Virtual Museum Tours: Art from your couch.
As museums, galleries and theatres are all shutting down for a global lockdown, and there is still hope for the art industry. Virtual museum tours could be the ticket to keeping art alive through hard times.
by J.Scott Stratton
Within weeks social distancing and self-isolation have become a ubiquitous part of Global society. Yet, how is that affecting the galleries and museums around the world?
Fortunately, we live in a time where nearly everything has a digital footprint, and those footprints have been mapped—by Google. It may have been a little-known fact just a couple of weeks ago, at least to me, but many of the major museums around the world have had their halls mapped by Google Street Maps. Extensively enough, that as far as a digital art experience is concerned, it’s top-notch.
So should you run out of TV to stream, or reading about how to feed the hype beast, I have put together a list of Museums around the world that you can spend trying to soak up as much culture as you can.
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
If this is your first stop on today’s virtual museum tours, then get yourself a nice cup of tea and let me tell you that the experience is good—but it takes a bit of getting used to. You can get relatively close to most of the paintings. There are “X’s” on the floor in front of most works, which indicate a viewpoint. However, there is some warping due to how the Google 360 camera captured the space.
Guggenheim Museum, NYC
The Guggenheim doesn’t need much introduction, but what does is the extensive amount of work they have put into making a fantastic digital experience from what is one of the world’s most iconic architectural structures.
If that is not enough, there is a whole playlist of Live from the Guggenheim videos available on YouTube.
Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA), Korea
The MMCA has four virtual exhibitions that you can tour. A slideshow tour of the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Korean Modern Masters: Yoo Youngkuk 1916~2002. A retrospective web tour of the Park Hyun-Ki exhibition and his lifetime of groundbreaking video and installation art.
There is also a 3 section guided web tour of the exhibition ‘Garden‘ currently on exhibition in MMCA Seoul.
(installation view) Park Myung-rae, 2015, From the collection of: National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea
screen shot of ‘Piles of French Novels’ by Vincent van Gogh
And the list goes on…
In doing the research into Google’s Arts & Culture website—something I must admit I am ashamed for not being familiar with prior to the global lockdown—I found that their cataloging of the world’s museums is far too robust to contain in one article. The aforementioned museums are the one that I found to be most interesting.
However, if those were not your taste, here are a few others:
The ambiguous French artist explains his thoughts on turning the austere and archaic Bitmap into a vehicle for social commentary.
The prolific Spanish artist talks about balancing the practice of his work. From the wilds of the streets and the confines of the gallery.
Artist Claus Haxholm crafts a collection of work that explores the sculptural, auditory, and experiential as a part of an ongoing exhibition with Former Commodity and Sensorisk Verden