Dying to visit an art museum, but stuck behind closed doors during the ever-evolving global health crisis? Google Arts and Culture can help. The tech giant’s art website offers online access to 500 cultural organizations around the world, from museums to historic sites, all viewable without ever leaving your living room.
The virtual platform, which launched in 2016, features some of the most prestigious institutions on the planet, sharing treasures from the likes of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the British Museum in London, the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, and the Kunsthistoriches Museum in Vienna. So while you may have to postpone your next European vacation, you can still explore some of the continent’s leading collections online.
For those longing for New York’s museums, there’s also virtual access to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Frick Collection, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, to name just a few of the heavy hitters.
Each participating institution offers photographs of highlights from its collection, which can be sorted by date, color, and popularity. A few even offer 360-degree, Google Street View-style tours of the galleries, almost as if you are really walking the halls of the Museo Frida Kahlo in Mexico City or the converted Beaux-Arts train station that is the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.
Google Arts and Culture also offers a unique opportunity to explore smaller, more obscure institutions that you might never have discovered otherwise.
Did you know, for example, that there is a National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City? The platform showcases an exhibition dedicated to the history of rodeos as well as work by the great Western painter and sculptor Frederic Remington. And in Corpus Christie, Texas, there’s the Selena Museum, celebrating the too brief career of beloved Mexican American singer Selena Quintanilla, who died in 1995.
International discoveries abound as well. In Toronto, there’s the Durdy Bayramov Art Foundation, dedicated to the Turkmenistani artist. Or you could explore the collection of Japan’s Kobe Fashion Museum, the first institution in the country to specialize in fashion.
Here are a few more shots of these virtual getaways.
Street view of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston on Google Arts and Culture.
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