10 Virtual Galleries to Explore During Quarantine
Updated: Jul 30, 2020
Covid-19 has left the world frozen in time - most of us can’t leave our homes for non-essential purposes. But while the outside world is out of our reach physically, galleries around the world have begun working to get their art to you - in the comfort of your home, for free.
Virtual tours of several iconic museums, national parks, and galleries have become extremely popular in recent months, and today, we bring you a few of our favourite online destinations to see some gorgeous pieces of art.
1. The Frick Collection :
Located on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, the Frick Collection houses the artworks collected by industrialist and art patron Henry Clay Frick. The internationally recognised collection includes paintings, sculptures, furniture, and decorative art, all housed in his own former residence. The collection includes pieces such as The Progress of Love by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, and multiple paintings by Dutch painters like Johannes Vermeer and Jacob van Ruisdael. Art from all around the world has found its way into the house, ranging from Spanish and French paintings, to Italian Renaissance works, and Chinese porcelains.
The gallery has, during the spread of the pandemic, started an e-news list, ‘Frick at Your Fingertips’ with updates and information about its various online resources, including a video series, online visits for school, and several webinars. Virtual exhibitions of several of their beautiful collections can be found on their website, with detailed information on every piece.
2. Artland :
For an amazingly realistic viewing of some beautiful pieces, Artland is a must. While not a gallery in the traditional sense, Artland is a ‘social marketplace’ for the art world - an online platform to connect professional curators and galleries with art buyers. For a company which aims to make art more accessible, this pandemic was a cakewalk - on their website, one can view several beautiful exhibitions in 3-D, and can even get the chance to buy pieces they love. They house primarily contemporary and modern art pieces. They document hundreds of exhibitions and several galleries around the world - Italy, Norway, the United States, Netherlands, Spain - the list goes on. On July 31st, they launch a three day virtual-reality art fair to view and buy art, with hyper-realistic 3D modelling in a real-time online experience.
3. Eden Gallery :
The Eden Fine Art Galleries are a worldwide chain of galleries housing contemporary art and pop art. The chain includes galleries in New York, London, San Francisco, Gustavia, Mykonos, Tel Aviv, and Miami. Their galleries house several international artists, including street artist Alec Monopoly, Israeli painter Yoel Benharrouche and Italian artist Angelo Accardi. The vibrant artworks housed by them include not only paintings, but photography, sculptures, and intricate papercuts.
The gallery offers 360 degree virtual tours of four of their stunning galleries, through several large and dynamic rooms.
4. Singapore Art Museum :
In the 1990’s, a 19th century Catholic boys school was restored and transformed into the Singapore Art Museum - the country’s first art museum, which today houses Southeast Asian contemporary art. The SAM has joined the #MuseumfromHome movement, allowing people to read, view and explore their art from the comfort of their homes. This includes not only being able to view virtual galleries, but also videos by the museum’s curators, detailed information of pieces from their permanent collection. They have made available resources for school children of all levels.
5. The Louvre :
The Louvre Museum in Paris is the largest art museum in the world and a landmark tourist destination. As the most visited museum in the world, it houses some of the most famous works of art throughout history, the most well-known being the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. Currently, it hosts several virtual tours, including pieces of the Renaissance period, Egyptian antiquities, and so on. One can have virtual tours of the Mona Lisa and other historic pieces.
6. The MoMA :
MoMA, or the Museum of Modern Art is an art museum located in Manhattan, and is often known as one of the most influential modern art museums in the world. It houses works of architecture, design, drawing and painting, sculpture, photography, film and so on. Some prominent works include those of Salvador Dalí, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh.
In light of the pandemic, the museum opens its ‘digital doors’ every Thursday night through its Virtual Views series so that visitors can see the galleries and listen to interviews with artists and curators. One of many new resources they have brought to their viewers includes ‘home movies’ from their Private Lives Public Spaces exhibition.
7. J Paul Getty Museum :
The J Paul Getty museum in Los Angeles is an art museum consisting of 2 campuses; the Getty Centre features pre-20th century European paintings, drawings, sculptures, and photographs dating back to the inception of the art form itself, up to present day. The Getty Villa displays Ancient Greek, Roman and Etruria (now central Italy). Housing more than 6000 years of art and artefacts, the museum is a must-see. Works by Van Gogh and Renoir are some of the many pieces that can be seen in the virtual tour made possible by Google Arts and Culture.
8. National Gallery, London :
The National Gallery is an art museum located in Trafalgar Square of Central London. It houses over 2,300 paintings dating back to the 13th century. Some of the notable pieces include those by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Vincent van Gogh and Sandro Botticelli. In 2016, Google created a virtual tour of several of their rooms, and today, the time is ripe to take advantage of this feature! In addition to the tour created by Google, they also provide virtual reality experiences of their Sainsbury Wing of Early Renaissance paintings.
9. Vatican Museums :
Within the Vatican City lie several art and sculpture museums with the massive collection of works accumulated by the Catholic Church, including some of the most important pieces of Renaissance art in the world. Some of the highlights of their collection are St Jerome in the Wilderness by Leonardo Da Vinci, Pieta by Giovanni Bellini and Madonna of Foligno by Raphael. In addition to these paintings, the sculptures housed by the museum are yet another sight. In fact, the structures housing these collections are pieces of art themselves, such as the Sistine Chapel’s beautiful ceiling and the Gallery of Maps. The Vatican Museum currently offers virtual tours of several of its stunning rooms and chapels.
10. Uffizi Gallery :
The Uffizi Gallery is a renowned gallery located in Florence, and is one of the best known and most visited museums in the world, holding a massive collection of works, primarily from the Italian Renaissance. Prominent works include those by Rembrandt, Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. The online tours offered by the museum give us some insight into the beauty of the many famous pieces it houses.
If you’re ever feeling bored in quarantine, get your creative juices flowing! Check out these virtual tours and get inspired to create by the works of several iconic artists, sculptures and photographers.
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Written by Tishya Doraiswamy
Content Writer @ Skyshot Media