L'Officiel Art

Five Virtual Museum Tours to Take While Staying Home

With guided tours and online archives, it's easier than ever to travel the world's greatest museums from home.
Reading time 5 minutes
Andy Warhol, Flowers, 1964, Offset lithograph

Art is one of the most powerful forces that breaks boundaries and brings communities together, and perhaps it can even help us through these uncertain times. While we may be stuck at home watching a pandemic unfold, the internet age means we can distract ourselves with TikToks, creative quarantine nicknames, or some virtual museum tours. Several museums already feature much of their work online, and this time of closure has inspired more to grant the public online access.

From Milan to Madrid to New York City, many of the world's top art museums are closed in person right now, but virtual museum tours and archives mean they're easily accessible for anyone who wants to spend an afternoon digitally wandering the galleries. As we practice social distancing in an attempt to flatten the curve, you can pay a visit to any of these museums with the click of a button. Read on for five virtual museum tours you can take right now.

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Francesco Hayez, The Kiss, 1859, Oil on Canvas

The Pinacoteca di Brera gallery is filled with both ancient and modern art in the heart of Milan. What differentiates the Pinacoteca from other Italian museums is the presence of great masterpieces from various schools: think Lombardy, Tuscany, and Venice, as well as important paintings of the Flemish school. Il Bacio by Francesco Hayez and La Città che sale by Umberto Boccioni are just a couple of pieces to admire online. Take yourself on a virtual museum tour now and embrace where your curiosity guides you.

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Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus, c. 1485, Tempera on Canvas

The Uffizi Gallery is part of the larger Florentine museum complex, The Uffizi Galleries, which consists of the aforementioned gallery, the Vasari Corridor, the Palazzo Pitti collections, and the Boboli Gardens in Florence. Today, you can access the Uffizi's online archive to take a virtual museum tour of all the museum's wonders, including Primavera by Botticelli and Caravaggio's Bacchus.

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Jackson Pollock, Shimmering Substance, 1946, Oil on Canvas

The Museum of Modern Art is located in midtown Manhattan, New York, and has typically been considered the world's leading modern art museum. The museum features the works of revolutionary artists such as Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock, just to name a couple. New York's beloved MoMA is offering an overview of its collections online as it has shut down for the health and safety of its workers and visitors just months after it unveiled major renovations. Enjoy your favorite works, and if you have some kids in tow (or are feeling nostalgic), take a family-friendly virtual museum tour via the museum's Destination Modern Art program, which was especially popular in the early 2000s but is still available today.

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Peter Paul Rubens, The Three Graces, 1630-1635, Oil on Oak panel

Spain's most prominent museum has a vast digital archive that allows viewers to search for the artists, works, and techniques that they love most. Make yourself some great sangria, then (re)discover the most important works of key painters from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, including Francisco Goya, Diego Velasquez, Hieronymous Bosch and Albrecht Durer, in a virtual museum tour that doubles as one of the most fun art history lectures you've ever taken.

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Aphrodite, Pan and Eros, from Delos, Cyclades ca. 100 B.C., Marble

The National Archaelogical Museum features stunning sculptures and art depicting Ancient Greece and the worship of the gods, but even though you can't visit it in person right now due to strict social distancing measures, it's simple to admire the works online. In addition to being the largest museum in Greece, it is also the richest in Hellenistic art, with pieces such as the golden masks of Agamemnon, the famous head of Zeus, and the sculpture of Aphrodite and Eros. One of the most historic virtual museum tours you'll take, admiring this digital archive will bring both beauty and wonder into your home.

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