvre, Paris: Odds are, The Louvre’s virtual museum tours provides you with more up close and personal views of the iconic treasures housed in this French monument than you’d be able to get in person. Check out some of its most important and popular exhibits, from Egyptian Antiquities to the works of Michelangelo.
The Met, New York City: This series of six short videos invites viewers around the world to virtually visit The Met’s art and architecture in a fresh, immersive way. Lovers of the arts can also enjoy the Met from the comfort of their living rooms through their nightly opera streams.
The Dalí Theatre-Museum, Figueres: This museum in Spain is completely dedicated to the artwork of Salvador Dalí and is where the artist, himself, is buried. You can take a virtual tour of the many rooms and exhibits surrounding every era of Dalí’s life and career.
The National Women’s History Museum, Alexandria: This museum right outside the nation’s capital integrates women’s distinctive history and culture in the United States to empower, inspire and educate. Their online exhibits include The Women of Nasa, Standing up for Change, Legislating History, Game Changers and many more. If the virtual tour of this museum inspired you to take a deeper look at women’s road to equality, check out The 1866 women’s suffrage petition, Second Wave Sisterhood and Snapshots of Suffrage.
Banksy, All Over the World: This Google Street View tour lets you check out Banksy’s satirical, stencil-style work on buildings and walls around the world.
The White House, Washington, D.C.: Check out its corridors and rooms, the Oval Office, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, and the grounds that you’ve likely only ever seen on TV.
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, NM: An online visit to the O’Keeffe Museum offers insight not only into the artist’s paintings, but also her creative process and the light and landscape that inspired her. If you can’t get enough of O’Keeffe’s modernism, you can also take a look at Google’s Hidden Histories: The Life of Georgia O’Keeffe: An intimate glimpse of the career of one of America’s most beloved painters.
Anne Frank’s Childhood Home, Amsterdam: Discover the house where Anne Frank lived with her family just before going into hiding and The Secret Annex: where she and her family hid and where she wrote her diary.
Palace of Versailles, France: You can also take 360 degree tours of The Gardens of Versailles, The King’s Chamber, The King’s Bed,The Hall of Mirrors, learn 11 Secrets from The Palace of Versailles and even find out which royal you most identify with. And, if you just can’t get enough, here’s Google Arts & Culture’s comprehensive look at Versailles.
Or, you can always tour any of our stunning home tours on our blog!
Found more fun online virtual museum tours? Let us know! Send an email with the tour info to firstname.lastname@example.org